Investors largely put aside their concerns about the Greek financial crisis Monday and focused instead on value.
Stocks rose broadly after the market shook off its longest weekly losing streak in nearly a decade.
The downturn brought the S&P 500 close to its average level over the prior 200 days. So long as the index doesn't sink far below that level, many technical traders see it as a sign to start buying stocks again.
“In the short term, stocks have been oversold, and you're going to get some sort of bounce, whether justified or not, just for technical reasons,” said Paul Simon, chief investment officer for Tactical Allocation Group, which has $1.5 billion in assets under advisement.
The S&P 500 index rose 6.86 points, 0.5 percent, to close at 1,278.36. The Dow Jones industrial average added 76.02 points, or 0.6 percent, to 12,080.38. The Nasdaq composite gained 13.18, or 0.5 percent, to 2,629.66.
Health care companies like Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. rose 1 percent, the largest gain among the 10 industry groups that make up the S&P 500 index. Financial companies like Morgan Stanley, which lost 1.9 percent, were the only group to lose ground.
The S&P 500 notched its third straight day of gains, the longest stretch of increases in the stock market for nearly a month. The index eked out a tiny gain last week, breaking a six-week losing streak driven by concerns that U.S. economic growth would falter in the second half of the year and that Greece's debt crisis would spread. It was the S&P's longest slide since 2002.
Signs that the European financial crisis may be contained helped ease investors' concerns. European Union officials in Luxemburg said Monday that the EU would take steps to prevent Greece's debt problems from affecting other struggling countries like Ireland and Portugal.
Some analysts say investors are ready to move beyond the Greek crisis and focus on corporate earnings and the U.S. economy.
“There's a little fatigue about hearing about the same problems, and there's no shock factor anymore,” said Oliver Pursche, president of Gary Goldberg Financial Services. Traders are now starting to look ahead to the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting, which begins Tuesday, and the next round of corporate earnings reports that begin in July, he said.
Shares in Cedar Fair LP, which operates 18 amusement and water parks, including Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun in Kansas City, were up 15 cents at $18.45. The Ohio-based company said that a former Walt Disney Co. executive would take over as CEO early next year.
Wal-Mart stores Inc. rose 0.4 percent after the Supreme Court blocked a sex discrimination lawsuit brought against the retailer by a large group of female employees.
The KansasCity.com Regional Stocks index climbed 2.35, or 0.35%, to 679.49.
BATS 1000 rose 93.25 points, or 0.64%, to close at 14,620.39.
Capitol Federal Financial rose 9 cents, or 0.76%, to close at $11.98.
Cerner Corp. rose 32 cents, or 0.27%, to close at $117.40.
Commerce Bancshares Inc. rose 10 cents, or 0.24%, to close at $41.49.
Compass Minerals rose 28 cents, or 0.33%, to close at $85.13.
DST Systems Inc. fell 30 cents, or 0.59%, to close at $50.80.
Garmin Ltd. rose 1 cents, or 0.03%, to close at $33.67.
Great Plains Energy rose 8 cents, or 0.38%, to close at $20.92.
H&R Block Inc. rose 15 cents, or 0.97%, to close at $15.55.
Inergy L.P. rose 19 cents, or 0.55%, to close at $35.01.
Kansas City Southern rose 47 cents, or 0.88%, to close at $54.00.
Sprint Nextel Corp. rose 2 cents, or 0.39%, to close at $5.21.
UMB Financial Corp. fell 17 cents, or 0.41%, to close at $40.85.
Waddell & Reed Financial Corp. rose 4 cents, or 0.11%, to close at $36.23.
YRC Worldwide Inc. rose 0.18% to close at $0.60.
Compiled from staff and news reports