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Stocks erase morning losses, continuing strong start to year

Stocks erase morning losses, continuing strong start to year

January 9th, 2018 in Business

FILE - This Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, file photo, shows the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stock indexes took a small step back from their record levels on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, as their momentum slowed following a torrid start to the year. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market’s perfect start to the year rolled on, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index shook off a bit of weakness 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. However, 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.

Jon Adams, senior investment strategist for BMO Global Asset Management, is optimistic 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.

The S&P 500 rose 4.56 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,747.71. The last time the index led off a year with more consecutive gains was in 2010, when it had six.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 12.87, or 0.1 percent, to 25,283.00, the Nasdaq composite rose 20.83, or 0.3 percent, to 7,157.39 and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gained 1.80, or 0.1 percent, to 1,561.81.

One of the biggest gains in the S&P 500 came from Kohl’s, which jumped after it raised its earnings forecast for the year. The retailer said its sales climbed nearly 7 percent in November and December from a year earlier, and its new profit forecast easily topped Wall Street’s expectations.

Kohl’s rose $2.54, or 4.7 percent, to $56.90.

High-dividend stocks were also strong, with utilities up 0.9 percent for the biggest gain of the 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500. They got help from falling Treasury yields, which make dividends more attractive for investors seeking income. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 2.47 percent from 2.48 percent late Friday.

On the losing end for stocks was GoPro, which plunged after it said its revenue fell sharply last quarter. The company had to slash prices on cameras to drive more sales, and it reported preliminary fourth-quarter revenue that fell far short of Wall Street’s expectations.

The stock lost 96 cents, or 12.8 percent, to $6.56. GoPro also said it will cut more than 20 percent of its workforce.