US Stocks Rise Again As Trade Worries Take Back Seat
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks climbed with other markets on Monday as worries about trade tensions between the United States and the rest of the world took a back seat.
The world's two largest economies took their biggest steps yet on Friday in a brewing global trade war after the United States and China imposed dueling tariffs on each other's goods. But a better-than-forecast U.S. jobs report on Friday and the expectation for strong earnings reports from nearly every swath of corporate America in the upcoming weeks have nevertheless helped support stocks.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was up 20 points, or 0.7 percent, at 2,780, as of noon Eastern time. It follows Friday's 0.8 percent gain after the government reported that U.S. job growth remains strong despite all the concerns about global trade.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 282, or 1.2 percent, to 24,738, and the Nasdaq composite rose 41, or 0.5 percent, to 7,729.
EARNINGS SEASON: Companies are lining up to tell investors how much profit they made during the spring, and expectations are high for another gangbusters quarter of growth.
Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are among this week's headliners, and all are reporting on Friday. Financial companies are forecast to be one of the better-performing areas of the market, and analysts have penciled in 25 percent growth for their earnings per share from a year ago, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Across the S&P 500, analysts are calling for growth of 19 percent thanks to lower tax rates and stronger revenues. The biggest gains are likely to come from energy companies, which are benefiting from the rebounding price of crude oil, and whose profits likely more than doubled.
YIELDS: Yields on Treasurys rose as prices for bonds fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.84 percent from 2.82 percent late Friday. The two-year yield rose to 2.57 percent from 2.54 percent, and the 30-year yield pushed up to 2.96 percent from 2.93 percent.
FINANCIAL FLING: Higher interest rates can translate into bigger profits for banks by enabling them to charge higher rates for mortgages and other loans.
Financial stocks were the market's leader, and those in the S&P 500 jumped 1.8 percent for the biggest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index.
DIVIDENDS DULLED: On the flip side, higher interest rates can lure buyers away from high-dividend stocks because they become more interested in bonds.
Telecoms and real-estate investment trusts both lost ground, while utilities were the worst-performing area of the S&P 500, dropping 1.3 percent.
BEAUTIFUL: Helen of Troy's shares surged 13.3 percent to $115.49 after the consumer-products company reported stronger revenue for the spring, with particularly strong growth in online sales.
Like much of corporate America, Helen of Troy has been using cash to buy back its own stock, which means profits are getting allocated over fewer shares. The company behind the Oxo and Braun brands said that it repurchased enough during the last quarter to raise its forecast for earnings per share for this fiscal year.
DEALING: Groupon jumped 5 percent to $5.48 following a report from Recode that the daily-deal company is aggressively looking to be acquired by another company.
Its stock has lost more than 80 percent since peaking in late 2011.
MARKETS ABROAD: France's CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent, Germany's DAX added 0.4 percent and the FTSE 100 climbed 0.9 percent.
Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.2 percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbed 1.3 percent and the Kospi in South Korea added 0.6 percent.
Stocks from emerging markets, which have been on a wild ride up and down this year, jumped 1.4 percent.
TRADE WAR: There were few developments over the weekend after Washington put a 25 percent tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports Friday and Beijing retaliated with taxes on U.S. soybeans, pork, electric cars and other products. The full impact of the measures may not be felt for some time, and there was little immediate reaction from investors who have known for weeks that the tariffs were due to take effect.
CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 110.75 Japanese yen from 110.45 yen late Friday. The euro dipped to $1.1743 from $1.1745, and the British pound slipped to $1.3202 from $1.3266.
COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 31 cents to $73.49 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 88 cents to $77.99 per barrel.
Gold rose $6.10 to $1,261.90 per ounce.
– by Stan Choe, AP reporter