Wall Street's major market averages all closed higher on Monday as geopolitical risks were diminished by this weekend's restrained US airstrikes in Syria, and as investors look forward to first quarter corporate results. The earnings season kicked off with upbeat results from Wall Street's largest banks including Bank of America ( BAC ) which today reported better-than-expected profit and sales for Q1.
Stocks were also propped up Monday by comments from NY Fed president William Dudley on CNBC this morning downplaying the likelihood for more than four rate hikes in 2018, along with retail sales data that supported expectations for economic growth without raising the likelihood for three more rate hikes in 2018.
Today's other economic data included the Empire State manufacturing index which fell to 15.8 in April from 22.5 in March, missing 18.2 expectations.
Business inventories grew 0.6% in February while sales were up 0.4%, both in-line with expectations. The inventory-to-sales ratio stayed unchanged at 1.35.
Finally, home-builder confidence decayed in April to its lowest since April as the housing market index fell back to 69 from March's 70.
Tuesday's calendar has housing market data and industrial production. Fed-speak comes from San Francisco (and NY Fed president designate) John Williams, Fed governor Randal Quarles, Philadelphia Fed president Patrick Harker and Chicago Fed president Charles Evans.
Here's where the markets stood at the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 212.90 points (+0.87%)
S&P 500 was up 21.54 points (+0.81%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 49.63 points (+0.70%)
FTSE 100 was down 0.91%
Nikkei 225 was up 0.26%
Hang Seng Index was down 1.60%
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 1.55%
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