Stocks edge higher on Wall Street ahead of earnings activity

Stocks wobbled in morning trading on Wall Street today as investors look ahead to another busy week of earnings reports.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% as of 9:15 a.m. Central and the index had slightly more gainers than losers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44 points, or 0.1%, to 35,723 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.

Major indexes are coming off of three weeks of gains as investors shift their focus to the latest round of corporate report cards. Nearly 25% of companies in the benchmark S&P 500 have reported their latest quarterly results and have notched overall profit growth of 32%. The results have so far beat analysts’ expectations as of the end of June for 23% growth, according to FactSet.

A mix of companies that rely on direct consumer spending for services and goods gained ground. Tesla jumped 5.9% after Hertz said it would order 100,000 electric vehicles from the company.

U.S. crude oil prices rose 1.8% and natural gas prices jumped 8.8%, which helped send energy stocks higher. Occidental Petroleum rose 4.2%.

Health care stocks and communications companies fell.

Bond yields edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.63% from 1.65% late Friday.

Investors face a heavy week of earnings from technology and communications companies, two areas that have prospered throughout the virus pandemic.

Social media behemoth Facebook reports its results after the market closes today. The company reports earnings as it faces pressure from Congress over how it regulates divisive and misleading content.

Google’s parent, Alphabet, will report its latest results on Tuesday, along with Microsoft and Twitter. Apple will report its results on Thursday.

Internet retail giant Amazon will report its results on Thursday and investors will likely be looking for any insight on shipping delays and the potential impact on operations heading into the holiday shopping season.

Retailers and a wide range of other companies have been dealing with increasing costs because of higher raw materials prices and shipping delays as demand outpaces supply. Many have already warned that the higher costs will hurt operations, but analysts are watching closely to see whether those costs result in higher prices for consumers that could eventually crimp spending.

Wall Street will get another update on the consumer sentiment Tuesday when the Conference Board releases its Consumer Confidence Index for October.

European markets were mixed and Asian markets closed mostly higher.