(April 19): The Dow Jones industrial average climbed to a nine-month high on Monday, in a market buoyed by Hasbro and Disney, as investors braced for a flurry of quarterly earnings reports through the week.
Chevron added 1.51 percent as crude oil prices steadied from earlier losses caused by the collapse of talks among major producers to tackle a stubborn global surplus.
A recent rebound in oil and signs that the U.S. economy is slowly improving have helped stocks rally from a steep selloff earlier this year that had pushed the S&P 500 down as much as 10.5 percent.
Helped as well by a U.S. Federal Reserve showing little eagerness to raise interest rates, the index is now up 2 percent in 2016 and only about 2 percent short of its all-time high. The Dow breached 18,000 Monday for the first time since July 21.
"It's an agreeable, tame Fed that's not always whooping and hollering about the threat of higher interest rates," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa. "The lack of an ever-present threat of higher interest rates has a lot of people feeling a lot better."
But Wall Street remains extremely cautious about first-quarter reports, many of which flow in this week. Earnings of S&P 500 companies are seen falling 7.7 percent on average, with the energy sector weighing heavily, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of Netflix sank 12 percent in extended trade after the music streaming service's first-quarter report disappointed investors. IBM fell 0.8 after its first-quarter report.
During the session, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.6 percent to end the day at 18,004.16 points and the S&P 500 gained 0.65 percent to 2,094.34. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.44 percent to 4,960.02.
All of the 10 major S&P sectors rose, led by a 1.59-percent rise in energy. The consumer discretionary sector added 0.91 percent. Walt Disney rose 2.93 percent after "Jungle Book" dominated the weekend box office, grossing more than $100 million.
Hasbro jumped 5.79 percent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,217 to 818. On the Nasdaq, 1,867 issues rose and 942 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 23 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 17 lows.
About 6.1 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.9 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.