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Dividend stocks lead indexes higher

New York Stock Exchange floor governor Nicholas Brigandi,

New York Stock Exchange floor governor Nicholas Brigandi, second left, works on the floor of the NYSE  Friday, June 23, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

U.S. stock indexes closed mostly higher Monday, snapping a four-day losing streak for the Dow Jones industrial average.

Utilities led the gainers as falling bond yields made high-dividend companies more attractive to income-seeking investors. Phone companies and real estate investment trusts, which also tend to offer high yields, notched gains. Financial stocks also did well.

Technology companies declined.

“It’s a pretty low volatility day and a continuation of the trend we saw last week, which is equity markets largely treading water,” said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at the private client group at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.77 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,439.07. The Dow gained 14.79 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,409.55. The Nasdaq composite slid 18.10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,247.15.

Early on, investors got some discouraging news on the economy from the Commerce Department, which reported that orders for durable goods, which are items meant to last at least three years, slid 1.1 percent in May.

That data helped pull down U.S. bond yields. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was down to 2.12 percent earlier Monday before bouncing back to 2.14 percent by late afternoon.

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