Wall Street rises, focus turns to earnings from geopolitics
by Admin |
US stocks closed higher on Monday, with the biggest boosts from technology and healthcare sectors as investors were optimistic about earnings season and appeared less worried about US-led missile attacks in Syria.
The weekend’s air strikes marked the biggest intervention yet by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia, which is facing further economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.
Stocks had ended lower on Friday on worries about Syria. But investors seemed less anxious about he potential for retaliation from Russia, an Assad ally, since there was none at the weekend.
“Geopolitical conditions calmed,” said Tim Ghriskey, Chief Investment Strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. “There’s a lot of anticipation about very strong earnings growth in the quarter. That may be attracting traders and even longer-term investors back into the market.”
Netflix shares gained around 7 percent after the market closed following its quarterly report. Its subscriber growth beat analyst expectations. It had ended the regular session down 1.2 percent.
S&P 500 companies are expected to report an 18.6 percent jump in first-quarter profit, on average, the biggest rise in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 212.9 points, or 0.87 percent, to 24,573.04, the S&P 500 gained 21.54 points, or 0.81 percent, to 2,677.84 and the Nasdaq Composite added 49.64 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,156.29.
UnitedHealth provided the second-biggest boost to the S&P from a single stock a day ahead of its earnings report with a 2.7 percent gain. Microsoft Corp was the biggest positive contributor with a 1.2 percent gain, on a weighted basis.
Shares of optical components makers, including those of Acacia Communications and Oclaro took a beating after Reuters reported that the US government was banning American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp Acacia slumped almost 36 percent, compared with a 15.2-percent drop for Oclaro.