Wall Street rose on Monday, with the Dow touching highs not seen since July, as Hasbro and Disney lifted the consumer discretionary sector while investors braced for a flurry of quarterly earnings reports through the week.
Chevron (CVX.N) climbed 1.25 percent as crude prices steadied from earlier losses caused by the collapse of talks among major producers to tackle a stubborn global surplus.
A recent rebound in oil and signs that the U.S. economy was recovering have helped stocks rally from a steep selloff earlier this year that had pushed the S&P 500 down as much as 10.5 percent.
The index is now up 2.3 percent in 2016 and only about 2 percent short of its all-time high, while the Dow breached 18,000 for the first time since July 21.
That came despite bleak expectations for first-quarter earnings reports, many of which flow in this week. Earnings of S&P 500 companies are seen falling 7.7 percent on average, with the energy sector weighing heavily, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Investors will closely watch IBM (IBM.N) and Netflix (NFLX.O) as they hand in their reports after the bell. Netflix was down 3.2 percent.
"This is a market where beating and exceeding does not guarantee you a higher stock price, but missing guarantees you're going to get killed on the downside," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa. "That's the sign of a fragile market."
At 2:31 pm, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 0.49 percent at 17,985.53 points and the S&P 500 .SPX had gained 0.52 percent to 2,091.54. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.34 percent to 4,955.09.
All of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.2 percent rise in energy .SPNY. The consumer discretionary sector .SPLRCD was up 0.84 percent, led by Hasbro. The toymaker (HAS.O) jumped 5.7 percent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.
Disney (DIS.N) rose 2.7 percent after "Jungle Book" dominated the weekend box office, grossing more than $100 million.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,066 to 913. On the Nasdaq, 1,925 issues rose and 888 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 19 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 52 new highs and 16 lows.
(Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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Updated Date: Apr 19, 2016 00:45:12 IST