While buying interest has waned from earlier in the session, stocks are holding onto strong gains in mid-afternoon trading on Monday. The major averages remain firmly in positive territory, although they have pulled back off their best levels of the day.

Strong gains by financial stocks are helping to keep the major averages well above the unchanged line, benefiting from the news of the Obama administration's plan to help banks sell their toxic assets. Real estate, steel, and oil service stocks also continue to post standout gains.

The major averages have moved roughly sideways in recent trading, holding onto substantial gains. The Dow is currently up 281.87 at 7,560.25, the Nasdaq is up 52.22 at 1,509.49 and the S&P 500 is up 30.32 at 798.86.

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