Stocks score middling gains in quiet trading

|By:, SA News Editor

Stocks eased modestly higher in trading volume among the lightest of any session this year, with European markets closed and little in the way of U.S. economic data and corporate earnings reports.

Investors are focused on earnings later this week, and so far results have been somewhat better than the low expectations; tomorrow brings reports from four Dow components: AT&T, McDonald's, United Technologies and Travelers.

Health care was the day's strongest sector, helped by a report that Pfizer may be considering a $100B acquisition of AstraZeneca; biotech stocks also continued to rebound from their recent drubbing.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year note fell one basis point to 2.716%.