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Markets finished mostly higher on Monday even as safe haven stocks such as utilities and real estate gained traction. Further, the optimism from a strong market rally that began with 2018 continued to push the benchmarks higher. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted record closes. However, the Dow declined due to a fall in bank shares and snapped its winning run.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) decreased almost 0.1% to close at 25,283. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to close at 2,747.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,157.39, gaining 0.3%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased almost 2% to close at 9.40. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.46 -to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.03-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq Post Record Closes

The S&P 500 gained almost 5 points to finish at a record. The broader index also hit an intraday record of 2,748.51. Majority of the gains came from industrial and energy stocks. Of the 11 major segments of the S&P 500, nine ended in the positive territory, with utilities and real estate leading the gainers. The Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE) and Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) gained 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Nasdaq gathered 20.8 points to also finish at record level. Gains for the tech-laden index were buoyed by a surge in the shares of some major tech stocks. Shares of Facebook (FB - Free Report) , Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) and Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) gained 0.8%, 1.4%, 0.4% and 1%, respectively. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Nasdaq also hit an intraday record of 7,161.35 but a decline in biotech shares pared some gains for the index. The NASDAQ Biotechnology (^NBI) declined 1.4% on Monday, nearly its biggest decline since the mid of December. Such losses were led by a decline in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN - Free Report) and Biogen Inc. (BIIB - Free Report) , shares of which tanked 3.3% and 3.8%, respectively.

Dow Declines to End an Impressive Run

Dow defied the trend of the day to lose almost 13 points and ended in the red. This marked an end to its four-day winning streak of gains. However, the blue-chip index hit an intraday record of 25,311.99 earlier in the session but suffered broad based losses to finish in the negative territory.

Further, shares of major banks such as Goldman Sachs (GS - Free Report) and JP Morgan (JPM - Free Report) declined 1.5% and about 0.4%, respectively and weighed on the Dow. Bank shares declined after analysts estimated that there would be one-time charges to the fourth quarter earnings that the banks would suffer due to the implementation of tax reforms.

Fed Presidents Speak on Rate Hikes

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic commented on Monday that the Fed should continue raising the interest rates albeit at a slower pace compared to the last year.

Further, the San Francisco Fed President John Williams commented that the central bank should consider holding the rates lower for a longer period as that would allow the inflation to grow over the coming years.

Stocks That Made Headlines

Kohl's Rallies on Solid Holiday Sales: More Upside in Store?

In a landscape where many retailers are still struggling with consumers’ changing shopping patterns and soft traffic, Kohl's Corporation (KSS - Free Report) surprised investors with impressive holiday sales data.  (Read More)

Lululemon Lifts Q4 Outlook on Successful Holiday Feat

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU - Free Report) was among the retailers that emerged strong this holiday season, which has lifted the overall outlook for the retail sector. (Read More)

Big 5 Topples on Soft Q4 Sales, Lowers EPS View

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. (BGFV - Free Report) reported dismal sales numbers for fourth-quarter and full-year 2017, due to an extremely challenging performance in December. (Read More)

NVIDIA Hits All-Time High on Strength in Autonomous Vehicles

Shares of NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) yesterday crafted an all-time high as the company’s recent announcements ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 made investors more optimistic on its autonomous vehicles opportunity. (Read More)

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