S&P 500 Logs Third Straight Session of Gains as Tech, Industrial Sectors Rally

By Alexander Osipovich and Riva Gold Features Dow Jones Newswires

A rally in technology and industrial shares lifted U.S. stocks Monday, with the S&P 500 notching a third consecutive session of gains.

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Growth in corporate earnings and signs of economic strength have helped mitigate investors' recent concerns about the Trump administration's woes in recent sessions, some analysts said. That helped many view last week's drop as a buying opportunity.

Of the 95% of S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far for the first quarter, 75% have beat earnings per share estimates, according to FactSet.

"It's quite encouraging how we bounced back from that wobble last week," said Ian Williams, strategist at brokerage Peel Hunt. "It underlines very strong bottom-up corporate earnings performance across all major developed markets...that's been a big factor offsetting geopolitical concerns," he said.

The Dow rose 90 points, or 0.4%, to 20895. The S&P 500 added 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8%.

Technology stocks in the S&P 500 rallied 1%. The sector suffered its worst day since Brexit during last week's selloff, which was spurred by fears the administration would fail to deliver corporate-friendly policies. Shares of Cisco Systems rose 1.2%.

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News that Saudi Arabia and the U.S. were expected to agree to business deals and potential investments valued at $300 billion boosted a range of companies. Shares of Boeing added 1.6%, while Lockheed Martin climbed 1.6%. Blackstone Group surged 6.7% after Saudi Arabia agreed to commit $20 billion to the private-equity giant's new infrastructure fund.

Shares of Ford Motor rose 2.1% following news Jim Hackett has been named Ford's new chief executive.

U.S. crude rose 0.8% to $50.73 a barrel, its highest settle in a month ahead of Thursday's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, where many expect an extension to ongoing production cuts.

"I think $40-60 [a barrel] is a reasonably good sweet spot markets are comfortable with," said Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors. It is a level where frackers can make money, but not so high that it is overly inflationary or reduces consumption, he said.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.254% from 2.243% on Friday. Yields rise as prices fall.

Gold for May delivery gained 0.6% to close at $1260.70 an ounce.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell less than 0.1%.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average climbed 0.5%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.9% to its highest close since 2015, while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.7%, ending at a new record. Stocks in Shanghai shed 0.5%.

Write to Alexander Osipovich at alexander.osipovich@dowjones.com and Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 22, 2017 16:22 ET (20:22 GMT)