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Stocks mixed but S&P ekes out another gain

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The stock market’s perfect start to the year rolled on, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index shook off a bit of weakness on Monday to tick further into record territory.

Stocks had dipped in early trading, and the S&P 500 appeared to be on pace for its first down day of the year. But accelerating gains for dividend-paying and technology stocks helped offset losses in the health care industry, and the S&P 500 eked out a fifth straight gain. Other U.S. indexes edged higher or held close to their record levels.

“We’re getting a bit tired hearing ourselves talking about the solid economic backdrop and strong earnings growth, but that is the backdrop,” said Jon Adams, senior investment strategist for BMO Global Asset Management.

He is optimistic that stocks can continue to rise from their record levels due to the trends, even though the market is more expensive than it usually is relative to corporate profits. “Everyone is talking about the synchronized economic growth” around the world, he said, “but it’s something we haven’t seen for 10 years.”

The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent, to 2,747.71. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 12.87, or 0.1 percent, to 25,283.00, the Nasdaq composite rose 0.3 percent, to 7,157.39 and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gained 0.1 percent, to 1,561.81. — AP

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