Banks led stocks to modest gains on Wall Street Monday, nudging the major stock indexes to more record highs ahead of a busy week of corporate earnings reports from big US companies bouncing back from an early stumble. The S&P 500, which has notched three straight weekly gains, hit a new high, as did the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite. The indexes have managed multiple new highs despite choppy trading in recent weeks. The S&P 500 rose 15.08 points to 4,384.63. The Dow added 126.02 points, or 0.4%, to 34,996.18, while the Nasdaq gained 31.32 points, or 0.2%, to 14,733.24. Banks, communication stocks, and companies that rely on consumer spending accounted for much of the S&P 500's broad gains. A mix of companies selling household goods fell.
Energy stocks also closed lower, following a pullback in US crude oil prices. L Brands rose 4.3% after the company's board approved splitting the Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works units into two separate companies. Virgin Galactic fell 17.6% after it followed up a successful spaceflight with plans to sell up to $500 million in stock. The company said it planned to use the proceeds to fund manufacturing and development of its spaceship fleet, among other expenses. Earnings season kicks off this week. The big Wall Street banks report their results starting Tuesday starting with JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. Also reporting this week will be Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Delta Air Lines, PepsiCo, and UnitedHealth Group.
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