New York Report: US stocks rise but investors wary after rally

US STOCKS advanced modestly yesterday in subdued trading as investors showed hesitation in the wake of a strong rally last week and before a slew of key earnings releases this week.

Yesterday’s gain marked the S&P 500’s fifth straight climb, its longest winning streak since October. The S&P 500 wrapped up its best week since July last week, boosted by results from such names as General Electric and Morgan Stanley.

The Nasdaq also scored its fifth straight gain on yesterday.

Of the 87 companies in the S&P 500 that had reported results through to yesterday morning, 62.1 per cent have topped earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, compared with the 66 per cent average over the past four quarters. On the revenue side, 51.7 per cent have exceeded forecasts, below the 54 per cent average over the past four quarters. Volume was light, with some market participants were away to observe Passover.

Halliburton added 3.3 per cent to close at $62.92 after the oilfield services company reported earnings that beat expectations and gave a strong profit outlook.

SunTrust Banks gained 1.5 per cent to $38.51 after its results. Toy maker Hasbro rose 1.9 percent to $55.66 after its earnings beat expectations.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40.71 points or 0.25 per cent, to end at 16,449.25. The S&P 500 gained 7.04 points or 0.38 per cent, to close at 1,871.89. The Nasdaq Composite added 26.03 points or 0.64 per cent, to close at 4,121.546.