Stocks open higher on Wall Street following solid earnings

Stocks are moving higher in early trading on Wall Street today following a batch of solid earnings reports from U.S. companies.

The S&P 500 was up 0.9%, recouping most of its losses from a day earlier. Banks and technology companies powered a big slice of the market’s gains. Overseas markets were mixed. Treasury yields held steady.

Procter & Gamble, Regions Financial and Travelers all rose after reporting quarterly results that were better than analysts were expecting. More than 85% of the companies that have reported results so far have beaten analysts’ forecasts, according to FactSet.

Investors also had their eye on Washington in hopes that Democrats and Republicans will reach a deal to deliver more aid for the economy. Fading optimism that an agreement on a new relief package will be reached before the election next month led to a late-afternoon sell-off on Monday.

Shares in Google’s parent company rose following news that the Justice Department is expected to file a lawsuit later today against the internet giant that claims Google has abused its dominance in search to stifle competition.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average of big blue chips was up 234 points, or 0.8%, to 28,429 as of 9:11 a.m. Central time. The Nasdaq composite, which is coming off a five-day losing streak, was up 0.9%. Smaller companies were faring better than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks was up 1.1%.

Stocks have been mostly pushing higher this month after giving back some of their big gains this year in a sudden September swoon. The benchmark S&P 500 has notched a gain in each of the past three weeks. Even so, trading often has been choppy from one day to the next, reflecting uncertainty over the timing of more stimulus for the economy, something investors have been hoping for since July, when a supplemental $600-a-week unemployment benefit package ran out.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin negotiated for nearly an hour on Monday ahead of today’s deadline for reaching a pre-election deal with the Trump administration on a new coronavirus relief package. A top aide of Pelosi’s called the talks productive.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to bring a GOP version of a stimulus bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Wednesday.

Stocks indexes in Europe were mostly higher. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4%, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4% and Germany’s DAX slipped 0.3%.

Rising coronavirus caseloads in Europe are dragging on sentiment as investors consider the likelihood of further business shutdowns and other restrictions on business activity.

In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 0.4%, while South Korea’s Kospi recouped earlier losses, gaining 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng inched 0.1% higher.