NEW YORK (AP) - There was no dramatic rally and no records were set. But stocks finished with small gains sprinkled across industries from airlines to steelmakers as the big indexes continued to trade near record highs.
All 10 industries tracked in the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose. Twice as many stocks rose as fell. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose more than one percent, the biggest gain among U.S. market benchmarks.
And some industries rose sharply, including steelmakers, homebuilders and airlines.
While Monday's gains were modest, they continued a powerful rally in the market that has driven the S&P 500 index up nearly 24 percent this year. The S&P 500 closed at records seven times in October, most recently on Oct. 29, when it set its current all-time high of 1,771.95
On Monday the S&P 500 increased 6.29 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,767.93. Energy stocks had by far the biggest gains among 10 industries in the S&P 500, followed by technology and consumer discretionary stocks.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 23.57 points, or 0.15 percent, to 15,639.12 and the Nasdaq composite also gained 14.55 points, or 0.37 percent, to 3,936.59.
Homebuilders gained after Tri Pointe Homes said it would combine with Weyerhaeuser's home building business in a $2.7 billion deal. Last week homebuilders fell after the Federal Reserve said in a policy statement that the recovery in that sector has "slowed somewhat" in recent months.
Tri Pointe rose 77 cents, or 5 percent, to $16.15. D.R. Horton rose 31 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $18.82. KB Home rose 28 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $16.88.
Steelmakers rose after Goldman Sachs said the steel sector appears to be "heading to a sustainable recovery." AK Steel Holding rose 40 cents, or almost 9 percent, to $5. US Steel rose $1.13, or 4.4 percent, to $26.91. Steel Dynamics Inc. rose 41 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $18.85.
So far during the third-quarter earnings season, 68 percent of companies that have reported have beaten analysts' estimates, according to S&P Capital IQ. But 60 of the 78 companies that provided fourth-quarter forecasts came in lower than analysts were expecting.