US stocks edged higher on Monday, led by gains in health care stocks, keeping the market at record levels. Home builders got a lift after Toll Brothers said that its revenue rose 29 percent in the most recent quarter.
Cable companies slumped after President Barack Obama said regulators should reclassify the Internet as a public utility.
Keeping score: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose four points, or 0.2 percent, as of 12:06 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 31 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,605. The Nasdaq composite climbed 13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,645.
Net neutrality: Cable companies dropped after Obama said Internet providers shouldn’t be allowed to cut deals with online services like Netflix, Amazon or YouTube to prioritize their content. In a statement released by the White House Monday, the president called for an “explicit ban” on such deals. Time Warner Cable fell $5.61, or 3.8 percent, to $137.99. Comcast fell $2.11, or 3.8 percent, to $53.04.
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Retail earnings: This week investors will be taking stock of retail company earnings to gain insight into how much American shoppers are spending ahead of the holiday season. Macy’s, Nordstrom and Wal-Mart will report their earnings. The government will also release its retail sales data for October on Friday.
Holding at the highs: Stocks are trading at record levels, having rebounded following a sharp slump at the beginning of October. Despite worries about flagging growth overseas, investors are focusing on a strengthening U.S. economy and improving company earnings.
Homebuilders: Toll Brothers reported a 29 percent jump in revenue in for the quarter ending Oct. 29th. The company’s stock climbed $1.20, or 3.7 percent, to $33.42. Other home builders also rose. PulteGroup climbed 65 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $20.62
Energy: Oil prices fell back after starting the day higher. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.18 to $77.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude fell 89 cents to $82.50 a barrel.
Oil fell amid speculation that member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, are in no rush to cut production to shore up prices following a steep decline this year. Bloomberg reported that Kuwait’s oil minister said he doesn’t expect OPEC to agree a cut in production at the group’s next meeting in Vienna on Nov. 27.