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NEW YORK - Stocks bounced back from early losses to post moderate gains Monday as traders funneled money into utility and financial companies.

Major market indexes ended at their highest levels in nearly a year.

Stocks slid at the open following a drop in overseas markets on worries that a trade war would erupt between the United States and China. But the market recovered from the early dip that sent the Dow Jones industrial average down 69 points as investors seized on the opportunity to inject new money into shares. The Dow ended with a gain of 21 points.

Utility AES Corp. helped pull the market higher after the Wall Street Journal reported that China's investment arm is interested in buying a stake in the company.

Analysts said the market's gains are impressive because the Standard & Poor's 500 index has already jumped 55.1 percent in six months.

"We open lower and buyers seem to chip away, and we climb higher," said Adam Gould, a senior portfolio manager at Direxion Funds in New York. "It's somewhat healthy that we're rallying this way - slowly."

The Dow rose 21.39, or 0.2 percent, to 9,626.80. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6.61, or 0.6 percent, to 1,049.34, an 11-month high. The Nasdaq composite index rose 10.88, or 0.5 percent, to 2,091.78.

The early losses came after the U.S. government imposed trade penalties on tires coming from China late Friday.