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U.S. Stocks Climb to Start a Busy Week of Earnings

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10/21/2019 | 12:10pm EST

By Caitlin Ostroff and Karen Langley

U.S. stocks inched higher Monday to start a busy week of corporate earnings, while investors continued to track developments in the U.K.'s divorce from the European Union.

The S&P 500 ticked up 0.5%, with all sectors except health care in the green. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8%.

This is the busiest week of the quarter for corporate earnings, and results so far have beaten analysts' expectations.

Shares of oil-field services company Halliburton added 6.9% after reporting momentum in its international business and earnings that were generally in line with estimates.

Among the companies scheduled to report later this week are McDonald's, Caterpillar and Ford Motor.

Investors are also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's meeting later this month, when the central bank is expected to lower interest rates again, after two recent rate cuts.

Investors have had other good news in recent days, including a "phase one" trade deal between the U.S. and China that prevented additional tariffs from taking effect.

"The pieces are falling into place for an upturn in global growth," said Joe Quinlan, head of CIO Market Strategy for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank. "This is exactly what equities are suggesting."

In other corporate news, shares in Boeing fell 3.7%--weighing on the Dow -- after The Wall Street Journal reported that Congress is ramping up scrutiny of the plane maker's leaders as new details pointed to undue management pressure on employees.

Shares of drug companies AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson fell, after the Journal reported the companies reached a last-minute settlement, avoiding a trial seeking to blame them for fueling the opioid crisis. AmerisourceBergen fell 4.1%, Cardinal Health dropped 2.3% and McKesson lost 3.7%.

Cosmetics maker Coty shares rallied 15% after the company said it would explore strategic alternatives for its professional beauty business.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury rose to 1.787% from 1.747% Friday. Bond yields rise as prices fall.

In the U.K., the British pound ticked up less than 0.1% against the dollar after a critical vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal was delayed. The U.K.'s FTSE 100, which includes many companies with large overseas earnings that benefit from sterling's decline, edged up 0.2%.

"We're going to have that kind of ebbing and flowing," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets. "It's just going to be hanging around to find out what's happening."

The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.7%, led by banks and the automotive sector.

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMERISOURCEBERGEN -0.39% 87.43 Delayed Quote.17.97%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.54% 27776.29 Delayed Quote.20.19%
FTSE 100 INDEX 0.28% 7234.11 End-of-day quote.0.00%
MCDONALD'S CORPORATION 0.34% 194.095 Delayed Quote.8.94%
NASDAQ 100 -0.92% 8259.517885 Delayed Quote.31.37%
NASDAQ COMP. -0.69% 8509.518876 Delayed Quote.28.72%
S&P 500 -0.52% 3103 Delayed Quote.24.47%
STOXX EUROPE 600 -0.41% 403.82 Delayed Quote.20.25%
STOXX EUROPE 600 NR -0.42% 870.53 Delayed Quote.23.67%
WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE -0.44% 61.175 Delayed Quote.-10.07%
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