Stocks hopping after Easter holiday

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq all gained in early trading. But the move came on anemic trading volume with many professional money managers taking the day off.

There are many other big earnings announcements set for later in the week.

NEW YORK, NY (CNNMoney) - Stocks drifted higher in early trading Monday as U.S. investors got back into action after the long holiday weekend. It will be a week full corporate earnings reports, including well known brands like Netflix and McDonald's and Facebook.

The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq all gained in early trading. But the move came on anemic trading volume with many professional money managers taking the day off.

U.S. markets were closed Friday for Good Friday. European markets and some Asian markets are still closed Monday for the Easter holiday.

Corporate earnings will be the main focus this week, with 11 Dow companies and 161 of the S&P 500 scheduled to release quarterly reports.

Analysts expect overall earnings for the S&P 500 to have declined the first quarter, but results so far have been better than forecast. Of the 82 companies that have reported earnings as of last week, 66% have topped forecasts, according to Fact Set Research.

Earnings released Monday painted a mixed picture.

Kimberly-Clark, a producer of consumer products including Kleenex, reported a loss that was smaller than the loss reported a year ago. The CEO blamed "cost inflation."

Toy company Hasbro and energy producer Halliburton reported gains in net income, after reporting losses a year earlier.

Netflix will report today after the market closes. The stock has been one of Wall Street's big momentum plays and the top performer in the S&P 500 last year, with an incredible 269% rise. But tech stocks have been volatile over the past several weeks, and Netflix shares are down 6% this year.

There are many other big earnings announcements set for later in the week. GM, Apple and Starbucks will all be reporting.

Shares of Newmont Mining rose after Bloomberg reported that it's in talks to be bought by rival gold mining company Barrick Gold Corp. The report said negotiations hit a snag over three days ago, but suggested that Barrick is willing to pay a significant premium.

Chinese social media company Weibo, often compared to Twitter, continued to rally following its initial public offering last week. The stock gained 12% in early trading to a high near $23 a share.

TransCanada, which builds pipelines and other energy infrastructure, was down 3% Monday after the U.S. again push back a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.


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