Stocks moved modestly higher during trading on Monday, adding to the slim gains posted last Friday. With the upward move on the day, the Dow climbed to a new record closing high for the ninth consecutive session.
The major averages all closed in positive territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed its counterparts. While the Nasdaq climbed 32.21 points or 0.5 percent to 6,383.77, the Dow edged up 25.61 points or 0.1 percent to 22,118.42 and the S&P 500 rose 4.08 points or 0.2 percent to 2,480.91.
The modest strength on Wall Street partly reflected ongoing positive sentiment following last Friday’s upbeat monthly jobs report.
A Labor Department report said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 209,000 jobs in July after spiking by an upwardly revised 231,000 jobs in June. Economists had expected employment to climb by 183,000 jobs.
The stronger than expected job growth added to optimism about the economy but also raised concerns about the outlook for interest rates.
However, a lack of major U.S. economic data kept some traders on the sidelines ahead of reports on producer and consumer price inflation and labor productivity and costs in the coming days.
Remarks by several Federal Reserve officials may also attract attention this week, as traders look for clues about the future of monetary policy.
Traders may also have been reluctant to make significant moves amid geopolitical uncertainty after the United Nations imposed stringent new sanctions on North Korea for its escalating nuclear and missile programs.
Among individual stocks, shares of NxStage Medical (NXTM) moved sharply higher after the medical technology and services company agreed to be acquired by Fresenius Medical Care (FMS) for about $2 billion.
Biopharmaceutical company Horizon Pharma (HZNP) also posted a standout gain after reporting better than expected second quarter results and providing upbeat guidance.
Meanwhile, shares of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (ZYNE) came under pressure after the drug developer said its synthetic cannabis-based gel to treat epilepsy failed a mid-stage study.
Steel stocks showed a substantial move to the upside, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 2.4 percent. With the gain, the index reached its best closing level in well over four months.
Brazil’s CSN (SID), Mechel (MT), and Gerdau (GGB) turned in some of the steel sector’s best performances on the day.
Considerable strength also emerged among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent…