US stock futures rose a few inches higher early Monday morning as another week of earnings reports begins with 161 companies in the S&P 500 – or about a third of the benchmark – to release their results for July through September.
More than half of the S&P 500 (280 companies) released their numbers from July to September, and so far the results are well above projections.
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Wall Street had its best month in nearly a year in October as investors weighed encouraging corporate earnings growth against concerns over rising inflation and supply chain disruptions.
The S&P 500 rose 8.96 points to 4,605.38 – another new high. The Dow rose 89.08 points to 35,819.56 while the Nasdaq rose 50.27 points to 15,498.39.
The Russell 2000 Small Business Index lost less than 0.1% to 2,297.19.
A variety of companies, most recently Apple and Amazon, have reported challenges due to rising costs or supply chain issues.
Apple was down 1.8% a day after the iPhone maker reported that its fiscal fourth quarter revenue fell short of analyst projections as supply bottlenecks make it difficult to meet demand. Internet retail giant Amazon lost 2.2% after higher costs and supply chain problems hurt its third quarter financial results and sales forecast.
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The latest data from the Department of Commerce showed that US consumer spending rose only 0.6% in September, a warning sign of an economy still in the grip of a pandemic and persistently high inflation.
Gains aside, investors looked to the Federal Reserve’s meeting this week as the central bank moves closer to tapering bond purchases, which have helped keep rates low.
On Monday, stocks rose in Asia, with Tokyo’s benchmark gaining 2.5% after the ruling Liberal Democrats won a stronger-than-expected majority on an election Sunday.
Shares rose in all regional markets except Hong Kong and Bangkok.
The regional gains followed further milestones on Wall Street, where the three major indices set records. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% and the Nasdaq closed 0.3% higher.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s coalition retained a comfortable majority in Sunday’s general election despite losing a few seats as his week-old government grapples with a coronavirus-battered economy and regional security challenges.
“This removes a major political overhang that weighs on market sentiment … and drives risk movements in the Japanese market,” IG’s Jun Rong Yeap said in a comment.
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Kishida is expected to develop a package of government spending and other measures to stimulate growth. He has pulled back on earlier statements suggesting he is in favor of increasing capital gains tax, a move that would largely tax the rich. This could be a way to counter the growing inequality in Japan, and stock prices fell shortly after he took office.
Shares have since rebounded, and there have been signs that the Kishida government is likely to continue the market support policies of its predecessors Shinzo Abe and Yoshihide Suga.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index rose 716 points to 29,610.18, while Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.5% to 2,982.72. In Sydney, the S & P / ASX 200 gained 0.8% to 7,378.50. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1% to 3,552.35.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1% to 25,117.79 as investor concerns about financial risk to property developers added to concerns about the economic outlook.
US crude as a benchmark in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 31 cents to $ 83.26 a barrel. It was down 24 cents on Friday to $ 83.57 a barrel.
Brent crude, the basis for international pricing, lost 17 cents to $ 83.55 a barrel.
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The US dollar rose to 114.28 Japanese yen from 114.07 yen on Friday. The euro weakened from $ 1.1566 to $ 1.1561.