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US stocks advance on earnings as dollar rallies

Apr 23 2019 16:11
Eddie van der Walt and Brendan Walsh, Bloomberg

US equities climbed on the back of better-than-forecast earnings, while the dollar strengthened and Treasury yields dipped.

The S&P 500 Index, trading near the highest valuation since September, extended its advance as Twitter, Coca-Cola and Hasbro climbed following favourable first-quarter reports.

Banks were the worst performers in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, which held steady as many markets reopened following the long Easter weekend. The pound weakened as UK Prime Minister Theresa May confronted further challenges to her leadership.

US stocks are less than 1% below their all-time high, looking for a catalyst as earnings season gathers pace this week with a slew of major releases. So far, almost 80% of S&P 500 companies reporting results have exceeded estimates.

Traders will also be focused on the US economy, as first-quarter gross domestic product data is due Friday. Worries over Brexit rumble on in the background, and trade spats between the world’s top economies remain unresolved.

"Investors will be hoping for some better-than-expected results from" big technology companies and European banks, Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia, said in a note to clients Tuesday.

"If the data starts to show a significant slowing across these key industries, then expect both stocks and risk trades to start to come under some heavy pressure."

In Asia, trading volumes were below average ahead of Japan’s Golden Week extended holiday.

Equities climbed in Tokyo and slipped in Shanghai. Sri Lankan stocks slumped and bonds fell for a second day after terror attacks on Easter Sunday killed more than 300 people.

Elsewhere, copper dropped alongside most metals and oil held on to the previous session’s gains after the US announced a tougher crackdown on supply from Iran.

Here are some notable events coming up:

A Who’s Who of the tech world reports this week, with Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla among the heavy hitters on tap.

European bank earnings kick into full gear with reports from Deutsche Bank, UBS, Barclays and Swedbank.

The Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada, Bank of Russia, Sweden’s Riksbank and Bank of Indonesia set monetary policy.

Germany’s IFO data is released Wednesday. Japan’s Shinzo Abe meets leaders of the European Union Thursday before flying to the US for a summit with President Donald Trump.

The initial print on first-quarter US GDP Friday will be closely watched for clues as to how the economy responded to the government shutdown and fallout from the fourth-quarter market rout.

These are the main market moves:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.2% as of 9:46 in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.1%. The MSCI Emerging Market Index was little changed.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced 0.4% to the highest in six weeks. The euro declined 0.4% to $1.1212. The Japanese yen was little changed at 112 per dollar. The British pound fell 0.2% to $1.2952.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries decreased one basis point to 2.58%. Germany’s 10-year yield climbed two basis points to 0.04%. Britain’s 10-year yield rose two basis points to 1.21%.

Commodities

West Texas oil was little changed at $65.71 a barrel. Copper fell 0.5% to $2.8945 a pound. Gold declined 0.5% to $1 268.34 an ounce, near a four-month low.

us markets  |  dollar  |  markets  |  oil  |  stocks
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