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Tuesday May 18th, 2021 9:10AM

Wall Street opening higher Monday on strong earnings

By The Associated Press
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Stocks are rising on Wall Street early Monday, following markets in Europe higher on the back of strong gains by blue chip companies including Mohawk Industries, The Gap and Halliburton. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway leaped to a new record high on news that Vice Chairman Greg Abel has been chosen to succeed Buffett as Berkshire Hathaway CEO. Markets in Tokyo and Shanghai were closed for holidays. Investors remain optimistic that the pandemic is slowly coming to a close, at least in the United States. Oil prices were mixed and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 1.62%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Shares were higher in Europe on Monday after a retreat in Asia, where some markets including those in Tokyo and Shanghai were closed for holidays. London was also closed for the May Day holiday.

Hong Kong and Seoul declined while Paris and Frankfurt advanced. U.S. futures were higher.

Oil prices were mixed and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 1.62%

Markets have mostly climbed in recent weeks as investors remain optimistic that the pandemic is slowly and steadily coming to a close, at least in the United States.

Germany's DAX climbed 0.6% to 15,226.91 while the CAC 40 in Paris was 0.5% higher, at 6,298.02. The futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials were up 0.5%.

The global recovery from the pandemic remains uneven. In much of Asia and many other countries, coronavirus caseloads have surged while vaccination levels remain low.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.3% to 28,357.54 and the Kospi in South Korea slipped 0.7% to 3,127.20. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged less than 0.1% higher to 7,028.80.

India's Sensex dropped 0.7% to 48,466.85. The country recorded 368,147 new coronavirus cases on Monday, including 3,417 deaths, as a catastrophic surge ripples through the country.

Shares also fell in Singapore and Taiwan.

On Friday, the S&P 500 lost 0.7% to close at 4,181.17, eking out a gain of less than 0.1% for the week.

Despite the decline, the benchmark index ended April with a 5.2% gain, its best month since November 2020, when President Joe Biden was elected. It logged a gain of about 28% between November and April.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 33,874.85 and the Nasdaq lost 0.9% to 13,962.68.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fared worse than the broader market, falling 1.3% to 2,266.45.

Under Biden, the Dow notched its best first 100 days under a new president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933, according to LPL Financial, with a 9.9% return as of April 29. The Dow delivered a 6.1% return during former President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office.

The gains have come as large-scale coronavirus vaccination programs help people return to jobs and normal activity after more than a year of restrictions.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, massive support from the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve, and increasingly positive economic data have been driving expectations for a strong rebound for the economy and robust corporate profit growth this year. That’s helped stocks push higher and kept indexes near their all-time highs.

More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their results, which show earnings growth of 54% percent so far, according to FactSet.

Investors will get another big dose of earnings reports to start off May, including results from drugmakers Eli Lilly, Merck, Pepsi, Colgate-Palmolive, the railroad CSX and drugstore giant CVS. Investors will also get April’s jobs report this week.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 2 cents to $63.60 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up $1.43 on Friday to $63.58 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 7 cents to $66.69 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar climbed to 109.64 Japanese yen from 109.30 yen. The euro rose to $1.2043 from $1.2032.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care, AP Business - Utilities
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