NEW YORK, April 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks managed to close in positive territory Monday, with the S&P 500 rising for the fifth session in a row, as investors looked to a batch of earnings from key companies later in the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 40.71 points, or 0.25 percent, to 16,449.25. The S&P 500 added 7.04 points, or 0.38 percent, to 1,871.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 26.03 points, or 0.64 percent, to 4,121.55.
The market staged a seesaw session before closing higher, as investors were cautious to make any big bet ahead of numerous earnings to be rolling out later in the busy week.
Nearly one third of the S&P 500 companies are due to report earnings this week, according to Thomson Reuters data.
McDonald's, Microsoft and UPS are among notable companies slated to publish first-quarter results, from which investors will try to garner signs about how U.S. corporations fared during the quarter.
So far, about 17 percent of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings for the first quarter, among which 62.1 percent of the firms have topped earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters' latest data.
Momentum stock Netflix beat market expectations on its earnings side while matching analysts' forecast in its first-quarter revenues. In response, the online video-streaming company's shares surged in after-hours trading.
Investors will be eyeing more earnings results from momentum stocks such as Facebook and Amazon.com, which had suffered great losses before the market rebounded on a few better-than-expected earnings and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's dovish speech last week on the bank's commitment to supporting the economy.
On the economic front, the Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.8 percent in March to 100.9, following a 0.5 percent increase in February and a 0.2 percent increase in January, said the Conference Board in a report.
Moreover, led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index increased to 0.14 in February from minus 0.45 in January, reported the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Monday.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of fear in the market, slipped 0.82 percent to end at 13.25.
In other markets, the U.S. dollar advanced against most major currencies Monday after data showed Japan's trade deficit widened in March.
In late New York trading, the dollar bought 102.63 Japanese yen, higher than 102.42 yen of the previous session, while the euro dropped to 1.3796 dollars from 1.3819 dollars in the previous session.
Crude prices rose slightly amid escalated conflict in eastern Ukraine. Light, sweet crude for May delivery moved up 7 cents to settle at 104.37 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery gained 42 cents to close at 109.95 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at the lowest level since April 3 due to technical selling.
The most active gold contract for June delivery dipped 5.4 U.S. dollars, or 0.42 percent, to settle at 1,288.5 dollars per ounce.