Monday, September 24, 2018

© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) – Major Wall Street indexes hit fresh records at the open on Monday on gains in financial and technology stocks even as investors awaited a barrage of earnings reports this week.

Apple (O:AAPL) gained 1.05 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and the S&P after KeyBanc upgraded the stock to “overweight”.

Financial stocks gained for the first time in four days, led by bank stocks. Reactions to bank results last week were muted on concerns about credit card losses at JPMorgan (N:JPM) and Citigroup (N:C) and weak trading activity across the sector.

Investment banks Goldman Sachs (N:GS) and Morgan Stanley (N:MS) report before markets open on Tuesday. Insurer Travelers (N:TRV) jumped 2 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Dow.

Video-streaming pioneer Netflix (O:NFLX) reports third-quarter results after market.

“The market still wants to be optimistic, it wants to continue to move higher from here,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.

“It seems to be the trend recently that companies report good earnings and the market sells them off a little bit, taking it as an opportunity to lock in profits. But it’s not something that should worry long term investors.”

Of the S&P 500 companies, 55 are expected to report this week. Out of the 32 that have reported so far, 84.4 percent beat earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.

World stocks and commodities got a boost from upbeat Chinese data on Monday, while U.S. oil futures jumped to a near six-month high as escalating tensions between the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces threatened supply. [MKTS/GLOB]

At 9:46 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was up 66.88 points, or 0.29 percent, at 22,938.6, the S&P 500 (SPX) was up 5.72 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,558.89 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) was up 20.73 points, or 0.31 percent, at 6,626.54.

Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by gains in the energy index (SPNY) as oil prices jumped nearly 2 percent.

Oil majors Chevron (N:CVX) gained 1.4 percent and Exxon (N:XOM) rose half a percent.

Adobe (O:ADBE) slipped 1.58 percent after Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) cut rating on the Photoshop maker’s stock to “hold”.

Groupon (O:GRPN) rose 4.5 percent after brokerage Cowen and Co upgraded the daily deals website operator’s stock to “market perform”.

Freeport-McMoran (N:FCX) gained 4.7 percent as copper prices broke through the $7,000-a-tonne mark for the first time in three years, helped by Chinese data.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,571 to 992. On the Nasdaq, 1,518 issues rose and 973 fell.

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