U.S. stocks churned higher to start the week Monday as oil prices popped and energy stocks gained.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added about 70 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 ticked up 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.3%.
Energy stocks rose as WTI crude oil topped $82 a barrel before pulling back from session highs. The U.S. oil benchmark was still up more than 2% at the $81 level.
Oil stocks Halliburton, Schlumberger, Hess and Diamondback Energy were among the S&P 500’s top gainers.
“What we’re seeing right now is the market trying to grapple and come to terms with how to interpret all these inputs,” Plexo Capital Managing Partner Lo Toney said on CNBC’s “TechCheck.” “We’re looking at that debate on whether or not the inflationary pressures that we’re seeing truly are transitory … or if we truly are going to see some lasting inflation. …It’s going to take a little bit of time for things to settle out.”
The U.S. bond market is closed Monday for Columbus Day.
This week, major banks will kick off their third-quarter earnings reports. JPMorgan kicks it off on Wednesday, with Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Citigroup following later in the week. Delta Airlines and Walgreens Boots Alliance reports are also on deck.
Analysts estimate an earnings growth rate of 27.6% for the S&P 500 in the third quarter, which would be the third-highest growth rate since 2010.
After a 4.8% loss in September, the S&P 500 is now up about 2% for the month of October and sits around 3% from its record.