NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday, with the biggest boosts from technology and healthcare sectors as investors were optimistic about earnings season and appeared less worried about U.S.-led missile attacks in Syria.
The weekend’s air strikes marked the biggest intervention yet by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia, which is facing further economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.
Stocks had ended lower on Friday on worries about Syria. But investors seemed less anxious about he potential for retaliation from Russia, an Assad ally, since there was none at the weekend.
“Geopolitical conditions calmed,” said Tim Ghriskey, Chief Investment Strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. “There’s a lot of anticipation about very strong earnings growth in the quarter. That may be attracting traders and even longer-term investors back into the market.”
Netflix (NFLX.O) shares gained around 7 percent after the market closed following its quarterly report. Its subscriber growth beat analyst expectations. It had ended the regular session down 1.2 percent.
S&P 500 companies are expected to report an 18.6 percent jump in first-quarter profit, on average, the biggest rise in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 212.9 points, or 0.87 percent, to 24,573.04, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 21.54 points, or 0.81 percent, to 2,677.84 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 49.64 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,156.29.
The S&P 500’s technology sector .SPLRCT was the biggest boost to the benchmark on a weighted basis, with a 0.7-percent increase, followed by the healthcare index