15 July, 2017
A Reuters survey showed second-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies rose 7.8 per cent from a year ago, with financials projected to have had the third-best profit growth among sectors.
The Australian financial index followed U.S. financials higher as investors bought in before second quarter earnings kicked-off with three of the biggest United States banks reporting results.
"Companies that miss or just meet expectations or if they don't give post strong forecasts, will be punished by investors", said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.
The benchmark index climbed 123.07 points, or 0.6%, to 21,532.14.
Bank of America was the biggest drag on the S&P and Goldman Sachs shaved off 16 points from the Dow.
Earnings will be closely watched to see if high valuations are justified in the face of tepid inflation and a recent patch of mixed economic data.
A rise in Microsoft MSFT.O and Apple AAPL.O lifted the S&P and the Nasdaq, with the technology index .SPLRCT rising 0.63 percent.
Crude oil was over 1 percent higher with prices at $47 per barrel.
The S&P 500 is trading at 17.3 times forward earnings, above the long-term average of 15 times, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.24-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.53-to-1 ratio favored advancers.