One year to the day after stocks fell to their worst close in more than 12 years, the U.S. market spent most of Tuesday spinning its wheels.
Major U.S. averages ended slightly higher as falling commodity prices pressured materials stocks, offsetting gains in the telecom and industrial sectors.
But the weakest financial companies dominated market activity, as Citigroup Inc
There's a huge rotation taking place today into financials, telecoms and some of the underperforming areas of the market, said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
The market is in an uptrend here, pushing toward her highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 11.86 points, or 0.11 percent, to 10,564.38. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> edged up 1.95 points, or 0.17 percent, to 1,140.45. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 8.47 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,340.68.
One year ago, the economic crisis dragged stocks to their lowest in more than 12 years. The S&P 500 is up 68.5 percent since then --the strongest one-year rally since 1936, according to Standard & Poor's, but still 27.6 percent below its all-time high.
The KBW bank index <.BKX> rose 0.6 percent with top gains coming from Capital One Financial
Shares of telecommunications and Internet devices companies rose after Cisco Systems Inc
Cisco, which gained almost 4 percent Monday on anticipation of the announcement, was flat, ending at $26.13, while the S&P telecommunications index <.GSPL> gained 1.2 percent. Apple Inc
Airline stocks jumped as major U.S. carriers said they would continue to explore new fees and cost-cutting measures to enhance profitability, and demand for business travel picked up.
Also lifting transports' shares, Morgan Stanley reiterated its upbeat view on railroads while raising its price target on Union Pacific Corp
Union Pacific rose 1.9 percent to $70.84 and CSX added 1 percent to $49.52, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average <.DJT> gained 1.3 percent.
Also lower was Texas Instruments Inc
The U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, with the latest data showing the economy may be on the verge of creating jobs and a majority of companies reporting stronger-than-expected earnings.
About 9.24 billion shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, slightly below last year's estimated daily average of 9.65 billion.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of about 4 to 3, while on the Nasdaq, about five stocks rose for every four that fell.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Jan Paschal)