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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished a choppy session modestly higher on Monday (April 17), at the start of a heavy week of corporate earnings from Bank of America, Netflix and others.

After last week’s surprisingly good results from JPMorgan Chase and other large banks, investors will digest updates from more major and midsized lenders as well as from electric automaker Tesla, consumer products company Procter & Gamble and others.

Oanda’s Edward Moya expects “serious deposit outflows” from smaller lenders, adding that “the focus is not about bank solvency, but on banking profitability”.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 100.71 points, or 0.3%, to 33,987.18; the S&P 500 gained 13.68 points, or 0.33%, at 4,151.32; and the Nasdaq Composite added 34.26 points, or 0.28%, at 12,157.72.

“Corporate profits are emerging as the big driver of what the market is likely to do in the near term and investors want to see what those look like here before they place bets,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.

Investors are also seeking to gauge the outlooks from executives following a banking crisis last month that some expect could hasten an economic downturn.

Meanwhile, the New York Fed said on Monday its barometer of manufacturing activity in New York State increased for the first time in five months in April, helping solidify the case for the US central bank to raise rates at its meeting next month.

“Markets are in a bit of a wait-and-see mode,” said Angelo Kourkafas, an investment strategist at Edward Jones. “We have a lot of corporate earnings ahead of us and the Fed rate decision in a couple of weeks.”

Among individual companies, shares of Google parent Alphabet slid 2.8% following a New York Times report that Samsung was considering replacing Google as its default search engine with Microsoft’s Bing. This underscores the threat of new artificial intelligence offerings to the tech giant. Meanwhile, Microsoft climbed 0.9%. – AFP, Reuters

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