NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market got back on track in the second quarter.
After a bumpy start to the year, the Standard & Poor's 500 index resumed its upward climb in the March-June period. The index rose 4.7 percent, versus a 1.3 percent gain in the first three months of the year.
As the weather improved this spring, investors received more encouraging news about hiring and manufacturing. Investors sold stocks in January as they worried about the impact of an unusually harsh winter on the economy.
Stocks were also propelled higher by a turnaround in some of the riskier parts of the market. Internet, biotechnology and small-company stocks all rebounded after dragging the market lower in March.
Company earnings, already at record levels, continued to grind higher. Even an escalating conflict in Iraq that pushed up oil prices in June wasn't enough to stop stocks from rising.
"I'm not seeing anything that's going to derail the overall upward climb of the market," said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist with Voya Investment Management. "The economic backdrop is getting better, so companies will make even more money."
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.73 points on Monday, less than 0.1 percent, to 1,960.23, just two points from its record close of 1,962.87 set June 20.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,826.60 and posted a gain of 2.4 percent in the quarter. The Nasdaq composite rose 10.25 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,408.18, rising 5 percent in the quarter.
Stocks flickered between small gains and losses on Monday, keeping major indexes close to record levels, as investors assessed the latest data on housing.
Home builders rose following news that the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes shot up in May. The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 6.1 percent to 103.9 last month. It was the sharpest month-over-month gain since April 2010.
Gains for home builders were led by D.R. Horton, which rose 75 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $24.58.
Utility stocks also did well. The sector rose 0.8 percent, making it the biggest gainer of the 10 industry sectors that make up the S&P 500 industry.
The group has climbed 16.4 percent this year as bond yields have fallen, forcing investors to look elsewhere for income.