Investors are starting the week off optimistic ahead of earnings reports in hopes that these reports will indicate that the economy has improved in the second quarter of the year.

This morning’s rally was led by the financial sector.  A prominent analyst stated that she was upgrading her view on financial giants Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC), indicating that they could provide value for investors. Goldman is expected to report big profits tomorrow, as well. The news sent the Financial Select SPDR (XLF) up nearly 3.6% in morning trading.

In regard to earnings reports, nuts and bolts distributor Fastenal (FAST) reported worse-than-expected quarterly results.  The poor performance was caused by weak demand in its industrial production business and a slowdown in its non-residential construction business.  Royal Philipps Electronics NV reported a 94% decline in second quarter profit because of weak sales amid the global economic downturn and asset divestments in the same period.  Lastly, many investors are eager to see what how transportation giant CSX Corporation (CSX) performed. The company will be reporting earnings after the bell.

On a separate note, the U.S. dollar seems to be gaining ground on the Brazilian Real which sent the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bearish (UDN) down about 0.1% in morning trading.

Overall, all three major U.S. indexes are up in morning trading.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1.5%, the S&P 500 has gained 1.5% and the Nasdaq has added 1.2%.

For more stories on financials, visit our financials category.

Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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