Stocks started the trading week off on a positive note. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) indexes both ticked higher by roughly 0.3%.

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Source: Yahoo Finance.

Individual stocks on the move included Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Sysco Systems (NYSE:SYY), thanks to a mix of quarterly earnings and partnership news.

Twitter's video plans

Twitter's stock rose 7% to cross $20 for the first time since early January. The social-media specialist's shares benefited from news that it might sign an important deal with tech giant Apple. The New York Times cited inside sources saying the two companies are in talks to bring Twitter's real-time news and messaging app to the Apple TV.

Image source: Twitter.

Twitter in April beat out rivals such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) for the rights to stream a batch of NFL games beginning next month. CEO Jack Dorsey said at the time that "people watch NFL games with Twitter today, [and] now they'll be able to watch right on Twitter Thursday nights." A deal that puts its app in front of millions of Apple TV users would be key to extending this NFL streaming experiment beyond smartphones.

Video is shaping up to be a central social-media battleground. In fact, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his executive team is "moving toward a world where video is at the heart of all of our services." Not only does it help drive user engagement, but streaming video is significantly boosting advertising spending: Facebook logged a 63% jump in ad sales last quarter, compared with Twitter's 18%. A full-screen link-up with the Apple TV device might help Twitter close that huge growth gap.

Sysco's slowing growth

Food-service company Sysco's rose by as much as 5% before ending flat following its quarterly earnings release Monday morning. Sales grew 10% thanks to healthy volume improvements. Strip out the effect of an extra week in this year's quarter, and revenue still rose by 2%, compared with a flat result in the prior quarter. "We had strong local case growth, improved our gross profit, managed expenses well, and drove increased operating income," CEO Bill DeLaney said in a press release.

Image source: Sysco.

Gross profit margin ticked up to over 18% of sales. That, plus the fact that operating expenses fell, helped Sysco produce sharply higher earnings. Profits rose 23% to $0.64 per share, beating consensus estimates that were targeting $0.61 per share.

However, because of its exposure to a restaurant industry that's being pinched by slowing growth, Sysco might not expand much faster than the 2% uptick it managed over the past 12 months. Executives noted that restaurant spending rose at the slowest pace in two years this quarter while customer traffic declined.

Sysco's challenge in that soft sales environment will be to keep its case volume growing even as it looks for more ways to cut costs and boost profitability. Looking further out, the company is on track to meet its financial goals of boosting free cash flow and achieving a 15% return on invested capital. That metric rose to 14% in the fiscal year that just closed, up from 13% last year.

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