A small decline today was far from enough to derail the S&P 500 this week, with three days of solid advances ahead of Thursday's holiday-shortened trading session carrying the market gauge to a 2.42% rise that also worked to erase its previous losses for the year. The S&P 500 also narrowly outpaced the Nasdaq Composite index this week but easily ran past blue-chips as measured by the the Dow Jones Industrial Average by a considerable margin as energy stocks rose nearly 2% as a group as crude oil bounced back from a slide to an 11-year low earlier in the week.
All 10 of the industry sectors in the S&P 500 managed wins this week, although it was shares of utility and health care companies that again saw the biggest gains, rising 4.02% and 3.03%, respectively, reflecting a still somewhat cautious mood among many investors despite the first signs of what may be the start of the markets' traditional year-ending "Santa Claus Rally." Celgene ( CELG ) had one of the better weeks among health care stocks, rising almost 11%, after Tuesday settling a legal fight that will keep a rival drugmaker in India from producing a generic version of its Revlimid cancer medication for almost another decade.
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