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Stocks Mixed as Dow Gains, Nasdaq Slips
CNBC.com | February 28, 2011 | 03:57 PM EST

Stocks traded mixed Monday, as blue chips advanced and small stocks slumped, yet the market was still on track to start the year with two straight months of gains.

TheDow Jones Industrial Averagerose more than 85 points, continuing a turnaround that began Friday, after stocks ended higher but still snapped a three-week winning streak.

The blue-chip index was on track to rise 2.8 percent this month, following a 2.7 percent gain in January. Of the 26 times the Dow gained in the first two months of a year, only once has it finished the year with a loss. (Read More: Stocks — A Promising Start to 2011?)

Most Dow components gained, led by Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson and 3M, while Intel fell.

The S&P 500 rose slightly, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq traded flat. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell below 19.

Among the key S&P 500 sectors, utilities, telecom and consumerstaples rose, while technology and energy declined.

Monday's split market—with large caps outpacing small—comes at the end of the month, when portfolio managers are likely to dress up their portfolios with strong performers.

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