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Bulls Hold Market Reins

Updated with closing prices.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Late-day buying sent stocks to a higher close Monday after earnings subdued the major indices most of the day. That resiliency is what one market-watcher calls "proof that the bulls are still in control."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.27 points, or 0.2%, to 9108.51, and the S&P 500 added 2.92 points, or 0.3%, to 982.18. The Nasdaq Composite edged up 1.93 points, or 0.1%, to 1967.89.

Really it's just resiliency, says Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. "The bottom line is that there are signs of life, and the market doesn't want to go down. Buying late in the day and closing near the high of the day is more proof that the bulls are in control."

A few disappointing earnings reports kept stocks lower most of the day despite a report by the Department of Commerce that there were 384,000 new-home sales in June, an 11% increase over the month prior and well over the 352,000 expected.

A successful Treasury auction of $6 billion of 20-year inflation protected securities, relieved some anxiety that's surrounded a record $211 billion of government debt that will be offered to the market this week. But stocks revisited negative territory before receiving a final lift of late-day buying.

Things didn't exactly start off on the right foot as Verizon (VZ - Get Report), down 1.6%, announced that second-quarter profit fell 21%, although that was slightly better than expected. The wireless carrier also said it will be cutting more than 8,000 employee and contractor jobs before the end of the year.

"The market has dropped the bar of expectations to the ground, and companies are stepping over it quite easily," says Alan Gayle, director of asset allocation at RidgeWorth Capital Management. "Unfortunately, one of the things that leads us to concern is that a lot of that earnings growth is coming through savings. What a lot of investors are looking for is signs that the top-line growth is turning around."

Click the button below to hear Alan Gayle, director of asset allocation at RidgeWorth Capital Management, break down the latest earnings trends and discuss what sectors he likes as earnings season winds down.

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