The S&P 500 was up 0.43% on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.45%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.47%.
Tesla added more than 3% on Monday after Piper Jaffray upgraded its shares to buy from neutral and increased its price target to $368 from $223. Analyst Alexander Potter said he believes the electric automaker will begin deliveries of Model 3 vehicles this year rather than mid-2018. Tesla shares were trading at records on Monday morning.
The rest of the cyclical consumer goods space was also on the rise on Monday. Fellow automakers Toyota(TM) - Get Report , General Motors(GM) - Get Report , and Ford(F) - Get Report were also higher, while the Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (XLY) - Get Report added 0.6%.
Crude prices and energy shares were also on the upswing. Crude added to last week's 3% gain, trading at its best levels in roughly a month. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1% to $52.74 a barrel, while major oil companies including Exxon Mobil(XOM) - Get Report , Chevron(CVX) - Get Report , Hess(HES) - Get Report , and ConocoPhillips COP rose. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) - Get Report added 1.1%.
Geopolitical nerves remained on Wall Street, though, following U.S. intervention in Syrian warfare last week. Around 60 cruise missiles were launched at the al-Shayrat airfield on Thursday evening, the air base identified by the U.S. as the location from which a chemical attack that killed dozens was launched earlier this week. The attack by American destroyers USS Ross and Porter was the first time the U.S. has directly intervened in Syria's long-running civil war.
Russia and Iran forces warned over the weekend that the action had crossed "red lines" and it would take action against any further intervention. The forces, part of a joint command center of Russian and Iranian forces and other militias backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that "we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines" in a statement published on Ilam al Harbi.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration appeared to approach the crisis from different angles. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the missile attack was a warning to the Assad regime that the U.S. would not tolerate chemical warfare. However, he said, "there is no change to our military posture." Tillerson also called on Russia to "fulfill its commitment" to a chemical weapons ban enacted in 2013. The Russian government backs the Assad regime.
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley took a more hardline stance, noting on CNN on Sunday that there was no political solution with "Assad at the head of the regime."
Also over the weekend, bombings of Coptic churches in Egypt killed more than 40 and injured 100. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has declared three days of nationwide mourning and will call for a three-month state of emergency.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen headlines a week of little policy talk. Yellen will speak at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy on Monday and could take audience questions. Investors will be on the lookout for commentary on the pace of rate hikes this year and any hints as to when the central bank will begin to reduce its balance sheet.
Straight Path Communications (STRP) rocketed higher on Monday afterAT&T(T) - Get Reportagreed to purchase the company in a $1.6 billion deal. Straight Path will receive $95.63 a share in AT&T stock for every share outstanding. The deal is expected to close within a year.
Rent-A-Center (RCII) - Get Reportadded nearly 10% on Monday after appointing Mark Speese as its new CEO effective Monday. Speese was appointed unanimously by the company's board. Additionally, the rent-to-own retail chain has announced a new strategic plan designed to drive its growth and improve company profitability.
Barclays (BCS) - Get Report CEO Jes Staley was being probed by the U.K.'s financial watchdogs over an internal investigation into whistleblowing. Shares of the bank were down slightly in trading in London early Monday. The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority have started investigations into Staley as to his individual conduct and senior manager responsibilities related to the bank's whistleblowing program and an attempt to try to identify a whistleblower.
The Barclays board on Monday said it became aware of the matter in early 2017 when the issue was raised by a concerned employee.
Lennar(LEN) - Get Reportreduced its first-quarter earnings after taking an unexpected financial hit. The homebuilder took a one-time $140 million charge tied to a 2008 court case. The company will also purchase the property associated with the case for $114 million. Lennar reduced its first-quarter earnings to $38.1 million, or 16 cents a share, from a previous $130.8 million, or 56 cents a share.
Wells Fargo(WFC) - Get Reportmoved slightly higher after holding back $72 million in pay from former CEO John Stumpf and former retail bank executive Carrie Toldstedt, the two most closely tied to fraudulent sales practices at the bank. Stumpf had already forfeited $41 million when he resigned in October. Stumpf was made aware of the bank's toxic account culture in 2012, but also had knowledge of specific fraudulent account cases as early as 2002, according to the investigation.
Swift Transportation (SWFT) surged more than 14% after agreeing to a stock-swap merger with Knight Transportation(KNX) - Get Report . Both boards unanimously approved the roughly $5 billion deal. Swift will convert to 0.72 shares of the new company in a reverse stock split, while Knight will exchange one-for-one.
Skechers(SKX) - Get Report rose after being upgraded to neutral from negative at Susquehanna Financial. Analysts said the stock is now appropriately valued after falling around 17% over the previous eight trading days.
The first-quarter earnings season is upon us with the big banks set to kick off the reporting period this week. Citigroup(C) - Get Report , JPMorgan(JPM) - Get Report and Wells Fargo will report their performance over the three months to March 31 on Thursday, the final day before Wall Street takes a three-day Easter weekend.
Hopes are high for another period of growth for companies in the S&P 500. Operating income is expected to increase more than 9% during the first quarter, according to FactSet, the fastest pace in just over five years. Another period of growth would mark the third straight quarter of earnings gains in a row.
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What will move markets this quarter and how should investors position themselves ahead of time? Jim Cramer sat down with four of TheStreet's top columnists recently to get their views. Click here to listen to his latest Trading Strategies roundtable with them and read their advice for stocks, bonds, forex, tax reformand gold.