Wall Street rallies on China stimulus

Tech stocks rallied on Monday as China's central bank's efforts to stimulate its economy prompted cautious optimism on Wall Street. 

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
Workers cleaning windows of a building are seen behind China's national flag at a commercial district in Beijing on Monday. China's central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, the second industry-wide cut in two months, adding more liquidity to the world's second-biggest economy.

Wall Street rose on Monday, reversing much of the previous session's sharp decline, as China's steps to stimulate its slowing economy and cautious optimism about U.S. earnings lured investors into technology stocks.

In the second industry-wide cut in two months, China's central bank on Sunday reduced the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves in a move to help spur lending and combat slowing growth.

A 2.5 percent rise in Apple led the U.S. market higher, along with a 2.89 percent jump in IBM, which reports its March-quarter results after the bell. The Information Technology component of the S&P 500 was up 1.75 percent.

At 2:58 p.m. the Dow Jones industrial average rose 209.52 points, or 1.18 percent, to 18,035.82, the S&P 500 gained 18.84 points, or 0.91 percent, to 2,100.02 and the Nasdaq Composite added 59.90 points, or 1.21 percent, to 4,991.72.

Other corporations expected to report earnings this week include major technology names Facebook, Google , Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Amazon.com .

"I'm hoping companies will say 'OK, we've had a miserable first quarter but things are improving,'" said Kurt Brunner, a portfolio manager at Swarthmore Group in Philadelphia.

Nearly 76 percent of the S&P 500 components that have reported earnings above analyst expectations, topping the 70 percent average in the last four quarters. But just 47 percent beat on revenue, compared to the 58 percent average.

The quarterly results of U.S. multinationals have been hurt by unusual strength in the dollar, which was up 0.44 percent against a basket of major currencies on Monday and has gained 8 percent so far in 2015.

Hasbro jumped 12 percent after the toymaker reported a surprise increase in revenue. Royal Caribbean fell 7.37 percent after it reported a fall in revenue, saying a strong dollar hurt spending on its cruise ships.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,115 to 864, for a 2.45-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,838 issues rose and 885 fell for a 2.08-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 was posting 2 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 37 new highs and 43 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

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