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U.S. Stocks Edge Higher

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07/15/2019 | 04:36pm EDT

By Avantika Chilkoti and Akane Otani

U.S. stocks squeezed out gains Monday, ending at fresh records after flitting between small advances and losses for much of the trading day.

Major indexes have climbed to new highs over the past month, thanks to bets that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates and in turn buoy the economy as the pace of growth slows.

Over the next few weeks, investors will parse through hundreds of second-quarter earnings reports -- getting a glimpse at how U.S. corporations coped with issues like trade uncertainty and a weakening global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27.13 points, or 0.1%, to 27359.16 on Monday, posting its fourth record close of 2019.

The S&P 500 added 0.53 point, or less than 0.1%, to 3014.30, notching its fifth straight session of gains and a fresh record. The Nasdaq Composite added 14.04 points, or 0.2%, to 8258.19, claiming its eighth record close of the year.

Citigroup shares edged down 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $71.71 after the bank exceeded analysts' estimates for both profits and revenue, but delivered mixed results for its trading unit.

Analysts will get a look at earnings results from other banks in the coming days, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, Bank of America on Wednesday and Morgan Stanley on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Boeing's stock fell $3.72, or 1%, to $361.61 after some Federal Aviation Administration officials and pilot-union leaders suggested the company's 737 MAX planes are unlikely to be ready to carry passengers again until 2020.

Energy shares followed crude oil prices lower, with Cimarex Energy and Noble Energy losing more than 4% apiece.

U.S. crude for August delivery fell 63 cents, or 1%, to $59.58 a barrel -- posting its biggest one-day percentage decline since around the start of the month.

Trading was relatively subdued in other markets Monday. The Stoxx Europe 600 ended up 0.2% after hovering in a narrow range for much of the session.

Belgian biotech group Galapagos surged EUR24.05, or 19%, to EUR152.20 after Gilead Sciences said it would pay $1.5 billion to boost its stake in the firm and gain rights outside Europe to its treatments in development.

Stock indexes in Asia ended the day mixed after data showed Chinese economic activity slowed to its weakest pace since 1992, raising expectations that Beijing would introduce stimulus measures to support the economy.

Growth in the world's second-largest economy decelerated to 6.2% in the second quarter.

Bond yields retreated following the report, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note ending Monday at 2.092%, compared with 2.106% Friday.

Yields, which fall as bond prices rise, generally tick lower when investors are feeling less optimistic about the growth trajectory.

"The numbers don't look good and there are expectations for further credit loosening," said Deng Wenyuan, a Suzhou-based analyst at Soochow Securities Co.

Still, many analysts expect Chinese officials to continue encouraging banks to lend more in an effort to boost the economy.

That helped the Shanghai Composite close 0.4% higher, notching its third consecutive session of gains, after falling as much as 1.5% earlier.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3%, while Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was closed in observance of a holiday.

-- Shen Hong and Amrith Ramkumar contributed to this article.

Write to Avantika Chilkoti at Avantika.Chilkoti@wsj.com and Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CHINA-SHANGHAI COMP 2.10% 2883.1 End-of-day quote.15.42%
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.96% 26135.79 Delayed Quote.12.04%
HANG SENG 2.07% 26282.04 Real-time Quote.1.69%
NASDAQ 100 1.52% 7719.323313 Delayed Quote.20.13%
NASDAQ COMP. 1.35% 8002.812313 Delayed Quote.19.00%
NIKKEI 225 0.71% 20563.16 Real-time Quote.2.02%
S&P 500 1.21% 2923.65 Delayed Quote.15.23%
WTI 0.46% 56.2 Delayed Quote.20.64%
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