Wall Street gains; investors expect strong earnings

Dow, S&P 500 post best days in more than a month; banks lead gains

Dow, S&P 500 post best days in more than a month; banks lead gains

Wall Street was lifted by banking, industrial and energy stocks - as quarterly results are out later this week, and the market has high expectations of corporate earnings. The S&P 500 gained 9.67 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,793.84. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup are scheduled to report results on Friday.

The United States and China engaged in tit-for-tat tariffs on Friday, both countries imposing duties worth $34 billion on each others' goods.

China's securities regulator said on Sunday it plans to ease restrictions on foreign investment in stocks listed on the Shanghai or Shenzhen exchanges to attract more foreign capital and support the economy.

"If it escalates, maybe it could become a problem but the angst going into last Friday was pretty significant, and now with just the realization that we're here and the world hasn't come to an end, and we're on the eve of what's going to be a dynamite earnings season, the money is falling in", Hellwig said.

Caterpillar rose 3.8 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Dow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 320.11 points, or 1.31 percent, to 24,776.59, the S&P 500 gained 24.35 points, or 0.88 percent, to 2,784.17 and the Nasdaq Composite added 67.81 points, or 0.88 percent, to 7,756.20.

A Bank of America Merrill Lynch research report showed earnings per share for S&P 500 companies for 2018 was revised higher amid better-than-expected first-quarter results, higher oil prices and stronger-than-expected USA economic growth.

Analysts' estimates for S&P 500 second-quarter profit growth have risen slightly since April, putting the latest forecast at around 21 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"Once we get past these talks, which we view as a negotiating tactic by the Trump administration, this sector will jump", she said on a conference call previewing earnings.

Twitter Inc sank after the Washington Post reported the social media company suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, which analysts said could be negative for user growth, but it pared losses after its CFO tweeted that most accounts Twitter removes are not included in reported metrics. The stock was last down 5.4 percent.

US -listed shares of Chinese companies Alibaba, JD.com and Baidu climbed after KeyBanc recommendations on the stocks.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.53-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.16-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. That compares with the 7 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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