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Stock indexes veer higher in afternoon trading; oil rises

Specialist Gregg Maloney works at his post on

Specialist Gregg Maloney works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017.  Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Wall Street notched another set of milestones Monday as the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high for the 12th consecutive time, the longest winning streak for the 30-company average in 30 years.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, the benchmark favored by professional investors, also closed at a record high.

The latest push into the record books came on an indecisive day for U.S. stocks that sent indexes wavering between small gains and losses for much of the day. They ultimately eked out tiny gains, led by energy stocks, which climbed as the price of crude oil rose. Talk of more defense spending gave a lift to defense contractors Monday.

Phone stocks lagged the most.

Many investors were taking a wait-and-see approach ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress on Tuesday, hoping for details of promised tax cuts, infrastructure spending and other business-friendly policies.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 15.68 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,837.44. The S&P 500 gained 2.39 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,369.73. The Nasdaq composite index added 16.59 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,861.90. Small-company stocks fared better than the other indexes, sending the Russell 2000 index up 13.44 points, or 1 percent, to 1,407.97.

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