Wall Street climbed on Monday, due in no small part to Apple’s sixth straight day of gains and a surge in oil prices to their highest peak since 2014.
The S&P energy index ended 0.18 percent higher, although it surrendered earlier stronger gains after Trump tweeted that on Tuesday he would announce his decision on whether to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump has threatened to withdraw from the agreement, which provided Iran with relief from sanctions in exchange for limiting its uranium enrichment capacity, unless European signatories to the accord fix what he has called its shortcomings.
Energy stocks rallied earlier in the session due to troubles for Venezuelan oil company PDVSA and by the looming decision on whether the United States will re-impose sanctions on Iran.
Apple added 0.72 percent, extending gains since it reported results last week and after Berkshire Hathaway on Friday disclosed it had boosted its stake in the iPhone maker. Warren Buffett told CNBC on Monday, “I’d love to own 100 percent of it.”
Worries over inflation and interest rates, along with tariff and geopolitical tensions, have overshadowed a solid earnings season, which is on track to record its best quarter in seven years.
Nearly 80 percent of the 417 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have topped profit estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That is well above the long-term average of 64 percent and the average of 75 percent over the past four quarters.
Three quarters of companies have reported revenue above expectations, compared to 60 percent in a typical quarter. That suggests that companies are growing their businesses, and not solely benefiting from deep corporate tax cuts introduced this year.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors rose, with the technology index climbing 0.79 percent.
Athena Health ended the trading day up 16.39 percent after hedge fund Elliott Management proposed an all-cash offer that would value the healthcare IT company at about $6.5 billion.
Approximately 6.1 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 6.6 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.
Oil Moves Higher
The price of crude oil reached its highest peak since late 2014, driven by declining Venezuelan crude production and worries the Unites States could re-impose sanctions on Iran.
The crude surge lifted energy stocks in Europe and on Wall Street, with European shares supported by strong results and gains in Nestle after the Swiss company agreed to pay $7.15 billion to Starbucks in a global coffee alliance.
Venezuelan oil exports came under threat after U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips moved to take Caribbean assets of state-run PDVSA to enforce a $2 billion arbitration award, three sources told Reuters. The move could further crimp PDVSA’s declining oil output and exports.
Widespread expectations that President Donald Trump will withdraw the United States from the Iranian nuclear pact also weighed on crude prices.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up $1.01 to settle at $70.73 a barrel, breaking above the $70 mark for the first time since November 2014, while Brent crude gained $1.30 to settle at $76.17.
On Wall Street, the S&P energy index was the biggest gainer among the 11 major sectors, rising 1.2 percent.