* Wall Street rally stalls as investors await more earnings
* Markets subdued as Easter holiday shuts several markets
* Japan logs largest-ever trade deficit; dollar rises vs yen
* Ukraine on the radar in wake of fresh violence
(Updates market action, adds quotes, changes dateline)
By Richard Leong
NEW YORK, April 21 U.S. stocks were little
changed on Monday as investors found little reason to push up
prices after last week's rally, while the dollar reached a
two-week high against the yen after Japan posted a record trade
The S&P 500 index last week posted it biggest weekly rise
since July, and investors were awaiting the release of results
by other major companies.
Trading volume was lighter-than-usual. Financial markets in
European and many Latin American countries remained closed for
the Easter holiday.
"Investors are looking at the earnings picture and are not
being thrilled, though we're still waiting on a lot of reports
this week," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview
Asset Management in Chicago.
Online movie rental company Netflix is due to
report results after the market close on Monday. Later in the
week, Apple Inc, Microsoft, McDonald's
and AT&T are also scheduled to report earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 9.69 points, or
0.06 percent, to 16,418.23, the S&P 500 gained 0.75
points, or 0.04 percent, to 1,865.6, and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 2.411 points, or 0.06 percent, to 4,093.105.
Halliburton Co rose 3.3 percent to $62.91after the
oilfield services company reported earnings that beat
expectations and gave a strong profit outlook. The Philadelphia
oil service index rose 0.8 percent.
SunTrust Banks rose 1.9 percent to $38.68 after its
results, while Hasbro Inc rose 1 percent to $55.14 after
its earnings beat expectations, though revenue was under
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks
shares in 45 nations, fell 0.32 point, or 0.08 percent, to
410.73. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan fell 0.68 point, or 0.14 percent, to
In the currency market, the dollar inched up 0.2 percent
against the yen, to 102.70 yen, its highest point since
April 8, before easing to 102.54 yen in U.S. trading.
Analysts said signs that the U.S. economy had shaken off
disruptions caused by harsh winter weather would help the U.S.
currency in the longer run.
The yen slid after the data on Japanese trade.
Weak external shipments helped push Japan's trade deficit to
a record 13.75 trillion yen ($134.45 billion) for the fiscal
year that ended in March, according to Japan's Ministry of
"The weak trade figures suggested that sooner or later Tokyo
may have to resort to bolder monetary policies to keep the
economy on the right track," said Joe Manimbo, senior market
analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.
Last week's stock market gains and some encouraging data on
domestic jobs and factory activity led some selling in U.S.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield
touched 2.845 percent earlier before falling to 2.692 percent in
U.S. financial markets were closed for Good Friday holiday.
Support for the safe-haven yen ebbed last week after the
United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union called for
an immediate halt to violence.
However, tensions in Ukraine are expected to underpin the
yen in the short term, traders said.
At least three people were killed in a gunfight in the early
hours of Sunday near a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russian
separatists, shaking an already fragile international accord
that was designed to avert a wider conflict.
In commodity markets, gold initially edged higher as the
Ukraine tensions sparked some safe-haven buying but fell to a
2-1/2-week low, hurt by sharp outflows from the world's biggest
bullion-backed exchange-traded fund and a stronger dollar.
Spot gold fell $6.96, or 0.54 percent, to $1,286.69
an ounce after falling to $1,281.40 earlier, lowest since April
The tensions over Ukraine supported oil.
Brent crude was last up $0.23, or up 0.21 percent,
at $109.76 a barrel, retreating from a near a six-week peak of
$110.36 set last week. U.S. crude was last up $0.16, or
up 0.15 percent, at $104.46 per barrel.
(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica, Chuck Mikolajczak,
Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York, and Shinichi Saoshiro in
Tokyo,; Editing by Leslie Adler)