(Updates prices, adds commentary)
* Oil gains more on Syria uncertainty, Libya oilfield
* U.S. stocks higher
* Geopolitics underpins risk-off mood in Europe
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, April 10 Wall Street stock indexes
firmed on Monday as rising oil futures boosted the energy sector
and investors placed bets ahead of the U.S. quarterly corporate
In the afternoon U.S. Treasury yields pared an earlier drop,
prompted by soft demand at a $24 billion auction of three-year
notes, the first part of this week's $56 billion
coupon-bearing government debt supply.
Oil prices rose more than 1 percent, supported by strong
demand, uncertainty over the conflict in Syria and a shutdown at
Libya's largest oilfield.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for
oil prices, settled up 1.3 percent at $55.98 per barrel and U.S.
crude futures settled up 1.6 percent at $53.08.
The S&P's energy sector was its biggest driver with
a 1.1 percent gain.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.01 points,
or 0.22 percent, to 20,701.11, the S&P 500 gained 6.27
points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,361.81 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 13.66 points, or 0.23 percent, to 5,891.47.
Investors geared up for the U.S. earnings season, which
kicks off this week with first-quarter reports from some of the
biggest banks. Wall Street expects S&P 500 companies to report a
10.1 percent increase in earnings, with revenue rising 7
percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
U.S. equities rallied after Donald Trump was elected U.S.
President on Nov. 8 on hopes of pro-business policies such as
tax cuts and infrastructure spending. But solid earnings may be
more important, said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist
for Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.
"We're going to get evidence companies have the ability to
grow their top line," said Clemons.
"There's some expectation of fiscal policy built into this
market but the fact this earnings rebound started in the third
quarter tells me there's something bigger going on than the
change of control in Washington."
International geopolitics were also causing some investor
jitters on Monday after last week's U.S. air strike in Syria.
Traders attributed a stock dip around noon EDT (1600 GMT) to
unverified rumors stemming from weekend reports related to North
A U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday that a U.S. Navy
strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean
near the Korean peninsula as a show of force as concerns grow
about North Korea's advancing weapons program.
In the currency market the dollar index, which tracks
the greenback against six major currencies, was down 0.1 percent
after touching its highest point in three weeks earlier in the
day. The dollar had risen 0.5 percent Friday.
The yield on three-year Treasuries was down 0.5
basis point at 1.499 percent, while benchmark 10-year yield
was 1 basis point lower at 2.361 percent.
The MSCI all world stock index was up 0.15
percent. European stocks ended the day flat as
investors focused on risks including France's upcoming
(Additional reporting by Richard Leong in New York and Vikram
Subhedar and Abhinav Ramnarayann in London; Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama and James Dalgleish)