(Corrects title, location of Michael Sheldon in 6th paragraph)
NEW YORK - Stocks were modestly higher on Monday, but gains were hemmed in as downbeat homebuilder sentiment offset solid earnings from Halliburton and a strong order outlook from Boeing.
Halliburton Co posted a better-than-expected 83 percent jump in quarterly profit on strong U.S. onshore drilling. Boeing Co will unveil a significant number of new orders in the coming days and won an order for 30 777 wide-bodies from Dubai-based Emirates.
Halliburton rose 4.8 percent to $28.84, and Boeing jumped 1.4 percent to $62.75.
But weak corporate revenues weighed on stocks, underscoring views of a sketchy economic recovery. Both Hasbro Inc and Delta Air Lines Inc posted revenues that fell short of expectations.
Hasbro dipped 1.1 percent to $39.06, while Delta fell 3.5 percent to $11.35.
In the cases where all or most of the earnings were generated in improved margins and cost-cutting, those stocks are seen as low-quality, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut.
U.S. homebuilder sentiment fell more than expected in July to its lowest level in more than a year after a homebuyer tax credit expired. The PHLX Stock Exchange Housing index <.HGX> fell nearly 1 percent.
With the tax credit now gone, that creates a hole in homebuying, and we're seeing that manifest as weakness in the market, reinforcing concerns that the expansion is slowing down, said Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer of Advisors Capital Management LLC in Paramus, New Jersey.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 24.90 points, or 0.25 percent, at 10,122.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 2.19 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,067.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 5.93 points, or 0.27 percent, at 2,184.98.
The S&P 500 hit a low of about 1,061 today, right on the index's 14-day moving average and the 23.6 percent retracement of the benchmark's 2010 high-to-low decline, suggesting a level of resistance where pockets of buying would be expected.
International Business Machines Corp was up 1.1 percent to $129.43, trading near its 14-, 50- and 200-day moving averages ahead of its earnings report after the bell.
Texas Instruments Inc , which also reports later Monday, rose 2 percent to $25.25.
Advancers outweighed decliners on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq by more than two-to-one.
(Reporting by Matthew Lynley; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)