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U.S. stocks edge higher, helped by gold miners

Associated Press

NEW YORK: Mining companies and banks helped the stock market overcome some disappointing quarterly performances Monday.

Investors are looking ahead to a busy week of corporate earnings. More than 150 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index are reporting quarterly earnings over the next four days.

For the most part, corporations have reported results that have beaten analysts’ expectations, though there have been some big letdowns. On Friday, Microsoft plunged after it reported declining revenue and a big write-off on its new tablet computer. Coca-Cola slumped last Tuesday after the company said it sold fewer soft drinks in North America.

“Earnings are not stellar,” said Brad Reynolds, chief investment officer at investment adviser LJPR. “It just seems that the market is OK with that.”

Investors were more than OK with gold Monday. Its price climbed above $1,300 for first time in a month, giving mining stocks a big lift.

Gold gained $43.10, or 3.3 percent, to $1,336 an ounce. Copper rose 4 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.19 per pound.

The S&P 500 index rose 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,695.53 on Monday. The index is at an all-time high, though trading volumes were lower than average.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 1.8 points, or 0.01 percent, to 15,545.55.



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