Investing.com -- U.S. stocks jumped in Monday morning trading as investors prepared for a big wave of corporate earnings this week and an upcoming speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
The main indices on Wall Street ended in a mixed fashion last week, with the 30-stock Dow gaining 0.2%, while the benchmark S&P lost 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.6%.
Tension over Middle East escalation
Trading on Wall Street could be choppy as investors fret about escalating violence in the Middle East.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to Israel as part of a concerted diplomatic attempt to ensure Israel's conflict with Palestinian militant group Hamas does not spillover elsewhere in the region as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of the Gaza region.
Iran, which backs Hamas, the dominant power in Gaza, has warned Israel of escalation if it kept attacking Palestinians.
Quarterly earnings season ramps up
This week sees the earnings season ramp up, with 11% of the S&P 500 slated to report, although Monday is a little short of major names, with Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW ) the main report. Schwab beat expectations on profit as revenue dipped 16% from the year before. Shares rose 1.7%.
Other big names include healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ), reporting ahead of Tuesday’s market open, consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) ahead of Wednesday’s open, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) after Wednesday’s close and Philip Morris (NYSE: PM ) ahead of the open on Thursday.
Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD ) will also be in the spotlight after the drugstore chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday. Trading was halted early Monday.
September retail sales due on Tuesday
In economic data, retail sales for September, due on Tuesday, will give investors insight into the strength of consumer spending.
There are also a number of Fed officials due to speak this week, but most attention will be on comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday when he addresses the Economic Club of New York, just before the start of the central bank's blackout period.
Crude consolidates after strong gains
Oil prices consolidated Monday after the previous week’s hefty gains, with all eyes on the tensions in the Middle East.
Israel is not a big player in terms of crude production, but concerns are mounting about any potential escalation which could impact supplies from countries in the world's top oil producing region, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)
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