Analysts, on average, expect S&P 500 earnings to have expanded 12 percent in the second quarter and project earnings up 9.3 percent for the September quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
However, the recent run-up has also sparked concerns about stretched valuations.
The S&P, which is up about 11 percent this year, is trading at 18 times expected earnings, compared to its 10-year average of 14, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.61 points, or 0.12 percent, to close at 22,118.42. The last time the Dow had nine straight record closes was in February when it boasted 12 in a row.
The S&P 500 climbed 4.08 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,480.91 and the Nasdaq Composite added 32.21 points, or 0.51 percent, to end at 6,383.77.
The S&P’s consumer staples index, up 0.7 percent, and its technology index, up 0.6 percent were the benchmark’s leading sectors on the day.
In coming days, investors will scrutinize quarterly results from retailers in light of competition from online retailer Amazon.com.
Wal-Mart shares were up almost 1 percent. Tyson Foods, one of the consumer staples sector’s biggest boosts on the day, rose 5.7 percent after the No. 1 U.S. meat processor reported greater-than-expected quarterly profit and sales.
The energy sector led the laggards with a 0.9 percent drop as oil prices <LCOc1> <CLc1> edged lower on a rebound in production from Libya’s largest oil field, along with worries about higher output from OPEC and the United States. [O/R]
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.07-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
About 5.29 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges compared with the 6.13 billion average for the last 20 sessions.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James Dalgleish)