A wobbly day of trading ended with meager gains for U.S. stock indexes on Monday, enough to nudge them further into record territory, as the curtain rose on what's expected to be the weakest earnings reporting season in years.
Financial stocks fell even though Citigroup said it made more money last quarter than analysts expected. Energy stocks were also weak, but gains for technology and health care stocks helped tip the S&P 500 and other indexes past the highs set on Friday.
Stocks have jumped since early June on increasing expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates to help the economy, and investors are virtually certain that it will happen at the next Fed meeting at the end of this month. The only question, investors say, is how deeply the Fed will cut when it lowers rates for the first time in a decade.
Until then, the main drivers for the market will likely be the hundreds of earnings reports scheduled to come from big companies, showing how much profit they made from April through June. "It's waiting for this really all important second-quarter earnings season to heat up," said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.
The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent to 3,014.30 after drifting between a gain of 0.1 percent and a loss of 0.2 percent earlier in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 27.13, or 0.1 percent to 27,359.16, and the Nasdaq composite added 0.2 percent to 8,258.19.