Stocks Finish Fractionally Higher Led By Energy Gains

By Wallace Witkowski Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Stocks closed fractionally higher Monday, but well off session highs as investors cautiously approached the beginning of earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.92 points at 20,658.02, led by gains in shares of Caterpillar Inc. and Travelers Cos. , and hampered by shares of Merck & Co. and Boeing Co. . The S&P 500 index finished up 1.62 points at 2,357.16, with a 0.8% rise in the energy sector and a 0.7% gain in real-estate stocks. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 3.11 points to close at 5,880.93.

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