• Pepsi Co.'s rally lifts consumer staples sector.
  • Energy sector stays strong as crude oil's correction fails to deepen.
  • Positive data from the U.S. support today's action in the stock markets.

Major equity indexes in the United States opened the day slightly higher and were able to preserve their gains to close in the positive territory.

Pepsi Co.'s better-than-expected earnings results led the company's shares to the biggest daily advance since 2011 with a gain of 4%. Boosted by Pepsi, the S&P 500 Consumer Staples Sector (SPLRCS) ended 1.26% higher to become the best performing sector of the day.

"I believe investors have been put through an emotional roller coaster with the trade situation with China. If the market can see solid second-quarter earnings come through, that's going to diminish the concern of tariff and trade wars," Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, amid a lack of fresh catalysts, crude oil prices continue to fluctuate near their recent highs and help the S&P 500 Energy Sector (SPNY) extend its rally. The barrel of West Texas Intermediate settled near $74 to stay flat for the day and the SPNY added 0.75%.

On the other hand, trade tensions seem to be staying in the back investors' mind with the risk-sensitive technology sector struggling to gain traction. Moreover, despite the modest upsurge witnessed today, the CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street's fear gauge, only eased 0.55%, suggesting that the risk-on mood wasn't dominating the markets. 

On Friday, three major financial institutions, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup, are scheduled to release their earnings figures on Friday. 

At the end of the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 140.05 points, or 0.57%, at 24,916.64. The S&P 500 added 9.44 points, or 0.34%, to 2,793.61 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained an insignificant 3.34 points, or 0.04%, to 7,759.54.

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