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Tech, health care stocks are big gainers as U.S. indexes rally

Specialist Peter Mazza, left, and trader Patrick Casey

Specialist Peter Mazza, left, and trader Patrick Casey work on the floor of the NYSE on April 10. Photo Credit: AP/Richard Drew

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 0.8 percent to 2,677.84. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 212.90 points, , to close at 24,573.04. The Nasdaq added 0.7 percent, closing at 7,156.28. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 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 United States, Britain and France on Syria's chemical weapons program.

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. — AP

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