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US Equities: Earnings Move to Forefront Ahead of Fed Decisions

James Hyerczyk

With nothing major on the slate on Monday, Wall Street’s major stock indexes gained more than 1%, ahead of the start of a two-day Fed meeting, earnings reports from major companies and the relaxing of shutdown restrictions in several key U.S. states.

All three major U.S. stock averages advanced, and are all now within 20% of their record closing highs reached in late February, with the benchmark S&P 500 Index on track for its best month since 1987, after trillions of stimulus dollars helped U.S. equities claw back much of the ground lost since the coronavirus crisis brought the economy to its knees.

In the cash market on Monday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 2878.48, up 41.74 or +1.59%. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 24133.78, up 358.51 or +1.61% and the technology-driven NASDAQ Composite finished at 8730.16, up 95.64 or +1.23%.

The Internals

All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 closed higher, with financials, helped by rising U.S. Treasury yields, posting the largest gains.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.36-to-1 ration; on NASDAQ, a 3.66-to-1 ration favored advancers, according to Reuters.

The S&P 500 posted seven new 52-week highs and no new lows; the NASDAQ Composite recorded 65 new highs and eight new lows, Reuters reported.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.64 billion shares, compared with the 12.35 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Earnings Jump to the Forefront

A spate of high-profile earnings is expected this week, including Caterpillar, Inc., Alphabet (Google’s Parent), Boeing Co., Facebook, Inc., Apple, Inc. and, Inc.

Analysts expect first-quarter S&P 500 earnings to have fallen 15% from last year, a dramatic reversal from the 6.3% year-on-year growth forecast at the start of the year, according to Refinitiv data.

Stocks Making Biggest Moves After Hours on Monday

Keurig Dr. Pepper – The beverage company’s stock soared 7% in extended trading after the company reported first-quarter earnings. Earnings and Revenue beat expectations and the company reaffirmed its 2020 guidance at a time when many companies are withdrawing their financial outlooks amid the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.

Tesla – The automaker’s stock fell 2% in extended trading following a CNBC report that the company canceled plans to bring dozens of furloughed workers back to production lines at its Fremont, California plant.

Boeing – Shares of the plane manufacturer climbed 1% in extended trading after the company announced that it is resuming production of its 787 Dreamliner model at its Boeing South Carolina facility.

CVS Health – The pharmacy chain’s stock was up 1% in extended trading after the company announced that it will expand coronavirus testing to nearly 1,000 sites across the United States by the end of May. The company also said it plans to process up to 1.5 million tests per month. However, the company said in a statement that the expansion depends on adequate supplies and lab capacity being available.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire