Wall Street's major market averages closed cautiously higher on Monday as upbeat corporate results from heavyweights like Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A/BRK.B) and Tyson Foods ( TSN ) soothed lingering fears of an all-out trade war between the US and China.
Gains were widespread across most S&P 500 sectors with only real estate in the red while positive price action in Facebook ( FB ) and T-Mobile ( TMUS ) offset pressure on biotechs and lifted the Nasdaq into positive turf for a fifth straight day.
Stocks dipped at the open when Wall Street was spooked by harsh rhetoric against US trade policies from Beijing aimed at retaliation against recent trade restrictions. After a lower start, the major US indices recovered as investors shifted focus away from geopolitics and back to a strong earnings season.
With more than 80% of the S&P 500 companies reporting, Goldman Sachs said the season "has been stellar" with sales up 12% and earnings per share rising 24%.
Among the sectors Monday, eight of the 11 groups on the S&P were stronger, with consumer discretionary rising 0.6% in the best increase. Real estate slipped 0.3% in the sharpest decline. Walt Disney ( DIS ) rose 1.6% in the best gain on the Dow Jones Industrial Average ahead of the media giant's earnings due Tuesday. On the downside, IBM ( IBM ) fell 1.2% to lead fewer than a third of the blue chips into the red.
There was no economic data on Monday, but Morgan Stanley lifted its outlook for 2018 US growth to 3% from a previous view of 2.5%, although it cut its view for 2019 to 2% from 2.1%. The investment bank also said it sees four Federal Reserve rate hikes this year and two in 2019.
Here's where the markets stood by the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 39.60 points (+0.16%)
S&P 500 was up 10.05 points (+0.35%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 47.66 points (+0.61%)
FTSE 100 was up 0.06%
Nikkei 225 was down 0.08%
Hang Seng Index was up 0.52%
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 1.26%
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