Energy stocks give market a lift

Posted: April 24, 2013

NEW YORK - Stocks edged higher on Monday as energy stocks got a lift from recovering oil prices.

The energy industry climbed 1 percent, making it the biggest gainer in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. Oil rose 75 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $88.76 a barrel Monday. A week ago, crude fell below $90 a barrel for the first time this year after reports that China's economic growth slowed.

The broader market managed only a modest advance as investors focused on the outlook for company profits at the start of a big week for earnings on Wall Street.

About a third of the companies in the S&P 500 index, including Exxon Mobil and Apple, will report earnings this week. While the reports have been good so far, concerns remain about the outlook for the rest of the year. Expectations may need to be lowered if the global economy doesn't improve.

On Monday, oil services company Halliburton gained after its loss wasn't as bad as analysts had forecast. Halliburton rose $2.08, or 5.6 percent, to $39.29 after it said that it lost $18 million in the first quarter, pulled down by $637 million in charges related to its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Netflix surged 23 percent to $214.19 in after-hours trading after the company reported that it added 2 million U.S. subscribers to its video streaming service during the first three months of the year. Netflix took a gamble by adding original programming to its service including the critically acclaimed series "House of Cards" in February.

The Dow rose 19.66 points, or 0.1 percent, to 14,567.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed up 7.25 points, or 0.5 percent, higher at 1,562.50. The Nasdaq composite gained the most of the three major indexes, rising 27.49 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3,233.55.

Caterpillar rose $2.28, or 2.8 percent, to $82.71. The heavy equipment maker initially fell Monday after lowering its forecasts for full-year sales and profits because its mining business is slowing. The company also said it plans to resume buying back its own stock for the first since 2008 with a buyback of $1 billion.

Apple, which reports its earnings after the market close on Tuesday, rose 2.1 percent, or $8.14, to $398.67. Apple is the biggest stock in the Nasdaq index with a 7.6 percent weighting.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.70 percent from 1.71 percent late Friday as traders shifted money into lower-risk assets.

General Electric fell 40 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $21.35 after JPMorgan cut its rating on the company to "neutral" from "overweight." The company's stock fell Friday following pessimistic comments from its CEO on the outlook for Europe and the company's core industrial operations.

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