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Stocks jump as relieved investors buy banks, insurance, tech

The The New York Stock Exchange at sunset,

The The New York Stock Exchange at sunset, in lower Manhattan on Oct. 25, 2016. Credit: AP

Stocks rallied to record highs Monday as Hurricane Irma weakened without causing as much damage as many had feared, and a North Korean holiday passed without new missile launches. Financial and technology companies led the way.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.08 percent to finish at a record high of 2,488.11.

Investors were relieved as Irma, which is still deluging Florida and Georgia, didn’t appear to be as bad as it did in projections last week. Insurance companies jumped, especially smaller ones that do a lot of business in Florida. So did travel companies.

Home improvement retailers fell. Their stocks had climbed recently as investors expected post-storm repairs to boost their business.

Bond prices fell, sending yields higher. That helped bank stocks because rising yields mean banks can charge higher interest rates on loans.

“This is what happens when the market sells off in the face of what is really an awfully good fundamental environment,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for the Leuthold Group.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 259.58 points to 22,057.37. The Nasdaq composite jumped 1.13 percent to 6,432.26, three points below the record closing high it set Sept. 1. — AP

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