U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with the S&P 500 on track for its first five-day winning streak since October 2013, as investors looked to a slew of quarterly earnings reports from companies including online film service Netflix.
"We'll have a little more information to act on after the close and into the morning as we get into company-specific results," said Lawrence Creatura, portfolio manager at Federated Investors.
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"Investors were braced for poor results, and at least so far, the numbers have been better than feared," Creatura added.
"Many companies in the hyper-extended corner of the technology sector were approaching valuations that were rarified, so it was probably natural and even healthy for those shares to retreat a bit," said Creatura.
Halliburton (NYSE:HAL - News) gained after the oilfield services company reported better-than-expected results. Athenahealth (NASDAQ:ATHN - News) declined after posting quarterly earnings below expectations.Facebook (NASDAQ:FB - News) gained after Goldman Sachs reiterated its buy recommendation. The social networking company is reportedly readying to unveil plans for a mobile advertising networking at the end of the month.
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Merger talks between Barrick Gold (Toronto Stock Exchange: ABX-CA) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM - News) fell through in recent days, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources. But shares of Newmont Mining rallied, while those of Newmont Mining fell, after Bloomberg News cited people with knowledge of the matter in reporting deal talks between the gold producers could be rekindled.
An index of leading indicators rose 0.8 percent last month , narrowly beating estimates.
After a 51-point climb and a 6-point fall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) was lately up 34.65 points, or 0.2 percent, at 16,443.19, with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE - News) leading blue-chip gains that included 19 of its 30 components after Britian's Sunday Times cited senior investment bankers and industry sources in reporting the pharmaceutical giant was weighing a $101 billion offer for British rival AstraZeneca (London Stock Exchange: AZN-GB)
Near its highs of the day, the S&P 500 (INDEX:^GSPC - News) added 5.29 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,870.14, with health care performing best and utilities the biggest laggard among its 10 industry groups.
For every three stocks falling, roughly four rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 288 million shares exchanged hands as of 1:55 p.m. Eastern. Composite volume cleared 1.5 billion.
The dollar gained against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note used in figuring mortgage rates and other consumer loans fell 3 basis points to 2.691 percent.
"Interest rates are tough to forecast; there is a common perception they will ultimately climb because they feel so unnaturally low, but markets have a way of surprising people, so we'll see," said Federated's Creatura.
The price of crude added 2 cents to $104.32 a barrel; gold futures shed $5.40, or 0.4 percent, to settled at $1,288.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold's decline is a "macro move as people anticipate less potentially inflationary activity from the Fed," said Creatura.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks mostly climbed , with the S&P 500 extending gains into a fourth session, after companies including General Electric (NYSE:GE - News) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS - News) reported quarterly results that topped expectations.
Wall Street was closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday.
-By CNBC's Kate Gibson
Coming Up This Week:
Earnings: Comcast, McDonald's, Travelers, Simon Property Group, Omnicom, Xerox, United Tech, Amgen, AT&T, Canadian national Railway, CR Bard, Discover Financial, Gilead Sciences, Cree, International Gaming, Juniper Networks, Intuitive Surgical, Yum Brands, Illinois Tool Works, AK Steel, Allegheny Tech, Carlisle, Lockheed Martin, Lexmark,Harley-Davidson, Canadian Pacific Railway, Bank of NY Mellon
9:00 a.m.: FHFA home prices
10:00 a.m.: Existing home sales
10:00 a.m.: Richmond Fed
1:00 p.m.: $32 billion 2-year Treasury auction
Earnings: Boeing, Procter and Gamble, Facebook, Ericsson, Northrop Grumman, Norfolk Southern, Dow Chemical, Owens Corning, TD Ameritrade, Ryder Systems, Tupperware, WR Grace, Omnicare, LPL Financial, Johnson Controls, Ingersoll-Rand, EMC, F5 Networks, ETrade, Zynga, Xilinx, Texas Instruments, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Delta Airlines, Air Products, Biogen Idec, Raymond James, Morningstar, Safeway, Stryker,Qualcomm
8:58 a.m.: Manufacturing PMI
10:00 a.m.: New home sales
1:00 p.m.: $35 billion 5-year Treasury auction
Earnings: Microsoft, Amazon.com, Caterpillar, Verizon, 3M, General Motors, UPS, United Continental, Timken, Starbucks, Freeport-McMoRan, Entergy, Jet Blue, Hershey, Imax, Noble Energy, Under Armour, T. Rowe Price, Stanley Black and Decker, Starwood, Broadcom, Applied Micro Nasdaq OMX, KKR, Peabody Energy, Potash, PulteGroup, Raytheon, Quest Diagnostics, Occidental Petroleum, NY Times, Novartis, Nucor, Altria, AstraZeneca, Amerisource Bergen, Alexion Pharma, Avnet, Brunswick, Bemis, Cabot Oil and Gas, Delphi Automotive,Eli Lilly, Dunkin Brands, DR Horton, Celgene, Pandora
8:30 a.m.: Weekly claims
8:30 a.m.: Durable goods
11:00 a.m.: Kansas City Fed survey
1:00 p.m.: $29 billion 7-year Treasury auction
8:58 a.m.: Services PMI
9:55 a.m.: Consumer sentiment
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