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Banks lead US stocks modestly higher

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in Manhattan on Sept. 15, 2017. Credit: Bloomberg News / Michael Nagle

Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stocks modestly higher Monday, nudging the stock market to another record high.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index and Dow Jones industrial average closed at new highs as the market extended its gains from last week.

Investors continued to bid up bank shares as interest rates rose. Banks benefit from higher rates, which can translate into higher profits from lending money.

The rise in bond yields also weighed on utilities, real estate companies and other bond proxies. Big retailers like Amazon.com were among the biggest decliners.

“This is really a day which is characterized by rates moving and equities being influenced by interest rates,” said Bill Northey, senior vice president with U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.1 percent, to 2,503.87. The Dow gained 63.01 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,331.35. Both indexes closed at record highs on Friday.

The Nasdaq composite added 0.1 percent, to 6,454.64. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 9.37 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,441.08.

— AP

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