U.S. stocks edged up on Monday after four weeks of losses, but investors were hesitant to take big risks without a catalyst for buying.
One possible spark to action could be Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech set for Friday at the U.S. central bank's annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Large-cap technology stocks, including Hewlett-Packard
I don't see any major appetite for buying stocks. We are driven higher (today) because of selling exhaustion, said James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Fund in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Until we get some kind of a catalyst from Europe regarding the sovereign debt crisis or from the Fed later this week, I expect range-bound trading with high intraday volatility.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 75.41 points, or 0.70 percent, at 10,893.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 4.72 points, or 0.42 percent, at 1,128.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 8.85 points, or 0.38 percent, at 2,350.69.
IBM shares gained 1.1 percent at $159.28 and Hewlett-Packard rose 3.5 percent to $24.43.
Financial stocks continued to weigh on the market. Bank of America
The ground zero of all worries is financials, said Charlie Smith, chief investment officer of Pittsburgh-based Fort Pitt Capital Group.
Stocks have come under heavy selling pressure in recent weeks on growing fears of recession and the possible spread of the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis.
The S&P has fallen more than 12 percent so far in August.
On Monday, Credit Suisse cut its year-end target for the S&P 500 to 1,100 from its previous level of 1,275. U.S. equity strategist Doug Cliggott cited expectations for lower earnings in coming quarters and little hope for price-to-earnings multiples to expand.
Some investors hope the Fed will announce a new stimulus after the central bank promised earlier this month to keep interest rates near zero for at least two more years and said it would consider further steps to help growth.
(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Kenneth Barry)