S&P 500 Inches Higher As Strong BofA Results Offset Tech Weakness

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The benchmark S&P 500 rose on Monday as Bank of America wrapped up earnings from big U.S. lenders with a better-than-expected quarterly profit, although elevated bond yields weighed on growth and technology stocks.

Shares of the second-largest U.S. bank by assets rose 3% as strong growth in its consumer lending business helped cushion the blow from a slowdown in deal-making. Overall, the S&P 500 banks index gained 1.5%.

Market response to bank earnings has been mixed as JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Citigroup Inc combined put aside $3.36 billion in credit loss reserves due to risks from the Ukraine war and rising inflation.

“Earnings will be good, but given the multiple years of high stock market returns, people do not look for good anymore. They look for great,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.

“The fact remains that the pressures on the market are not going away. The combination of Fed policy, very high energy costs and the problems brought about by the Ukraine war are going to sit on the markets for the next few weeks unless there is some resolution.”

Megacap stocks including Tesla and Microsoft Corp edged lower as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield hit a fresh December 2018 high of 2.88% earlier in the session. It was last at 2.83%. [US/]

Market-leading technology and growth stocks have come under pressure recently as expectations of several interest rates hikes this year threaten to erode the future earnings of these companies.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced. Energy stocks rose 1.6% to lead percentage gains as crude prices rose and Brent topped $113 a barrel, as outages in Libya deepened concern over tight global supply. [O/R]

There was little hope of peace in Ukraine, with Russia hitting hundreds of military targets in Ukraine overnight, destroying command posts with air-launched missiles.

At 09:52 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 132.23 points, or 0.38%, at 34,583.46, the S&P 500 was up 6.84 points, or 0.16%, at 4,399.43, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 49.83 points, or 0.37%, at 13,301.25.

Charles Schwab Corp fell 9.1% after the financial services company missed quarterly profit estimates.

Twitter slipped 1% even as the micro-blogging platform adopted “poison pill” on Friday to restrict Tesla CEO Elon Musk from raising his stake to beyond 15% for a one-year period.

Didi Global Inc slumped 16.7% after the Chinese ride hailing giant said it will hold an extraordinary general meeting on May 23 to vote on its delisting plans in the United States.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.02-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.05-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 21 new 52-week highs and 17 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and 229 new lows.