U.S. stocks were broadly higher in midday trading Monday, adding to the market’s gains last week. Technology companies, industrial firms and health care stocks accounted for much of the rally. Investors were weighing the latest company earnings and deal news. Oil prices were pulling back after surging last week ahead of the U.S.-led missile attack on Syria’s chemical weapons program.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 18 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,675 as of 12:37 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 194 points, or 0.8 percent, to 24,554. The Nasdaq added 43 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,149. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 10 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,560.
THE QUOTE: “What we have going on is a little bit of a relief rally,” said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. “The whole Syria situation could have gone a lot worse.”
EYE ON EARNINGS: It’s report card time for corporate America the next few weeks. Wall Street is forecasting the strongest growth in seven years for S&P 500 companies, and the hope has been that healthy profit reports will steady the market following a rough couple of months.
ICAHN’S BET: Carl Icahn’s company has struck a roughly $1.85 billion deal that would fuse the gambling and hotel operations of Tropicana Entertainment to Eldorado Resorts Inc. Tropicana vaulted 27 percent to $69.85. Eldorado jumped 17.6 percent to $42.
WAY TO DELIVER: Domino’s rose 1.4 percent to $233.43 after the pizza chain said that it will now deliver to the great outdoors, which has been bringing pizzas to doorsteps for more than half a century, will now deliver to beaches, parks and other outdoor spots.
KEEP ON TRUCKIN: Investors welcomed J.B. Hunt Transport Services’ latest quarterly results. The transportation company said shipping volumes grew in the first quarter and rates increased. Its shares climbed 6.5 percent to $120.12.
C-SUITE SHAKEUP: Shares in WPP, the world’s largest ad agency, fell 5.6 percent to $79.76 after its CEO, Martin Sorrell, resigned over an investigation into personal misconduct. Analysts say his departure could leave the company he founded three decades ago rudderless, but could also see parts sold off for higher value.
ENERGY: Oil prices fell back from spikes last week on fears over an escalation of strife in the Middle East. Benchmark U.S. crude declined 94 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $66.45 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, slid 93 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $71.65 per barrel.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.83 percent from 2.83 percent late Friday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 107.18 yen from 107.41 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.2375 from $1.2334.
OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX slid 0.4 percent, while the CAC 40 in France was essentially flat. The FTSE 100 in Britain dropped 0.9 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.6 percent. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.1 percent higher. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 picked up 0.2 percent.