Health care companies and banks climb; Apple falls

U.S. stocks are rising Monday as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway leads gains in insurers and other financial companies. Health care companies are also rising, led by drugmakers.

Technology and internet companies continue to struggle as Apple drops again. Asian indexes fell following weak economic data in China and a lack of progress in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.

Last week was the market’s best week since March. That came after a steep drop in October.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 18 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,741 as of 3:10 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 216 points, or 0.8 percent, to 25,487.

The Nasdaq composite sank 24 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,332. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,549.

Both of those indexes were hit hard during the market’s slump last month. Technology companies fell as investors worried about the trade dispute and about an increase in interest rates, which could erode the future profits of those companies. Smaller companies are vulnerable to higher interest rates because they tend to carry more debt.

THE QUOTE: Earnings for S&P 500 companies are on track to grow about 20 percent this year, and analysts expect company profits to grow another 10 percent next year, according to FactSet. But Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for the Leuthold Group, said that might be too optimistic because costs and interest rates are rising and global economic growth could slip.

“It’s a double whammy of slowing sales at the same time we may be starting to (see pressure on) profit margins,” he said. Paulsen said it’s possible earnings will fall next year, and smaller companies might have a hard time dealing with that.

“Large companies tend to operate

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