Wall St. slightly higher, but healthcare, bank stocks weigh
U.S. equities edged higher on Monday as investors took stock after the strong rally that marked the start of 2018, but healthcare and bank shares weighed on Wall Street`s three major indexes.
Investors were focused on making marginal moves within their portfolios on a slow news day after the rally and before earnings season, said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group in Minneapolis.
"The news lies ahead in terms of economic reports, earnings and earnings warnings. In the meantime, you`ll take advantage of some of the price action," said Paulsen.
At 3:02 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.dji> rose 1.23 points, or 0 percent, to 25,297.1, the S&P 500 <.spx> gained 4.21 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,747.36 and the Nasdaq Composite <.ixic> added 18.17 points, or 0.25 percent, to 7,154.73.
The S&P 500`s healthcare sector <.spxhc> was the weakest performer of the S&P`s 11 sectors with a 0.5-percent decline on the first day of JP Morgan annual healthcare conference in San Francisco. It had risen 3.2 percent in the previous week.
The Nasdaq biotech index <.nbi> was down 1.4 percent, on track for its biggest one-day percentage decline since mid-December, led by a 3.9-percent drop in Biogen
A 0.4-percent decline in the bank subsector <.spxbk> put pressure on the broader financials index <.spsy>, which was down 0.1 percent.
Investors waited for the fourth-quarter earnings reports to gauge the impact of recent tax cuts. The earnings season kicks off later this week, starting with big banks.
Defensive sectors such as utilities <.splrcu>, real estate <.splrcrec> and telecommunications regained some ground lost in the previous week and were the S&P`s biggest gainers on the day.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.46-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.03-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 91 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 112 new highs and 24 new lows.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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