U.S. Stock ETFs Inch Higher Ahead of Earnings Season

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds turned positive Monday, with the energy sector leading the charge on increased uncertainty in the Middle East, and traders looked ahead to the financial sector to kick off the corporate earnings season.

The S&P 500 Index, along with related funds including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO), were up 0.2% Monday.

The Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), the largest equity-based energy exchange traded fund, increased 1.1% Monday, testing its short-term 50-day simple moving average as crude oil futures jumped in the latest among a string of gains linked to last week’s U.S. airstrike in Syria and ongoing civil conflict in the oil-rich Libya.

Investors were also waiting on the corporate earnings season, with J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM), Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: N) scheduled to reveal first quarter results on Thursday, which may help shed light on the U.S. banking industry’s health amid a rally in financial shares since the election, reports Yashaswini Swamynathan for Reuters.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) was 0.1% higher Monday.