U.S. Stocks Rise as Investors Await Jobs Data; Ford Advances

U.S. stocks rose on the first trading day of July, building on the best first-half rally since 2013, as investors look ahead to Friday’s report on the labor market and the start of earnings season. Ford Motor Co. led gains among automakers after better-than-expected auto sales.

The S&P 500 Index added 0.5 percent to 2,434,68 as of 9:40 a.m. in New York, led by energy and financial stocks.. The Nasdaq 100 Index added 0.4 percent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.5 percent.

The New York Stock Exchange closes early, at 1 p.m. local time, ahead of the Independence Day holiday on July 4.

  • All 11 industry groups in the S&P 500 advanced, with banks and energy shares jumping at least 0.8 percent to lead the gains.
  • The S&P 500 Automobiles & Components Index rallied 2.3 percent. Demand for profitable light trucks gave Ford and top Japanese automakers better sales than analysts had estimated for June following a five-month streak of industry declines.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump will meet in Germany this week. Xi, during a phone call with Trump on Monday, complained about a “negative” turn in China’s relationship with the U.S. after several assertive U.S. moves in Asia, including a naval patrol past a Chinese-controlled islet a day earlier. Trump called in part to advance talks on curbing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, which have progressed little since Xi’s April visit to Trump’s Florida resort.
    • The Federal Reserve on Wednesday releases the minutes from its June 13-14 policy meeting, at which officials raised interest rates.
    • American employers probably added around 175,000 workers in June and wage growth probably strengthened, consistent with a solid labor market, economists project the U.S. Labor Department to report on Friday.
    • Banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. are scheduled to start the reporting season next week. Analysts forecast S&P 500 earnings to have grown 7.4 percent in the April-June period, marking the four straight quarters of expansion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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