Stocks Edge Higher in Early Trading

U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading on Monday as market participants keenly wait for the start of second quarter earnings season, which kicks off today.

At last check, the Dow Jones gained 0.49%, the NASDAQ Composite Index edged up 0.45% while the S&P 500 Index added 0.52%.

Elsewhere in Europe, all major averages clocked sharp gains on Monday amid news reports that international lenders are likely to approve the next round of financing for debt laden Greece.

The pan European Stoxx 600 jumped 1.45%, the FTSE 100 gained 1.17% while the DAX rallied 2.45%, at last check.

Aluminum giant, Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) is slated to report quarterly results after the closing bell on Monday.

Shares of the Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) will be under spotlight. The entertainment Company’s latest movie “Lone Ranger” performed miserably at the week end box office, grossing only $29.4 million. The movie was made for a budget of $225 million.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) gained in early trading. In its weekend research report, Barron’s said that the health insurer’s stock could jump 40% in the course of next two years. Barron’s said that United Health, unlike its peers such as Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) and Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI), was in a better position to benefit from healthcare reforms—once they are fully rolled out.

In some other markets, crude oil futures fell 0.66% to $102.54 a barrel while gold futures climbed 1.44% to $1,230.20 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar index edged lower on Monday after investors chose to book profits. Earlier during Asian trading session, the U.S. dollar Index climbed to its three year high level on Monday.

edliston

edliston

Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.