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Nasdaq posts 7-day win streak as earnings season gets under way

Fred Imbert
Lucas Jackson | Reuters. These are the stocks posting the largest moves before the bell.

U.S. equities fluctuated on Monday as investors geared up for a slew of earnings reports later this week.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) closed 0.01 percent lower at 2,459.14, with utilities leading advancers and health care lagging . The Dow Jones industrial average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) slipped 8.02 points to close at 21,629.72, with Home Depot contributing the most gains and IBM the most losses. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) eked out a slight gain to notch an seven-day winning streak.

The Russell 2000, meanwhile, hit a new all-time intraday high, its first since June 9.

"Folks are waiting to see what earnings look like," said Erick Ormsby, CEO of Alcosta Capital Management. "They should be good. That should help support the market."

Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Microsoft, Qualcomm and eBay are just a few of the companies scheduled to release quarterly results this week. Asset manager BlackRock posted quarterly results earlier on Monday, missing analyst estimates on both revenue and profit . Netflix is set to report Monday after the close.

Overall earnings are expected to grow by 6.2 percent this quarter, according to S&P Capital IQ. Earnings in the first quarter rose by approximately 15 percent.

"We expect 2Q earnings season to deliver again with another upside surprise relative to consensus expectations and it is likely to be broad like 1Q," Michael Wilson, equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, said in a note Monday. " We believe the US equity market can continue to grind higher on the back of improving earnings as it has done for the past several months."

Wall Street is keeping a close eye on quarterly earnings given the stock market's latest record run. The Dow and S&P notched all-time highs last week. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, entered Monday's session just half a percent away from its record high.

"While high valuation levels remain a concern as well as the longevity of the bull market, this is offset by the fact that corporate earnings have recovered from the slump two years ago," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird, in a note Monday.

Investors also watched oil prices on Monday. Crude rose 5.2 percent last week and started the week hovering around $46 a barrel.

"Oil is looking pretty good. Sentiment is turning positive. I think we're heading back to $50 in the short-term," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.

That said, oil prices have fallen about 12 percent over the past three months as oversupply concerns have remained.

No major economic data were released Monday.

In Treasurys, the benchmark 10-year yield traded at 2.31 percent, while the short-term two-year yield traded around 1.35 percent.

About eight stocks advanced for every five decliners on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 690.22 million and a composite volume of 2.775 billion at the close.

Correction: The Nasdaq composite notched a seven-day winning streak. A previous headline misstated how long the winning streak was.

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