NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising in early trading on Wall Street Monday as CEOs across the country prepare to tell their investors how much money they made, or lost, in the spring as the coronavirus pandemic pounded the economy.
The S&P 500 was 0.7% higher after the first 15 minutes of trading, following up on bigger gains across Europe and Asia. Treasury yields also climbed, though some hesitance still hung over markets as the price of gold ticked higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 183 points, or 0.7%, at 26,258, as of 9:45 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was up 1.4%.
PepsiCo added 0.5% after it reported a bigger profit for the latest quarter than analysts expected. But the company behind Frito-Lay and SodaStream also said the future looks so uncertain given the coronavirus pandemic that it won’t offer any predictions about its sales and profits for the rest of the year.
Earnings reporting season will really get going Tuesday, when several of the country’s biggest banks report their results, headlined by JPMorgan Chase. Across the S&P 500, expectations are almost universally dismal.
Analysts say the biggest U.S. companies likely saw their earnings per share plummet nearly 45% from April through June, compared with year-ago levels. That would be the sharpest loss since the depths of the Great Recession in 2008, according to FactSet.
Investors, though, largely seem willing to give a mulligan for terrible results in the latest quarter and perhaps even a couple more.
“We — and many investors — expect the coronavirus-induced collapse in profits will be concentrated in 2020,” Goldman Sachs strategists wrote in a report.
Instead, investors are focusing on a hopeful return to profit growth in 2021 and beyond. The hope is that the economy and corporate profits bottomed out in the spring, when lockdowns were at their height, and will continue to improve as governments have relaxed restrictions. The job market, retail sales and other measures of the economy have already been showing some budding improvement.
Of course, all the optimism is colliding with fears that the recovery could be short-lived. Coronavirus counts are jumping across global hot spots. Florida and other hard-hit states in the U.S. Sun Belt have been in the spotlight in particular, with the stock market often jerking suddenly lower following announcements of rising numbers of known infections and deaths.
If states continue to bring back restrictions on their economies to slow the resurgence, it could choke off the fragile economic improvements just as they got underway.
Such concerns have helped the price of gold recently vault to its highest level since September 2011, shortly after it set a record. Gold added $15.30 to $1,817.20 per ounce in morning trading.
Another measure of nervousness in the market also ticked higher. The VIX, which shows how much volatility traders expect from the S&P 500 in upcoming weeks, rose by nearly 1%.
Stocks nevertheless mostly climbed on Monday, with Maxim Integrated Products surging 13.8% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. Semiconductor maker Analog Devices said it will buy the company in an all-stock deal that values the combined company at more than $68 billion.
Stocks elsewhere around the world also climbed.
In Europe, France’s CAC 40 rose 1.4%, and Germany’s DAX returned 1%. The FTSE 100 in London climbed 1.1%.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 climbed 2.2%, South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.7% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.8%.