Stocks Post 3-Day Win Streak Ahead of Earnings Season; INTC Slumps
Stocks ended in positive territory for the third-straight session Monday, as investors geared up for the start of the second quarter earnings season, but technology shares declined, weighing on the Nasdaq.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 88.85 points, to finish at 15,224.69, led by Wal-Mart and UnitedHealth. The blue-chip index was within 200 points from reaching its record close of 15,409.39.
The S&P 500 climbed 8.57 points, to end at 1,640.46. And the Nasdaq eked out a gain of 5.45 points, to close at 3,484.83. The Russell 2000 finished at a fresh all-time high after closing above 1,000 for the first time last Friday.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended below 15.
Most key S&P sectors closed in positive territory, led by utilities and consumer staples, while telecoms and techs lagged.
Aluminum producer Alcoa is slated to post numbers after Wall Street closes. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast the Dow component to post earnings of 6 cents a share for the second quarter of 2013 on revenue of $5.83 billion, down from sales of $5.96 billion a year ago.
(Read More: Value Remains in Alcoa's Stock: Pro)
"We expect the company to record soft earnings, but most investors will watch out for any cues on its outlook. Aluminum prices are constantly going downhill and demand remains sluggish. Also,aluminum inventory continues to remain high relative to demand, keeping a lid on London Metal Exchange (LME) prices for aluminum," according to research company Trefis in a note.
So far, earnings pre-announcements have been very negative. As of last Friday, the ratio of negative-to-positive corporate comments stood at 6.5 to 1, according to Reuters, more than 2.5 times the normal pace and the most negative reading since 2001.
"We're a little more optimistic than the consensus right now, but any way you slice it, it's not going to be a good earnings season," said BTIG chief global strategist Daniel Greenhaus."Guidance is particularly important since you're going to have much less Federal Reserve accommodation."
(Read More: Traders Keep One Eye on Earnings, the Other on Bonds)
The CNBC Fed Survey, taken right after Friday's jobs report, showed that on average, analysts now forecast the Fed will start scaling back its asset purchasing program in November. An earlier survey, taken a little over two weeks ago, showed the average forecast was for December.
Meanwhile, worries that Friday's upbeat U.S. jobs report could lead the Fed to unwind stimulus measures later this year weighed on Chinese stocks on Monday. The Shanghai Composite fell 2.4 percent to a one-week low, also hit by the news that Beijing will no longer extend credit to sectors that struggle with overcapacity.
"Chinese growth is once again being called into question... the market is thinking longer term and how a reduction in credit growth north of $100 billion will impact the economy," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, in a research note.
Dell gained after investment advisory firm ISS recommended the company's shareholders vote in favor a $24.4 billion offer for the PC maker from founder and CEO Michael Dell, saying the $13.65 per share offer provides "certainty of value."
Intel slumped to lead the S&P 500 laggards following a bearish note from Citi. Analyst Glen Yeung cut his estimates on Intel and took Qualcomm off the broker's "Top Picks" list. In addition, Evercore lowered its rating on Intel to "underweight" from "equal weight" and cut its price target to $20 from $22. Rival chipmakers Sandisk and Micron also declined.
Meanwhile, Internet giant Google climbed back above $900 a share.
Shares of Asiana Airlines plunged nearly 6 percent after a Boeing 777 aircraft operated by the airline company crashed on the runway at San Francisco International Airport over the weekend, killing two passengers and injuring 182.
On the economic front, consumer credit increased in May by $19.6 billion to $2.8 trillion, the most in a year, according to the Federal Reserve. Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer credit to rise $12.5 billion.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
TUESDAY: NFIB small biz index, 3-yr note auction, IMF world economic outlook
WEDNESDAY: MBA mortgage applications, wholesale trade, oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, FOMC minutes; Earnings from Family Dollar, Yum Brands, Chevron (interim report)
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, import & export prices, natural gas inventories, 30-yr bond auction, Treasury budget, Fed balance sheet/money supply, chain store sales, Nokia event
FRIDAY: Producer price index, consumer sentiment; Earnings from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Infosys
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