NEW YORK — Stocks are higher in midday trading, led by gains in health care companies.
Health insurer UnitedHealth Group rose 2 percent, the most in the Dow Jones industrial average. Merck also rose 2 percent.
Bank stocks also rose as investors hoped that higher interest rates could be on the way, which would allow banks to earn more from loaning money. JPMorgan Chase climbed 1 percent.
The Dow was up 106 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,826 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 12 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,093. The Nasdaq composite climbed 25 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,133.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.16 percent.