NEW YORK, Oct 25 — Global stock indexes were flat to higher today as upbeat earnings offset weaker-than-expected results, while the British pound extended losses from the previous day amid fresh uncertainty around Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Strong results from Intel helped to buoy the S&P 500 index in early trading, even as Amazon.com Inc shares weighed following the company’s forecast for revenue and profit for the holiday quarter below expectations.
Trade talks were also back in focus with US and Chinese trade officials due to discuss plans for China to buy more US farm products while Beijing in return will request cancellation of some planned and existing US tariffs on Chinese imports.
The two sides are working to try to agree on a text for a “Phase 1” trade agreement announced by US President Donald Trump on October 11, in time for him to sign it with China’s President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile. Though there are still large gaps to bridge.
The majority of US companies have beaten Wall Street expectations so far this earnings season despite concern about the trade war.
“We’ve had some misses… mostly due to trade war concerns, but overall, it looks like we’re headed for a fairly good earnings season,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 124.07 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 26,929.6, the S&P 500 gained 8.16 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 3,018.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 31.91 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 8,217.71.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.01 per cent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.15 per cent.
The world’s largest beer maker by Anheuser-Busch InBev tumbled on disappointing quarterly profit and a glum outlook as the earnings season rumbled on.
Sterling was last trading at US$1.2831, down 0.15 per cent on the day.
Reuters reported a source close to French President Emmanuel Macron said an extension to the negotiations for Britain’s departure from the European Union was not justified at this stage.
In the US bond market, benchmark 10-year notes last fell 2/32 in price to yield 1.7714 per cent, from 1.766 per cent late on Thursday.
A Reuters poll of economists showed that most think a steeper decline in global growth is more likely than a synchronised recovery, despite central bank easing.
Markets are pricing in a 90 per cent chance of a rate cut at next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.
On the energy front, US crude rose 0.07 per cent to US$56.27 (RM235) per barrel and Brent was last at US$61.59, down 0.13 per cent on the day. — Reuters