Wall Street edged up on Monday, buoyed by strong retail sales and Goldman Sachs results, but investors preferred to remain cautious ahead of this week's salvo of corporate releases.

In late morning trading, the Dow Jones index gained 0.2% to 38,061.1 points, while the broader S&P 500 advanced 0.1% to 5,127.1 points. The Nasdaq Composite fell back 0.1% to 16,156.1 points.

The three major indices remain fairly close to their all-time highs reached at the end of March, despite having just completed two consecutive weeks.

Signs of détente in the Middle East are encouraging a timid return of investors to risk assets, in contrast to last week's sharp downturn.

Following Teheran's strikes against Israel over the weekend, investors are regaining some composure, as Joe Biden seems determined to avoid escalation at all costs.

With geopolitical tensions easing, the CBOE's VIX volatility index fell back 5.5% to 16.30 points, while crude oil consolidated by 1.2% to $84.6 a barrel.

Gold followed suit, dropping back below $2,350 after a brief 'breakout' from the highs.350 after having briefly peaked at $2,430 on Friday.

A number of indicators enlivened the session, but investors seem to be focusing on the retail sales figures, which rose by a much better than expected 0.7% in March, reassuring them as to the health of the US economy.

By ruling out the scenario of a forthcoming rate cut, this indicator, on the other hand, pushed Treasuries yields to new annual highs, with 10-year paper climbing back above 4.64% without penalizing Wall Street all that much.

On the stock side, Goldman Sachs stood out with a gain of over 3.3% following the publication of better-than-expected quarterly results, supported by its financial market businesses.

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