U.S. Stocks Move Modestly Higher Amid Optimism About Earnings

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(RTTNews) – Stocks have moved modestly higher in morning trading on Monday, extending the upward move seen in the previous session. The advance on the day has lifted the Nasdaq to its best intraday level in well over two months.

Currently, the major averages all remain in positive territory. The Dow is up 19.58 points or 0.1 percent at 34,063.07, the Nasdaq is up 57.33 points or 0.4 percent at 14,074.14 and the S&P 500 is up 8.58 points or 0.2 percent at 4,188.75.

The strength on Wall Street may partly reflect optimism about quarterly results from a number of big-name companies.

Tesla (TSLA), General Electric (GE), UPS (UPS), Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), Boeing (BA), Apple (AAPL), McDonald’s (MCD), Amazon (AMZN), and Exxon Mobil (XOM) are just some of the companies due to report their results this week.

Buying interest has remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

The Fed is widely expected to maintain its ultra-easy monetary policy, but traders will be paying close attention to any changes to the accompanying statement that may signal a shift in the near future.

In U.S. economic news, a report released by the Commerce Department showed new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods increased by much less than expected in the month of March.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose by 0.5 percent in March after falling by a revised 0.9 percent in February.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to spike by 2.5 percent compared to the 1.2 percent slump that had been reported for the previous month.

The much weaker than expected durable goods orders growth was partly due to a continued decrease in orders for transportation equipment.

Excluding the drop in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders jumped by 1.6 percent in March after dipping by 0.3 percent in February. The increase matched economist estimates.

Oil service stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside on the day, resulting in a 2.9 percent jump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index.

The rally by oil service stocks comes despite a decrease by the price of crude oil, as crude for June delivery is sliding $0.68 to $61.46 a barrel.

Significant strength is also visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 2.1 percent gain being posted by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.

Banking, airline and semiconductor stocks are also seeing considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are up by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have bounced back near the unchanged line after seeing initial weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 1.561 percent.

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