A recovery in the U.S. dollar against the Japanese yen helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) to open higher on Monday as investors brace for the corporate earnings season that starts with results from aluminum producer Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA).
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 155 points, or 0.9%, to $17,731.63 at 10.08 a.m. in New York. Twenty-seven stocks were advancing while 3 issues were declining.
The S&P 500 was up 0.7% at $2,062, while the tech heavy NASDAQ Composite added 0.9% to 4,895.
The greenback pared losses against the Japanese currency after hitting fresh lows in Asia. The yen’s appreciation and the dollar’s depreciation drove some investors to avoid stocks last week. The dollar was last up around 0.1% against the yen at 108.15 yen.
Alcoa unofficially kicks off the reporting season after the market close. Corporate profit growth is expected to be low for the third consecutive quarter as companies grapple with a sluggish global economy, low commodity prices and the strengthening dollar. Earnings at S&P 500 companies are projected to have declined 7.6% on average in the January-to-March quarter, according to Reuters.
European stocks advanced, led by the banking sector, while Asian stock markets had a mixed day.
Gold prices inched up 0.8% to $1,253.60.
Oil prices turned higher, with West Texas Intermediate for May delivery rising 1.4% to $40.29.
Investors will also be eyeing a meeting at 3:00 p.m. on Monday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to discuss the economy and Wall Street reform.
Yahoo Gains; Hertz Slides
Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) advanced 1.9% to $36.75 after the owner of U.K.’s Daily Mail emerged as a possible bidder for the ailing Internet group’s assets, The Wall Street Journal reported.
McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), a Dow component, edged up 0.1% to $128.08. A Korean newspaper reported that the world’s largest burger chain has put its Korean unit up for sale and hired Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) to seek out potential buyers.
General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), also a Dow component, added 0.6% to $30.96. The Financial Times reported that the Connecticut-based conglomerate is planning an initial public offering for its Czech banking business. GE would retain a significant minority stake in the unit, FT added.
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTZ) slipped 8.8% to $9.20. The largest publicly traded U.S. rental-car company said revenue this year will be flat to down by 1.5%, after previously projecting an increase of at least 1.5%.
Following a troubled start to the year that saw the 30-member Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling as much as 10% by mid-February, the gauge was 0.9% higher year-to-date at the close on Friday.