NEW YORK CITY—US stocks Monday ended higher after a series of mediocre earnings report limited buying enthusiasm.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a 1.81 (0.01 percent) gain at 15,545.55.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 3.44 (0.20 percent) to 1,695.53, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 12.77 (0.36) at 3,600.39, regaining a bit of ground it lost after Friday’s sell-off in tech shares.
Investors were unimpressed by the most recent batch of earnings reports Monday. The group included Dow member McDonald’s, which became the latest giant equity to disappoint after last week’s unimpressive results from Coca-Cola, Google and Microsoft.
“The results have been a little bit of a problem for the market,” said Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management.
“The market needs fresh news to go higher and lately all the big earnings news has been kind of negative.”
McDonald’s fell 2.7 percent after profits lagged expectations by two cents at $1.38 per share. The fast-food giant also gave a tepid outlook on the rest of the year, saying sales would stay “challenged” due to the uncertain economic environment.
Miners gained after gold prices shot up in anticipation of easing monetary policy. Barrick Gold Corp. surged 6.2 percent, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold gained 2.1 percent and Goldcorp rose 5.8 percent.
Halliburton slid 1.6 percent after operating income fell 13.5 percent compared with the year-ago period. Still, the company’s profits of 73 cents per share bested expectations by a penny, and the company announced a new $5 billion share repurchase program.
Kimberly-Clark, which makes Kleenex and other consumer staples, fell 1.8 percent after signaling that it was unlikely to see 2013 profits near the high end of expectations.
Toy company Hasbro rose 3.3 percent after announcing a plan to expand its merchandising relationship for Disney’s entertainment properties Marvel and Star Wars. Disney shares dropped 1.2 percent.
At 29 cents per share, Hasbro earnings lagged expectations by five cents.
Yahoo! fell 4.3 percent after announcing it was repurchasing 40 million of the 60 million shares of the company held by hedge fund Third Point. As a result, activist shareholder Daniel Loeb and two other board members nominated by Loeb’s Third Point will step down.
The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond held steady at 2.49 percent, the same level as late Friday, while the 30-year slipped to 3.56 percent from 3.57 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.