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Tech leads as US stocks rise at start of big earnings week

Tech leads as US stocks rise at start of big earnings week

Standard Motor Products Chairman Lawrence Sills (second from right) and CEO Eric Sills (right) join applause as they ring the New York Stock Exchange opening bell on Jul 22, 2019, to mark the company's 100th anniversary. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK: US technology companies rallied on Monday (Jul 22) ahead of earnings from high-tech heavyweights later in the week, while oil prices gained amid lingering unease over Middle Eastern supplies.

With some 130 companies the S&P 500 set to report this week, analysts are squarely focused on earnings in a week that is relatively light in terms of US economic data and a lull period before a highly-anticipated July 31 Federal Reserve announcement.

Shares of Amazon, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet all rose ahead of earnings this week, along with Apple, which gained 2.3 per cent after Morgan Stanley lifted its price target.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 57.65 points (0.71 per cent) to 8,204.14.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 17.70 points (0.07 per cent) to 27,171.90, while the broad-based S&P 500 advanced 8.42 points (0.28 per cent) to 2,985.03.

Last week's earnings reports, dominated by banks, were better than expected, said CFRA Research's Sam Stovall. Analysts have lifted their estimates for the second quarter but cut their outlook for the third quarter.

Chip stocks were especially strong after Goldman Sachs upgraded several companies in the sector and said oversupply in the industry would be sold off more quickly than previously thought.

Goldman upgraded Micron, Applied Materials and Lam Research. Micron gained 3.7 per cent, Applied 6.1 per cent and Lam 4.4 per cent.

Halliburton surged 9.2 per cent despite reporting lower second-quarter profits after it described increased oil and gas activity.

But Boeing dropped 1.1 per cent after Fitch revised its outlook on the company to "negative," saying the grounding of the 737 MAX situation "will reduce much of the financial cushion Boeing has," according to a note.

"The MAX situation also presents significant public relations challenges and the impact on Boeing's reputation and brand will be a watch item for the next year or more," Fitch said.

Source: AFP/de

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