By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) - Wall Street climbed on Monday, boosted by Apple's sixth straight day of gains and by a surge in oil prices to their highest levels since 2014.
"Buffet took such an outsized position in Apple, which was reassuring to a lot of people," said Jack Ablin, Chief Investment Officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Chicago. "Psychologically, people went into last week a little sceptical, but I think we saw a thawing of that late last week and over the weekend."
The S&P energy index <.SPNY> surged 1.5 percent, the strongest gainer among the 11 major S&P sectors, as crude prices rose due to troubles for Venezuelan oil company PDVSA and a looming decision on whether the United States will re-impose sanctions on Iran. [O/R]
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.
At 2:42 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was up 0.69 percent at 24,429.52, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> had gained 0.67 percent to 2,681.17.
The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 1.04 percent to 7,284.93.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the technology index <.SPLRCT> rising 1.13 percent.
Utilities <.SPLRCU>, consumer staples <.SPLRCS> and telecoms <.SPLRCL> were all down.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.40-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.32-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 25 new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 117 new highs and 18 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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Updated Date: May 08, 2018 01:05 AM