While you were sleeping: Kellogg, Mondelez shares rally

Updated: The S&P 500 Index rose for the seventh straight month, its longest streak since May 2013..

Wall Street advanced amid better-than-expected corporate earnings including for food companies Kellogg and Mondelez, while US Federal Reserve policy makers began their two-day meeting.

Kellogg jumped 6.2% after the cereal maker posted better-than-expected earnings amid cost-cutting efforts, reporting its first gain in sales in at least two years.

"Operating profit margin expansion got an added boost from the transition out of Direct-Store Delivery, and we posted another quarter of sequential improvement in our net sales performance," John Bryant, Kellogg's chairman, said in a statement.

"There was some timing benefit that comes out of the fourth quarter, but these results put us solidly on track to deliver on our full-year 2017 financial guidance."

Mondelez rallied 5.4% following its quarterly results, which showed rising sales and a higher profit.

Wall Street moved higher. At the close of trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 28.50 points, or 0.1%, to 23,377.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4% to 6727.67.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.1% to 2575.26, putting its monthly gain at 2.2%. It was the broad index’s seventh straight month of advances and its longest streak since May 2013..

"You look at the earnings out of these big players and they continue to impress," Steve Chiavarone, portfolio manager with Federated Investors in New York, told Reuters. "It strikes me that that leads you to a much more bullish outlook for the fourth quarter."

Mosaic shares surge
US fertiliser company Mosaic surged 8.6% after earnings exceeded estimates and announcing cost cuts.

"Mosaic is taking proactive steps to accelerate business performance," Joc O'Rourke, chief executive officer, said in a statement. "While these decisions are difficult and have impacts on our employees, today's actions put Mosaic in a strong position to benefit as market dynamics improve."

Mosaic will idle for at least a year its Plant City, Florida, facility, which can produce up to 2 million tonnes of finished phosphate products annually. It is among the company's costliest plants to operate, Mr O'Rourke said.

The Dow rose as gains by Intel and Apple, up 2.5% and 1.4% respectively, outweighed declines in General Electric and Pfizer, down 1.6% and 0.6% respectively.

Pfizer's latest quarterly results failed to impress investors amid concern about its Essential Health division.

"While Essential Health revenues remained challenged primarily due to continued headwinds from products that recently lost marketing exclusivity and product supply, we had solid operational growth in emerging markets and in biosimilars," chief executive officer Ian Read said in a statement.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst John Boris said Essential Health was "under pressure" and that investors were concerned about new competitors grabbing sterile injectables market share before Pfizer's manufacturing challenges are fully addressed, Reuters reported.

Europe's Stoxx 600 Index ended 0.3% lower. The UK's FTSE 100 Index rose 0.1% and France's CAC 40 Index added 0.2%. Financial markets in Germany were closed for a public holiday.

The euro weakened following a report showing slower-than-expected euro-zone inflation.

(BusinessDesk)