The S&P 500 equity index moved towards a record high on Monday, supported by expectations of lower interest rates, as investors awaited quarterly earnings from marquee companies Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon later this week.
Facebook rallied 2.0% ahead of its report due out after the bell on Wednesday, while Amazon and Alphabet were each up more than 0.7% ahead of their reports on Thursday.
Investors’ reactions to the reports of these top-tier growth companies could affect broader market sentiment, with the S&P 500 about 1% below its July 15 record high close.
The technology index rose 1.2%, the most among the S&P sectors, while the Philadelphia chip index was up almost 2%. Apple added 2.3% to $207.22 after Morgan Stanley raised its price target to $247 from $231.
Boeing fell 1.0% and pressured the blue-chip Dow index after ratings agency Fitch revised its outlook to “negative” from “stable.”
The European Central Bank meets on Thursday and money markets are pricing in a more than 50% chance of a 10-basis-point cut in interest rates. Federal Reserve officials are set to meet just days later and are widely expected to lower rates by at least 25 basis points.
Hopes of an interest rate cut have helped Wall Street’s main indexes hit record levels this month, recovering from a slump in May caused by a sudden escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions.
Approximately 30% of S&P 500 companies are set to report second-quarter results this week, with overall earnings numbers now estimated to rise about 1%, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Computer chip stocks gained on news that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow will host a meeting with executives of semiconductor and software companies on Monday to discuss the government’s ban on sales to China’s Huawei Technologies.
Second-quarter earnings have been mixed so far, with major banks raising concerns about profit growth in a low-interest-rate environment. Microsoft and IBM, on the other hand, have reported better-than-expected earnings.
Halliburton closed with a gain of 9.1%, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the oilfield services provider’s second-quarter earnings that exceeded consensus estimates.
Approximately 5.1 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges on Monday, as compared to the 6.4 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.