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Indexes are mostly higher on Wall Street ahead of earnings

Stock indexes are moving mostly higher Monday in choppy trading on Wall Street after a three-week winning streak.

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% after being down 0.3% in the early going. Gains in the technology sector and companies that rely on consumer spending outweighed losses among industrial stocks, household goods makers and elsewhere in the market. Noble Energy climbed 5.9% after the company agreed to be acquired by Chevron for $5 billion.

Treasury yields were also mixed, reflecting caution among investors. European markets were mostly higher and Asian markets ended mixed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 62 points, or 0.2%, to 26,609, while the Nasdaq composite climbed 1.2% and the Russell 2000 index of small company stocks gave up 0.4%. In Europe, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4%, while Germany’s DAX added 0.8%. Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 0.4%.

The wobbly start for U.S. stocks comes as traders look ahead to a busy week of earnings reports from major U.S. companies, including IBM, Coca-Cola and Microsoft.

Expectations are low for companies’ performance in the April-June quarter due to the pandemic, given the economic fallout from the broad business shutdowns and the rapid increase in unemployment as millions of Americans were laid off or furloughed. But investors want to hear what company CEOs have to say about how they expect their businesses to fare in the second half of this year and in 2021.

Wall Street is coming off its third straight weekly gain following improvements in hiring, retail sales and other parts of the economy, along with rising hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine. Underlying it all is massive aid for the economy and the promise of nearly zero interest rates from the Federal Reserve. The overall S&P 500 index has rallied back to within 4.5% of its record set in February and is back to where it was in early June.

Still, worries remain that the rise of coronavirus counts across much of the country will derail efforts to reopen businesses shut down due to the pandemic.

Investors have an eye on Washington as Congress returns this week to begin work with the White House on another trillion-dollar economic aid package against the backdrop a renewed surge in the outbreak. The U.S. has now registered more coronavirus infections and a higher death count of 140,500 than any other country.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 0.62% from 0.63% late Friday.

In the commodities markets, the price of benchmark U.S oil fell 0.3% to $40.47. Brent crude, the international standard, was off 0.1% to $43.09 a barrel.

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