Dow industrials near 35,000 as stock market’s gains firm early Monday with earnings looming

U.S. stock indexes were seeing gains firm early Monday, as traders reacted to a jobs report at the end of last week that showed weaker-than-forecast employment growth and prepared for the release of third-quarter earnings.

What are major indexes doing?
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average

    gained 161 points, or 0.5%, to trade 34,910.

  • The S&P 500

    advanced 19 points, or 0.4%, to 4,409.

  • The Nasdaq Composite

    rose 59 points, or 0.4%, to 14,637.

Stocks wobbled on Friday, but logged weekly gains. The Dow advanced 1.2% last week, while the S&P 500 rose 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite eked out a 0.1% rise.

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What’s driving the market?

With no economic releases due on Columbus Day, and the U.S. bond market closed, analysts were left dissecting the report that showed 194,000 nonfarm jobs added in September.

“Friday’s U.S. employment report was sufficiently mixed to revive the debate over the whether the Fed will really go ahead with the planned tapering next month. Despite the headline miss, the underlying numbers should just about meet Chair [Jerome] Powell’s requirement of ‘decent’ and ensure that the existing schedule remains intact,” said Ian Williams, strategist at U.K. broker Peel Hunt.

He added that the third-quarter earnings season will be even more crucial in supporting valuations as yields rise. Major U.S. banks including JPMorgan Chase
Bank of America

and Citigroup

are due to report results this week.

Analysts have expressed concern that supply-chain issues that have spread throughout the global economy will compress profit margins, and that inflation will limit consumer demand.

Read: How stock-market investors can make sense of supply-chain chaos

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury

rose 14 basis points last week to 1.60%, the biggest weekly gain since Feb. 19.

Which companies are in focus?
  • Shares of Southwest Airlines Co.

    fell 2.4% on Monday, as the airline canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend, a move it blamed on weather and air-traffic control issues.

  • Merck & Co. Inc.

    on Monday asked U.S. regulators to authorize the pill developed to treat COVID-19. Shares were little changed. Its stock was trading flat.

What are other markets doing?
  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
    a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, rose 0.1%.

  • Oil futures continued to surge, with the U.S. benchmark

    up 3.1% at $81.83 a barrel, on track for its first finish above $80 since October 2014. Gold futures

    edged down 0.1%.

  • The Stoxx Europe 600

    fell 0.5%, while London’s FTSE 100

    edged up 0.2%.

  • The Shanghai Composite

    ended fractionally lower, while the Hang Seng Index

    rose 2% in Hong Kong and Japan’s Nikkei 225

    gained 1.6%.

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