Wall Street rises to record highs ahead of earnings season

Ahead of the start of second quarter earnings, Wall Street’s main indexes hit fresh record highs Monday. Shares of banks, which begin reporting their results this week, led the rally.

Investors will closely look at earnings for clues on the economy and stocks tied to growth.

CFRA Research Chief Investment Strategist Sam Stovall says it could be a blowout quarter.

“It’s supposed to be very good. So much so that it’s the second highest year-on-year growth for the S&P 500 in the past 25 years at 61% with ten of the eleven sectors expected to post earnings increases and several of them posting triple digit gains.”

The Dow and S&P 500 closed over a third of a percent higher. And the Nasdaq gained a fifth of a percent.

Disney was the Dow’s top gainer, rising more than 4%. Its movie starring Scarlett Johansson, “Black Widow,” crushed the benchmark for the biggest opening weekend since the health crisis, capturing $80 million at the box office in its first weekend. It also raked in more than $60 million on its streaming service, Disney Plus.

One day after Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson successfully completed a test flight into space, the company said it may sell up to $500 million worth of shares. That torpedoed Virgin’s shares which plummeted over 17%.

And shares of Didi Global fell 7%. The ride hailing company confirmed that China’s cyberspace administration notified app stores to remove its 25 apps.