Wall St higher as bank stocks rebound, Apple gains

FAN Editor

A recovery for U.S. banking stocks allied to a 1.5 percent gain for Apple prodded Wall Street’s main indexes higher in early afternoon trading on Monday.

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JPMorgan and Bank of America shares led the advancers on the S&P financial, both rising 1.5 percent as they tracked a climb in U.S. Treasury yields which benefits banks.

The financial index was on track to post its first gain in four days after concerns about weak trading and credit card losses outweighed better-than-forecast earnings for big Wall Street banks.

Technology stocks also gained led by a 1.5 percent rise in Apple shares following a bullish brokerage call on the iPhone maker.

With the S&P already up 14 percent so far this year, investors are looking to justify the relatively high valuation of stocks through the earnings.

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.

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“The market is going higher despite all the news flow of geopolitical events,” said Jeff Zipper, managing director at the U.S. Bank Private Client Reserve in Palm Beach, Florida.

“There is optimism on earnings, economic indicators and hopes of budget resolution.”

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The Senate is trying this week to pass a partisan budget blueprint that would help guide federal spending.

The Republicans want to use the “budget resolution” to pave the way for the party later this year or next year to pass a major tax-cut bill without any Democratic support.

At 12:48 p.m. ET (1648 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 38.67 points, or 0.17 percent, at 22,910.39, the S&P 500 was up 1.37 points, or 0.05 percent, at 2,554.54 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 7.03 points, or 0.11 percent, at 6,612.83.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by 0.93 percent gain in the telecom services index.

Healthcare stocks were the biggest laggard, weighed down by a 2 percent fall in Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Shares of health insurers and hospital operators also slipped after U.S. President Donald Trump said Republicans and Democrats in Congress are working on a short-term fix for healthcare insurance markets after he last week scrapped subsidies to insurers.

Adobe fell 2.49 percent after Deutsche Bank cut rating on the Photoshop maker’s stock to “hold”.

Freeport-McMoran gained 3.15 percent as copper prices broke through the $7,000-a-tonne mark for the first time in three years, helped by Chinese data.

Video-streaming pioneer Netflix reports third-quarter results after market, while Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley report before markets open on Tuesday.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,516 to 1,322. On the Nasdaq, 1,581 issues fell and 1,266 advanced. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur)

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