investors took a cautious stance before the start of first-quarter earnings season in U.S.
Blue-chip stocks managed a small gain Monday, outpacing the broader market, as investors took a cautious stance before the start of first-quarter earnings season.
The low trading volume seen in recent weeks “shows a balancing out of the bullish and bearish views waiting for more information,” said John Prestbo, executive director and editor of Dow Jones Indexes.
“Investors have been bidding up stocks because profits in a lot of companies have grown, but they don’t know if that can continue, especially if companies have to start hiring in a big way, since labor is the biggest cost,” said Prestbo.
“They are looking for those cracks that are there and have to be revealed at some point, so both sides are getting good seats in the bleachers and waiting for the show to begin.”
After a week in which the benchmark indexes finished pretty close to where they began, the meandering persisted Monday.