US Stocks Open on Track for Record High

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Monday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a record high at the beginning a busy week of corporate earnings and economic reports.

Wall Street will get reports from 156 companies in the S&P 500 index this week. The company news and a series of economic reports will give investors a clearer diagnosis of the economy's health. Investors will also closely watch the Federal Reserve's latest decision on interest rates Wednesday.

Microsoft was among the biggest winners in a broad rise for technology stocks. Networking hardware company Cisco also made solid gains.

Rising bond yields helped lift bank stocks. Citigroup rose 1.2% and Bank of America rose 1.3%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.84% from 1.8% late Friday. Higher bond yields allow banks to charge more lucrative interest rates on mortgages and other loans.

AT&T rose 4.7% and led broad gains for communications companies.

Utilities and real estate companies lagged the market in another sign that investors were more confident and shifting money into riskier, but higher growth holdings.

Monday's early rally extends solid gains from last week, when investors got some relief from progress in U.S.-China trade talks and mostly solid earnings reports. The market could also have history on its side today, according to Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial.

"October 28 is historically the best day of the year for stocks," he said in a note to investors.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.6% as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern time. The index is trading above its all-time high close of 3,025.86 set on July 26.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 175 points, or 0.6%, to 27,131. The Nasdaq rose 0.6%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks rose 0.7%.

FULL WEEK: The market could be in for a more volatile ride this week. Alphabet, Google's parent company, reports earnings results later Monday. General Motors and drugmakers Merck and Pfizer release results on Tuesday. Apple and Facebook report on Wednesday.

Several economic reports on housing, hiring and consumer confidence will be issued this week. The government will release its closely watched monthly employment report on Friday.

MARRIAGE PROPOSAL: Jeweler Tiffany soared 27.8% after being courted by French luxury group LVMH with a $14.5 billion buyout offer. LVMH owns fashion names including Christian Dior, Givenchy and Tag Heuer. The offer comes as Tiffany struggles with stagnating sales.

BIG CLOUD: Microsoft rose 2.8% after The Pentagon on Friday awarded the software company a $10 billion cloud computing contract. The long-established technology company beat Amazon, the early front-runner, for the hefty award. Other tech titans, including Oracle and IBM, were also vying for the contract.

OVERSEAS: European markets rose. The European Union agreed Monday to give Britain a three-month extension for its planned departure from the 28-member trading bloc. It had been set to leave on Oct. 31. The extension gives both sides more time to make a deal that will cover trade and other issues.

Asian markets rose broadly.

(CZ)