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S&P 500, energy shares gain amid Greek election fallout

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose on Monday, following its first weekly advance this year, as gains in energy companies overshadowed a drop in technology shares as investors considered possible fallout from Greek elections.

The S&P 500 added 0.3 percent to 2,057.09, extending gains in the final 30 minutes of trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 6.10 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 17,678.70. The Nasdaq 100 Index slipped 0.1 percent, while the Russell 2000 Index of small caps rallied 1 percent.

In New York, officials told residents to stay at home as a blizzard forecasters call “life-threatening” may dump as much as two feet of snow from New York to Boston. Exchanges plan to remain open in the U.S., with the New York Stock Exchange’s owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc. saying it’ll be business as usual.

About 6.2 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, 7 percent below the three-month average.

The last time NYSE’s trading hours were changed because of a snowstorm was on Jan. 8, 1996, according to the exchange’s website. Weather shut American equity markets for two days in October 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

“We’re sort of at an inflection point in the market,” said Bill Schultz, who oversees $1.2 billion as chief investment officer at McQueen, Ball & Associates in Bethlehem, Pa. “It needs more to get it moving to higher levels. It’s just trying to digest all of this information and try to make heads or tails of it. You saw the Greek election although that was not a big surprise.”

The S&P 500 rallied 1.6 percent last week after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said it plans to buy up to 1.14 trillion euros ($1.28 trillion) of private and public securities.

European equities rose and the region’s shared currency strengthened, while Greek stocks retreated, after the Syriza party, whose leader has pledged to renegotiate the nation’s international bailout, won 149 out of a possible 300 seats in Parliament. Prime Minister-elect Alexis Tsipras’ mandate is now to confront the nation’s program of austerity, imposed in return for pledges of 240 billion euros in aid since May 2010.

Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to begin a two-day policy meeting Tuesday. The central bank is trying to determine whether declining oil prices, a slowdown in European growth and any fallout from the Greek elections will threaten the U.S. recovery as it considers raising interest rates. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen told reporters after the last meeting not to expect higher borrowing costs before the end of April.

United Technology slid 2.1 percent in late trading after cutting its earnings forecast. Microsoft slid 1.7 percent in after-market trading.

Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported so far, 77 percent have exceeded earnings projections after analysts reduced their estimates. Profit at S&P 500 companies climbed 1.1 percent in the last three months of 2014, analysts predict, down from an October estimate of 8.1 percent.

D.R. Horton Inc. gained 5.5 percent. The largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue posted better-than-expected first-quarter profit as sales and orders jumped.