Stocks posted solid advances yesterday, led by gains in energy companies after news reports said Saudi Arabia and Russia were working toward an agreement to cut oil production. Investors also worked through the initial batch of earnings from the first quarter of the year.
At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 164.84 points, at 17,721.25. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.97 percent to 2,061.72, and the Nasdaq composite added 0.80 percent, closing at 4,872.09.
Oil prices moved sharply higher after Russian officials told Interfax, the Russian news agency, they planned to reach a deal with Saudi Arabia to cut oil production. OPEC ministers meet Sunday in Doha, Qatar. At the close, benchmark U.S. crude oil was up $1.81 at $42.17 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Corporate earnings got underway on a weak note after Alcoa, the aluminum mining giant, reported a 15 percent decline in revenue late Monday. Alcoa’s stock fell 2.7 percent to $9.48.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect corporate profits to be down 9.1 percent from a year ago, hurt primarily by the steep drop in oil prices and other commodities.