NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose Monday after Tropical Storm Irene wound up being less severe than many analysts anticipated.

Irene ripped through the East Coast and caused widespread flooding Sunday. Millions were still without power. A consulting firm predicted that the damages paid by insurers would only be about $2 billion to $3 billion, far less than the $6 billion the industry paid after Hurricane Isabel struck the region in 2003.

The lower damage estimates pushed insurance stocks higher. Allstate Corp. rose 6.8 percent, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. rose 6.7 percent, while Travelers Cos. Inc. rose 4.6 percent.

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