Tech­nol­ogy, health care stocks are big gain­ers

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Alex Veiga

In­vestors shrugged off geopo­lit­i­cal jit­ters Mon­day, send­ing U.S. stocks broadly higher and ex­tend­ing the mar­ket’s gains from last week.

Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, health care stocks and in­dus­trial firms ac­counted for much of the rally as traders fo­cused on the lat­est com­pany earn­ings and deal news. Oil prices fell af­ter surg­ing last week ahead of the U.S.-led mis­sile at­tack on Syria’s chem­i­cal weapons pro­gram.

“It’s some re­lief from the global po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion over the week­end,” said Wil­lie Del­wiche, in­vest­ment strate­gist at Baird. “The other thing is we’ve had over the last few weeks par­tic­u­larly this build up in pes­simism, and that pro­vided some op­por­tu­nity for stocks to rally once the news of this event was out of the way.”

The S&P 500 in­dex rose 21.54 points, or 0.8 per­cent, to 2,677.84. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age gained 212.90 points, or 0.9 per­cent, to 24,573.04. The Nas­daq added 49.63 points, or 0.7 per­cent, to 7,156.28. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks picked up 13.52 points, or 0.9 per­cent, to 1,563.03.

The mar­ket was in rally mode from the start of trad­ing Mon­day, de­spite a sell-off among ma­jor in­dexes in Europe.

In­vestors seemed to put aside con­cerns over the geopo­lit­i­cal ten­sions that led to Fri­day night’s mis­sile at­tack by the U.S., Britain and France on Syria’s chem­i­cal weapons pro­gram. On Mon­day, the White House said it was con­sid­er­ing im­pos­ing ad­di­tional sanc­tions on Rus­sia, a key ally of Syr­ian leader Bashar As­sad.

In­stead, the mar­ket shifted its fo­cus to cor­po­rate Amer­ica. Wall Street is fore­cast­ing the strong­est growth in seven years for S&P 500 com­pa­nies, and the hope has been that healthy profit re­ports will steady the mar­ket fol­low­ing a rough cou­ple of months. Over the long term, stock prices tend to track the progress of cor­po­rate prof­its.

In­vestors wel­comed J.B. Hunt Trans­port Ser­vices’ lat­est quar­terly re­sults Mon­day. The trans­porta­tion com­pany said ship-

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