Stocks rose as earnings reporting picked up ahead of what will be the busiest week of the current season in terms of reports from S&P 500 companies. Outside of earnings, reports indicated that Congress and the White House are near an agreement that would raise the debt limit for two years. On the trade front, reports said Chinese firms have applied to purchase U.S. agricultural products and that face-to-to-face meetings between the U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators could happen before the end of July.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Chicago National Activity index ticked up 0.01 points to -0.02 in June.
TOP NEWS: Equifax (EFX) announced a $671M resolution - which includes settlement agreements that would resolve a multi-district consumer class action litigation, as well as investigations by the FTC, the CFPB, the Attorneys General of 48 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and the New York Department of Financial Services - related to its 2017 cybersecurity incident. Equifax has agreed to pay at least $575M, and potentially up to $700M, as part of the global settlement, the FTC stated.
Shares of Micron (MU) rose 3.7% after Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney upgraded the stock to Buy as he is now more positive on global memory stocks and believes the excess inventory memory companies are carrying will be depleted faster than previous expectations.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to drop in on a meeting at the White House of top technology firms, including the heads of Intel (INTC) and Broadcom (AVGO), to go over blacklisted Huawei and other matters. Executives from Alphabet's Google (GOOGL) and Micron will also be present at the meeting being presided by White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow, according to Reuters.
In M&A news, Vail Resorts (MTN) agreed to acquire Peak Resorts (SKIS) for $11 per share in a $264M deal that Stifel analyst Brad Boyer said he views as a "win-win" for the ski slope operators. Peak shares surged 112.8% following the deal announcement, while Vail shares closed 4.2% higher.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Trade Commission is expected to announce ahead of Facebook's (FB) earnings report on Wednesday evening a settlement over the company's privacy practices. The settlement includes a roughly $5B fineand would end the FTC's investigation into whether the social media giant kept its promises around protecting user data, the Journal said.
Additionally, Bloomberg reported that Blackstone (BX) is weighing a sale of its stake in Cheniere Energy Partners (CQP) seven years after agreeing to invest roughly $1.5B in the company.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Beyond Meat (BYND), which rose 9.8% after it saw a positive mention in this week's edition of Barron's. Also higher was Halliburton (HAL), which gained 9.2% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was PaySign (PAYS), which slid 21.8% after BTIG analyst Mark Palmer downgraded the stock to Sell from Neutral with a $12 price target. Also lower was Cadence Bancorp (CADE), which fell 19.1% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 17.70, or 0.065%, to 27,171.90, the Nasdaq gained 57.65, or 0.71%, to 8,204.14, and the S&P 500 advanced 8.42, or 0.28%, to 2,985.03.