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S&P 500 posts third straight day of gains

Investors largely put aside concerns about the Greek financial crisis Monday and focused on value. Stocks rose broadly after the market shook off its longest weekly losing streak in nearly a decade.

The recent downturn brought the S&P 500 close to its average level over the prior 200 days. As long as the index doesn't sink far below that level, many technical traders see it as a sign to start buying stocks again. The S&P is now 6 percent below the 2011 high it reached on April 29. "In the short term, stocks have been oversold, and you're going to get some sort of bounce, whether justified or not, just for technical reasons," said Paul Simon, chief investment officer for Tactical Allocation Group, which has $1.5 billion in assets under advisement.

The S&P 500 index rose 6.86 points, 0.5 percent, to close at 1,278.36. The Dow Jones industrial average added 76.02 points, or 0.6 percent, to finish as 12,080.38. The Nasdaq composite gained 13.18, or 0.5 percent, closing at 2,629.66.

Health care companies like Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. rose 1 percent, the largest gain among the 10 industry groups that make up the S&P 500 index. Financial companies like Morgan Stanley, which lost 1.9 percent, were the only group to lose ground.

The S&P 500 notched its third straight day of gains, the longest stretch of increases in the stock market for nearly a month. It eked out a tiny gain last week, breaking a six-week losing streak driven by concerns that U.S. economic growth would falter in the second half of the year.

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