U.S. stocks rose in midday trading on Monday as a rise in the price of crude oil lifted energy stocks.
How are the main benchmarks performing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.71% rose 168 points, or 0.7%, to 24,433. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.57% added 15 points to 2,678, a gain of 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.94% rose 66 points, or 0.9%, to 7,275.
Both the S&P and the Nasdaq were set for their second straight positive session, while the Dow could post a third, including a gain of 0.02% on Thursday. Monday’s advance built on a sharp rally in Friday’s session, which was the largest for the Dow since April 10.
The day’s gains were broad, with seven of the 11 S&P 500 sectors higher on the day. Energy was by far the biggest gainer, up 1.9%, followed by information technology, which gained 0.8%
What’s driving markets?
The U.S. oil benchmark CLM8, +1.29% climbed above $70 a barrel on Monday, its highest level since 2014. With crude futures rising, investors were likely to keep a close eye on comments linked to the Iran nuclear deal. President Donald Trump must decide by next weekend, May 12, whether to abandon the deal. Such a move would trigger a reimposition of economic sanctions on Iran, hampering oil exports from the country and cutting global supply.
Global trade headlines will also be in focus for investors, after a team of U.S. negotiators appeared to garner no deal out of talks with counterparts in Beijing. China state media indicated that talks were positive, and more negotiations would be needed to avoid a trade war, the South China Morning Post reported.
Also on the trade front, officials from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. got together in Washington, D.C., for another round of talks regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement. Market participants expect them to reach a deal in principle on Nafta this month.
A trio of Fed members are slated to speak on Monday, which could give further clues to the direction of interest rates. Richmond Federal President Tom Barkin is scheduled to speak at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will both speak at the 23rd Annual Financial Markets Conference in Amelia Island, Fla., at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
What are strategists saying?
“We’re waiting on more clarity about the Iran deal. If Trump pulls out, which other leaders have urged him not to do, then supply will be cut, which will have the same impact as rising demand in terms of driving up prices. But even beyond that, we’re entering the summer driving season and the energy sector has been down for so long that it looks poised for a rebound,” said Mark Martiak, senior wealth strategist at Premier Wealth/First Allied.
“Beyond that, there are no obvious catalysts on the horizon, which leaves more room for geopolitical risk to impact trading. I think valuations are fair, but I also expect we’ll see a lot more volatility going forward.”
Which stocks are in focus?
First-quarter earnings season remains in focus, though the vast majority of S&P 500 companies have already posted their results.
Starbucks Corp. SBUX, -0.59% was down 0.5% after Nestlé SA NSRGY, +1.32% NESN, +1.57% earlier said it has reached a deal to market the coffee chain’s consumer and food service products. Starbucks will receive a $7.15 billion upfront payment as part of the deal.
Gramercy Property Trust GPT, +15.49% surged 15.5% after the commercial real-estate asset management company said it would be acquired by Blackstone Group LP BX, +0.23% in a cash deal valued at $7.6 billion.
Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK.A, +1.13% BRK.B, +0.81% rose 0.9% after the multinational conglomerate said over the weekend it swung to a rare loss in the first quarter due to lower insurance premiums and an accounting rule change.
At the Berkshire shareholder meeting on Saturday, chairman Warren Buffett commented on a range of topics. He applauded Apple Inc.’s AAPL, +1.23% share buybacks, defended a stake in Wells Fargo & Co. WFC, +0.58% and explained why he doesn’t invest in Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +1.52% shares. He said bonds are a ‘terrible investment’ near current yields and cryptocurrencies “will come to bad endings.”
What are other markets doing?
—Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this article