Wall St rises ahead of tech earnings wave

·3-min read

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have closed at record highs, fuelled by Tesla Inc and other heavyweight growth stocks ahead of a deluge of earnings reports this week.

The Nasdaq's record high close confirmed the end of an 11 per cent correction in the index that began after its previous record high close on February 12, with the index closing at a low on March 8.

In extended trade, Tesla dipped about 0.4 per cent after the electric car maker beat Wall Street expectations for first-quarter revenue.

During Monday's trading session, Tesla had gained 1.2 per cent.

Companies that constitute about 40 per cent of the S&P 500's market capitalisation report from Tuesday through Thursday, including Microsoft Corp, Google parent Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc and Facebook Inc.

Shares of those companies also rose.

Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors climbed, with the energy index leading with a 0.6 per cent gain while utilities and consumer staples declined.

Of 124 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, 85.5 per cent have topped analysts' earnings estimates, with Refinitiv IBES data now predicting a 34.3 per cent jump in profit growth.

"We're way above the average for firms reporting earnings above estimates. More important than the fact that they are beating on estimates is that they are raising their expectations and outlooks going forward, and that's giving the markets a nice boost," said Sal Bruno, chief investment officer at IndexIQ.

Investors will monitor a two-day Federal Reserve meeting beginning on Tuesday, with the US central bank expected to shine some light on whether the employment landscape has affected its plan to leave interest rates near zero for an extended time and to continue buying $US120 billion ($A154 billion) in bonds each month.

Also on investors' radar is a reading of first-quarter gross domestic product later this week to gauge the pace of economic recovery in the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.18 per cent to end at 33,981.57 points while the S&P 500 gained 0.18 per cent to 4,187.62 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.87 per cent to 14,138.78.

Market participants are also watching out for any fresh developments on US President Joe Biden's tax plan after reports last week said he would seek to nearly double the capital gains tax to 39.6 per cent for wealthy individuals.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms, including Riot Blockchain and Marathon Patent Group, surged more than 5.0 per cent as bitcoin snapped five straight days of losses.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.80-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.14-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 105 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 154 new highs and 21 new lows.

In a moderately busy session, volume on US exchanges was 9.4 billion shares compared with the 10 billion full-session average over the last 20 trading days.