U.S. stocks inch higher as investors await more bank earnings

Investing.com — U.S. stocks were rising as investors await more financial company earnings as well as Tuesday’s report from Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).

At 9:58 ET (13:58 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 23 points or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.1% and the NASDAQ Composite was flat.

The week is starting off on a muted tone after closing lower on Friday. Mixed economic data is confirming traders’ expectations that interest rates will continue to rise this spring.

Most futures traders are expecting a quarter of a percentage point increase when the Federal Reserve next meets in May.

Big banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) scored record revenue in the first quarter as rising rates helped boost interest income. But investors will be focused on results from smaller banks, and what they say about deposit outflows after turmoil in the banking sector in March.

A downturn in demand for loans could also pinch smaller banks if companies decide to scale back activity in case of a recession later this year.

Recent data showing a slowing U.S. economy have traders guessing at whether the Fed will pause its rate hikes after the May meeting. The New York Empire State Manufacturing Index swung to a positive 10.8 in April, well above expectations and above the negative 24.6 in the prior reading.

New York Fed President John Williams and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester are scheduled to speak later this week.

Shares of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) fell 3% after a report over the weekend that Samsung (KS:005930) might replace Google with the Bing search engine run by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) on its devices.

Immune disease drug maker Prometheus Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:RXDX) shares jumped 69% after agreeing to a $10.8 billion deal with pharmaceutical giant Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:MRK).

Oil was falling. Crude Oil WTI was down 0.5% to $82.00 a barrel while Brent Oil was down 0.5% to $85.89 a barrel. Gold Futures were down 0.3% to $2,009.

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U.S. stocks inch higher as investors await more bank earnings

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