Bank results curb Wall Street, oil falls as Russia mulls production boost

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Underwhelming quarterly results from U.S. banks limited gains in world stocks on Monday, and oil prices fell after Russia said it and OPEC may decide to boost production.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index dipped after Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup Inc both reported quarterly revenue below consensus estimates, though the index pared losses in afternoon trading.

Wall Street’s slight drop kept MSCI’s gauge of global equities, which has risen more than 14% this year, largely unchanged. It inched up 0.02% after trading in negative territory for much of Monday’s session.

“Right now, the market is sitting tight,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust Advisory Services in Atlanta. “There’s not really a reason to be overly aggressive or defensive until we see more earnings.”

The U.S. earnings season is being used to gauge the strength of corporate America in the face of major challenges to growth.

While U.S. corporate earnings are widely expected to drop year-over-year for the first quarter, analysts anticipate an increase in revenue. As a result, equity investors will likely follow top-line results closely, said Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management in New York.

“People are focusing on the revenue numbers, and they’re virtually in line if not slightly disappointing so far,” he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.53 points, or 0.1%, to 26,384.77, the S&P 500 lost 1.83 points, or 0.06%, to 2,905.58 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 8.15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,976.01.

Upbeat news on U.S.-China trade talks cushioned the disappointing revenue reports.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hoped the trade talks were approaching a final lap.

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