The Nasdaq composite was up 0.1%.
Microsoft, scheduled to report results on Tuesday, rose 0.7% as Wedbush raised its price target on the software maker's stock on expectations of further growth in its cloud business for 2021.
The results for the largest S&P 500 companies, as this will affect the performance of the index for the millions of people who invest in indexes as well as for those who buy individual shares of the big brands.
The major US averages on Monday closed off their best levels of the day, although the S&P and NASDAQ still finished at record levels, as concerns over the timing and scope of fiscal stimulus dented optimism at the start of a week of earnings reports from mega-cap companies.
Prices nationally rose 9.5% year-on-year in November, the strongest annual growth rate in over six years and a significantly stronger increase than the one recorded a month earlier.
General Electric Co rose about 5% after reporting a better-than-expected free cash flow for the fourth quarter, as it benefits from a recovery at its power and renewable energy units. GE is attempting a turnaround after shedding unprofitable divisions and focusing more on big industrial products like jet engines and power equipment. While mostly conjecture on their part, Kallo said such a combination would help manage volatility from individual companies and fund new ventures. The company's card holders continue to postpone travel, entertainment and dining out due to the pandemic, which has cut into its bottom line.
Traders are keeping a wary eye on rising coronavirus infections in various countries and a bumpy rollout of vaccinations in the U.S. Markets also are awaiting a meeting of the Federal Reserve which ends Wednesday. "Yesterday, both hopes got smashed", Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, said in a commentary.
Also in focus was news that Joe Biden's stimulus plans appeared to be at risk of being watered down in order to appease lawmakers on the Republican side of the aisle, with the new president stating he was open to narrowing eligibility for the $1,400 stimulus cheques. But his party holds only the slimmest possible majority in the Senate, making approval uncertain.