U.S. stocks traded higher Monday with the S&P 500 hitting a new intraday high as shares of tech giant Apple Inc. leaped 2 percent ahead of the iPhone maker's quarterly earnings release. Meanwhile, investors await a statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve later this week following its two-day policy meeting, looking for further clues as to when the central bank will lift interest rates.
In morning trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) climbed 70.64 points, or 0.39 percent, to 18,150.78. The Standard & Poor's 500 (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) added 6.87 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,124.56. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXSP:.INX) gained 23.92 points, or 0.47 percent, to 5,116.00.
The S&P 500 rallied to an intraday high of 2,125.92 as shares of Dow component Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) gained more than 2 percent Monday to $133.04 ahead of the company's quarterly earnings that are released after the closing bell. Wall Street expects the iPhone maker to report fiscal second-quarter net income of $12.5 billion, or earnings per share of $2.15, on revenue of $56.06 billion, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. That compares with a profit of $10.2 billion, or earnings per share of $1.66, on sales of $45.6 billion a year ago.
Other notable companies reporting this week include Twitter Inc., Pfizer Inc., Exxon Mobil Corporation, Kraft Foods Group Inc. LinkedIn Corp. and Visa Inc.
U.S. stocks closed sharply higher last week, with the Nasdaq composite and Standard & Poor's 500 index soaring to record highs, driven by a surge in technology stocks led by e-commerce company Amazon.com Inc. and software giant Microsoft Corporation. The Nasdaq broke its all-time closing record Thursday, which was previously set more than 15 years ago during the dot-com bubble in 2000. The next record milestone the Nasdaq could cross is an intraday high of 5,132.52.
Economists are looking ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting, which kicks off Tuesday, followed by a statement from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday at 2 p.m. EDT. Investors look for clues to the timing of the Fed’s rate hike, which most economists anticipate will happen in late spring or early fall.
The central bank recently signaled it could begin returning interest rates to normal levels sometime this year. The Federal Reserve dropped its "patient" stance in March, putting the central bank on course to hike rates as early as June. Although an increase in the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April meeting, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in March the central bank has not ruled out a rate hike in June.
However, the U.S. economy added far fewer jobs in March, marking its weakest pace of job growth since 2013. Following the weak jobs report for March, market professionals will be analyzing the Fed’s statement for further clues as to whether the first rate hike is more likely to occur at the June or September FOMC meeting.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department will release the U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product on Wednesday. U.S. gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, was revised lower last month to an annualized 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the Commerce Department said last month.
Economists forecast U.S. economic growth to expand at a 1 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate last quarter compared with a 2.2 percent the last three months of 2014, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Here's the economic calendar for the week of April 27. All listed times are EDT.
No major U.S. economic data scheduled.
- 9 a.m. -- Case-Shiller home prices (February)
- 10 a.m. -- Consumer confidence (April)
- 8:30 a.m. -- Gross domestic product (Q1)
- 10 a.m. -- Pending home sales (March)
- 2 p.m. – FOMC statement
- New Zealand -- Monetary policy statement
- 8:30 a.m. -- Weekly jobless claims
- 8:30 a.m. -- Consumer spending (March)
- 9:45 a.m. -- Chicago PMI (April)
- Japan – Bank of Japan interest rate decision, monetary policy statement
- Germany -- Unemployment Rate (April)
- Europe -- Consumer Price Index (April)
- 9:45 a.m. -- Markit PMI (April)
- 10 a.m. -- ISM (April)
- 10 a.m. -- Construction spending (March)
- 10 a.m. -- Consumer sentiment (April)
- TBA -- Motor vehicle sales (April)