U.S. stocks closed higher Monday, with the Nasdaq composite hitting a record as corporate earnings continued to propel the tech-heavy index to an all-time high for the third straight session. Investors are preparing for a pinnacle week of quarterly results, with nearly 130 companies scheduled to release earnings for the second quarter, including iPhone maker Apple Inc., technology giant International Business Machines Corp. and the world's largest computer software company, Microsoft Corp. 

The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) added 13.96 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 18,100.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (INDEXSP:.INX) edged up 1.64 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 2,128.28. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 8.72 points, or 0.17 percent, to close at a record high of 5,218.86.

The Nasdaq composite also hit an intraday high of 5,231.94, putting the index on course to break its previous closing high of 5,210.14, which was set on Friday. Gains in the index Monday were led by the consumer goods sector. However, tech companies have helped boost the index to multiple record highs in July, as shares of Google Inc. have rallied nearly 30 percent this month, assisted by strong earnings last week.

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) made its stock market debut for the second time on Monday, following its spinoff from e-commerce company eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY). Shares of PayPal gained 5.5 percent to close at $40.52, valuing the company at $46 billion.

Dow component Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) led the index higher Monday -- up 2.5 percent -- while Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) was the largest decliner, shedding more than 1 percent. The S&P 500 also traded near record highs as seven out of the 10 S&P 500 sectors traded higher, led by gains in information technology, while energy was the biggest laggard.

Energy stocks were weighed down after U.S. crude oil briefly slipped below $50 in afternoon trading, its lowest level since April 6. Crude traded lower after Saudi Arabia's oil exports fell in May to their lowest since December, as daily shipments came in at 6.935 million barrels a day compared to 7.737 million barrels a day in April, according to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative. 

West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark for U.S. oil prices, lost 1.45 percent to close at $50.15 a barrel, for Aug. 15 delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On the London ICE Futures Exchange, Brent crude, the benchmark for global oil prices, lost nearly 1 percent to close at $56.65 a barrel for Sept. 15 delivery.

Although Monday and Tuesday are both quiet days on the economic calendar, investors are turning their attention to earnings season, as 126 companies are scheduled to post quarterly results this week.

Notable companies reporting earnings this week include Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., Amazon.com Inc., AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. Of the 60 companies in the S&P 500 that reported earnings so far 72 percent have topped forecasts through the close of trading Friday, according to earnings tracker Thomson Reuters.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) posted mixed earnings results after the closing bell Monday, sending shares down 4 percent in extended-hours trading after the technology company posted its 13th straight quarter of revenue decline from a year earlier.  

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) closed flat after the bank posted earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street forecasts, driven by strong growth in trading revenue. During the March-June quarter, adjusted equities trading revenue soared 27 percent to $2.27 billion, topping rival The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which saw its equities trading revenue grow to $2 billion during the same period.

S&P Capital IQ maintained its "buy" rating on Morgan Stanley and raised its 12-month price target by $3 to $48. Wall Street forecasts the bank will see 7 percent to 8 percent revenue growth in 2015 and 2016, driven by growth in trading, wealth management and investment banking, said Ken Leon, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ.

Morgan Stanley’s stock edged down 0.4 percent to close at $40.04. Shares of the company have gained more than 20 percent in the last 12 months. 

Economists are looking ahead to a trio of housing reports this week, including the National Association of Realtors’ existing home sales for June and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s home price index for May. The Commerce Department will also release new home sales data for last month, due out Friday.

Data last week showed U.S. home construction surged nearly 10 percent in June, driven by strong demand for apartments and condominiums.

“Generally, the housing sector has performed well, which is a good sign for the U.S. economy and one of the bright spots recently. We expect that trend to continue,” said Mike Baele, managing director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Portland, Oregon.

European stocks closed higher Monday, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 finishing the day up 0.3 percent, after Greece made crucial debt repayments due to the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Greek banks also reopened Monday after being closed for three weeks.

The U.S. dollar traded slightly higher, with the euro trading around $1.08.

Gold prices fell to five-year lows Monday after a sharp sell-off in China, falling below $1,100 an ounce before recovering slightly. The precious metal closed down $25.10 at $1,106.80 an ounce.

Here's the latest economic calendar for the week of July 20. All listed times are EDT.


No major U.S. data scheduled.


No major U.S. data scheduled.


  • 9 a.m. -- FHFA home price index (May)
  • 10 a.m. -- Existing home sales (June)


  • 8:30 a.m. -- Weekly jobless claims


  • 9:45 a.m. -- Flash manufacturing PMI (July)
  • 10 a.m. -- New home sales (June)