The major averages advanced Monday, narrowly posting new record levels as investors awaited a busy week of second-quarter corporate earnings announcements and central bank speeches. The Dow gained 27 points, while the S&P 500 finished just above the flat line. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.2%.
The modest gains extend last week’s moves in which all three major U.S. benchmarks notched all-time highs as remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell seemed to solidify expectations for a rate cut at the July 31st policy meeting. A flurry of Fed speakers this week will likely garner attention. Investor focus is also on second-quarter earnings with S&P 500 profits expected to dip 3%, the most since the second quarter of 2016, according to FactSet. Citigroup kicked off banks earnings, with shares off 0.1% as investors weighed strength in its consumer lending unit against disappointing trading revenue.
Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory. The Energy group lagged as WTI crude lost 1.5% to $59.31/barrel despite tropical storm Barry disrupting refinery output in the Gulf of Mexico. In other corporate news, Boeing slid 1.0% on reports the company’s 737 MAX aircrafts may be unlikely to resume operations until 2020. In M&A news, shares of Symantec tumbled 10.7% after the software security company announced it has broken off takeover talks with Broadcom.
On the data front, the New York Fed’s Empire State manufacturing survey rebounded into positive territory after posting a historic negative figure in June. Treasuries advanced, with the yield on the 10-year note down three basis points to 2.09%.