Market Update & Important Indicators
The S&P 500 headed toward another all-time high Wednesday, as investors parsed the latest batch of corporate earnings. Broad-based profit growth has helped propel major indexes to fresh records. Many investors say solid corporate earnings and a U.S. economy that is picking up steam should continue supporting major indexes moving forward. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% after snapping a five-session winning streak Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite was recently up 0.3%, after swinging between small gains and losses earlier in the session. More than 85% of S&P 500 companies have reported third-quarter results as of Wednesday morning, with roughly three-quarters of them beating earnings expectations, according to FactSet. Per-share earnings at the firms have grown about 6.4% in the third quarter from the year-earlier period. Apple hit another milestone Wednesday, becoming the first public U.S. company to ever reach a market value of $900 billion. The largest company in the S&P 500 reported its best quarterly growth in two years last week. Shares rose 0.7% to an all-time high Wednesday. The U.S. gold price traded higher overnight, firming 0.6% to finish at 1,280.80 US$/oz.
European stocks declined Wednesday, enduring a second straight loss, as Credit Agricole was a decliner among bank shares. The Stoxx Europe 600 edged down by less than 0.1% to end at 394.45, pulling back further from its 52-week closing high made last week. On Tuesday, the benchmark fell 0.5%. In Wednesday's trade, Germany's DAX 30 index was up less than 0.1% to end at 13,382.42, while France's CAC 40 shed 0.2% to 5,471.43. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 closed up 0.2% at 7,529.72, creeping back toward Monday's record close. Spain's IBEX 35 was down less than 0.1% at 10,228.70.
Asian stocks were little changed after many indexes across the region notched multiyear highs Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average edged down 0.1% from a near-26-year record close. Shanghai stocks inched up 0.2% despite lackluster October trade data, with China's export and import volumes contracting from September. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.3%.
Australian stocks rebounded from modest morning declines to finish slightly higher and notch fresh 10-year highs. The S&P/ASX 200 rose 2 points to 6016.3. As mining stocks pulled back some after their latest run higher as metals prices themselves paused, the country's biggest bank carried the weight today. CBA rose 2.7% following its F1Q report, though the other members of the Big 4 finished little changed.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded higher overnight, gaining 0.4% to finish at $6,855/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Aluminium prices lost 1.1% to close at 2,090/t, whilst Zinc prices bounced 1.1% to 3,237/t. Lead prices rose 0.5% to 2,502/t, while Nickel prices rebounded 0.4% to close at 12,651/t. Tin prices were lower overnight, slipping 0.3% to close at 19,560/t.
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