Wall Street Higher as Syria Fears Ease, Earnings in Focus

At 2:26 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 227.2 points, or 0.93 percent, to 24,587.34, the S&P 500 gained 22.91 points, or 0.86 percent, to 2,679.21 and the Nasdaq Composite added 51.62 points, or 0.73 percent, to 7,158.27.

3-Month Treasury Bills

High rate at weekly auction.

The S&P 500’s technology sector was the biggest boost to the benchmark with a 0.8-percent increase followed by the healthcare index which was up 0.97 percent.

UnitedHealth provided the second-biggest boost to the S&P from a single stock a day ahead of its earnings report with a 2.9 percent gain, just behind Microsoft Corp, which was up 1.2 percent.

Merck rose 2.2 percent after the company presented positive data on its cancer drug Keytruda, also boosting the S&P healthcare index.

Shares of optical components makers, including those of Acacia Communications and Oclaro, took a beating after Reuters reported that the U.S. government was banning American companies from selling components to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp <0000063.SZ>. Acacia fell 34.4 percent, compared with a 13-percent drop for Oclaro.

JB Hunt Transport Services jumped 6.6 percent after the trucking company’s profit topped estimates.

Bank of America was up 1 percent after a better-than-expected increase in quarterly profit.

Netflix fell 2 percent. The company was due to reports results after the closing bell on Monday.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.75-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.04-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 66 new highs and 27 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Nick Zieminski)

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Facebook's Rebound Helps Wall Street Cut Losses

“It looks like investors are thinking he’s doing a good job in front of a hard-to-please crowd,” said Kim Forrest, senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

“He’s trying to make sure that his view of the company which is, that they are good stewards of data, gets heard and it’s unclear if they are going to go unscathed with no regulation.”

Facebook’s gains helped the technology sector cut losses to a marginal 0.09 percent and briefly pushed the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 into positive territory.

At 12:53 p.m. ET, the S&P 500 fell 6.32 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,650.55 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.31 points, flat percent-wise, at 7,094.

10-Year Treasury Notes

High yield in monthly refunding auction.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 139.87 points, or 0.57 percent, at 24,268.13. The index was weighed down by financials and industrial stocks, which are still reeling from the impact of the uncertainty on tariffs between the United States and China.

In a sign of the market cutting losses, advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.33-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.14-to-1 ratio and on the Nasdaq, reversing course from earlier in the session when decliners slightly outnumbered advancers.

Volatility stayed low for most of the session. The CBOE volatility index was down 0.52 points at 19.95.

The Labor Department said U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in 10 months in March, weighed down by lower gasoline costs, but underlying inflation continued to firm amid rising prices for healthcare and rental accommodation.

The CPI data, while not the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, comes ahead of the release of the minutes of the central bank’s March meeting, in which it raised interest rates. Investors expect the minutes to reveal the Fed’s thinking on the future path of rate hikes.

Among stocks, Netflix gained 3.3 percent after Goldman Sachs became the latest brokerage to predict the streaming company would top expectations when it reports results on Monday.

Industrial distributor Fastenal fell 7.2 percent after its earnings missed expectations. The stock was the biggest decliner on the S&P, followed by peer WW Grainger’s 4.2 percent drop.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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