Stocks Hold to Small Gains on Day Devoid of Data

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were slightly higher on Monday in the absence of major economic data after the markets on Friday again pushed into fresh record closing territory.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both achieved their third consecutive weekly gains, with the S&P attaining its 18th record finish of the year and the Dow hitting its eight record settlement year to date.

With the S&P 500 now up 5.5% this year and heading closer toward 2,000, there's the inevitable question of whether there will be a correction during the second half of the year or if the rally will continue.

Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist and economist at Wells Capital Management, said in a note that although some of the major indicators he's watching to gauge potential correction pressures facing the stock market are "flashing yellow," none are yet red and overall they don't yet suggest any significant downside risks for equities as a whole.

However, he does expect the stock market to experience a correction at some point, perhaps ending the year about where it began. The correction indicators he's watching include a more aggressive pace to stock gains, diminishing calls for a correction, rising bond yields, evidence that risks of inflation is behind, and more hawkish Federal Reserve discussions.

The S&P 500 was rising 0.18% to 1,952.99. The Dow was adding 0.14% to 16,947.59. The Nasdaq was up 0.52% to 4,343.77.

Apple's (AAPL) split-adjusted pricing began in Monday trading. The stock was trading at $96.66, up 1.6%, on Monday.

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