Updated from 10:30 a.m. ET, Monday, July 17.
Stocks were mostly higher on Monday, July 17, in what appeared to be a wait-and-see session ahead of a rush of earnings in the coming days.
The S&P 500 added 0.08%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.04%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.08%.
The second-quarter earnings season kicked off on Friday with a number of notable reports from the banking sector. Notable earnings in the coming week include Netflix Inc. (NFLX) on Monday; International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) , Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) on Tuesday, July 18; and eBay Inc. (EBAY) , Snap Inc. (SNAP) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) on Thursday, July 20.
Overall, analysts anticipate another quarter of above-average strength. CFRA Research said it anticipates 6.2% year-over-year earnings growth among S&P 500 companies, better than a 1.7% earnings decline seen in the same quarter a year earlier. The energy sector is expected to lead the pack, recovering from weakness over the previous two years.
"We believe another quarter of double-digit earnings growth for the S&P 500 in the second quarter is possible, given generally solid overall economic data, the strong rebound in energy sector profits, and solid financial and technology sector earnings gains," said Burt White, chief investment officer for LPL Financial.
BlackRock Inc. (BLK) fell 3% Monday after falling short of profit and sales estimates over its recent quarter. Adjusted earnings of $5.24 a share missed consensus of $5.40. Revenue rose 6% to $2.97 billion. Analysts anticipated revenue of $2.99 billion.
Wall Street closed at records on Friday, July 14, the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the third day in a row. The Dow was up 0.40% on Friday, July 14, setting a new record close of 21,639. The S&P 500 added 0.47% to end at 2,459, superseding the record set on June 19. The Nasdaq was close to its own records.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) rose 0.6% after a bullish note from Morgan Stanley. Analyst Katy Huberty raised Apple's price target to $182 from $177 on long-term optimism after the company reports on Aug. 1. Huberty believes the company will provide weaker fourth-quarter guidance than anticipated on delays in the launch of its new iPhone model. That should set up for a "much better-than-normal December and March quarter."
Economic activity in the New York area in July weakened at a far sharper pace than anticipated. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell to a reading of 9.8 in July, down from its two-year high of 19.8 in June. Analysts expected a reading of 15.5. The index has been in positive territory for six out of the seven months so far this year.
Healthcare stocks were on watch after another delay on a Senate vote to repeal and replace Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell postponed a vote as Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot from behind his eye. Without McCain's vote, the passage of McConnell's healthcare bill looked unlikely. McConnell needs 50 of the 52 GOP senators to vote "yes" and two have already rejected the bill.
The Congressional Budget Office will likely not release an expected analysis of the bill until a later date. The CBO had been expected to make its analysis public on Monday, though that is unlikely after news of the postponement.
In deal news Monday, Church & Dwight Co. (CHD) agreed to purchase Water Pik for $1 billion in an all-cash deal. Church & Dwight anticipates the deal to purchase the flossing company will close in the third quarter. Water Pik had net sales of roughly $265 million in the 12 months to June 30.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) gained 2% after agreeing to sell its Obagi Medical Products in a $190 million all-cash deal. Haitong International Zhonghua Finance Acquisition Fund has agreed to purchase the dermatological product line. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.
Activist investor Nelson Peltz on Monday said he is seeking a director seat for himself on Procter & Gamble Co.'s (PG) board, setting the stage for the largest boardroom battle in U.S. history. The stock rose 0.5%.
IBM fell 0.6% after Barclays reiterated an underweight rating ahead of the tech company's earnings later in the week. Analyst Mark Moskowitz also cut his price target to $132 from $141, calling the stock's valuation stretched. Barclays lowered its full-year 2017 and 2018 guidance.
FedEx Corp. (FDX) announced Monday that it was still assessing the damage of a recent cyberattack, though conceded that the impact "will be material." The delivery service said TNT customers will likely continue to experience delays and that it may not be able to return all affected systems to normal operation. FedEx previously said that the global operations of its TNT Express business had been affected by a virus in June. The stock fell 2.9%.
Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (APRN) slumped more than 9% on Monday after Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) filed a trademark for a similar service. According to the filing, Amazon's "prepared food kids" are "ready for cooking and assembly as a meal." Blue Apron has tumbled below its IPO price of $10 since its public float on June 29.
Eat, Drink and Talk Money with Jim Cramer
Meet Jim Cramer at an exclusive reception at his Bar San Miguel in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Tuesday, July 25, from 6:30 p.m. To 9 p.m.
The evening will start with a screening of Jim's CNBC show Mad Money. Afterwards, Jim will join the party fresh off of the CNBC set to mingle, take photos and answer your investing questions.
Tickets include dinner, drinks and an autographed copy of Jim's book Get Rich Carefully.
Click here for more information or to buy tickets.
Where: Bar San Miguel, 307 Smith St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
When: Tuesday, July 25, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.