World stocks subdued as Wall Street eyes new record highs

Daniel Fowler
April 26, 2019

The S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq have registered record closing highs after a broad-based rally, as a clutch of better-than-expected earnings reports eased concerns about a slowdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.52 percent to 26,647.97, the S&P 500 gained 0.91 percent to 2,934.31 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.35 percent to 8,123.25.

In New York, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also dropped from their record high closings.

The stock market has rebounded sharply this year after a steep sell-off in December that pulled the S&P 500 just 0.2% from entering a bear market, or decline of 20% from its peak.

'In light of Wall Street's quick-sip of euphoria, SPI Futures are suggesting that the ASX 200 will back up yesterday's strong showing and add around 20 points at today's open.' Mr. Rodda said.

The strong economic data comes as countless Democrats compete to take on President Trump in the months ahead; vowing to raise taxes, reduce America's energy industry, and increase burdensome regulations.

Facebook, Tesla and Microsoft are among companies reporting earnings after the market close on Wednesday.

So far, nearly 130 S&P 500 companies have reported first quarter earnings, and 78% of them beat their expectations, according to data from Refinitiv.

"Let's be honest, expectations were fairly low coming in to earning season, the market was bracing itself for a pretty poor outpouring of numbers", said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group.

Wall Street has been forecasting a contraction during the quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145 points, or 0.5%, to 26,656. Analysts will be on the watch for the social media company's user engagement and the progress with the computer giant's cloud business, while Visa may offer a glimpse into the current state of credit in the world's largest economy.

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In aftermarket trading, Microsoft shares rose about 3 per cent and Facebook shares gained almost 5 per cent.

Shares in Amazon (due to report March quarter results on Friday morning, our time) jumped 2.2% and was the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

The technology sector rose 0.2 percent and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index was up 1.3% after hitting an all-time high earlier in the session.

Stocks are under a little less pressure following the latest round of earnings results. Analysts are watching corporate reports closely this week as they gauge whether first quarter earnings for US companies will be as bad as predicted.

EBay Inc shares jumped 4.9 per cent after the company raised its full-year sales and profit forecasts.

The Australian share market is set to rise at the open as over the U.S. the S&P 500 and Nasdaq saw a rally after strong earnings from broad range of companies.

Energy futures closed mostly higher.

Benchmark U.S. crude was fell 0.6% to settle at $65.89 per barrel. Anadarko surged 12% and Chevron fell 2.9%. Brent crude rose 0.1% to $74.57 per barrel.

The euro was down 0.26% at $1.1196, while the Japanese yen strengthened 0.09% versus the greenback at 111.78 per dollar.

The June gold contract was up US$6.20 at US$1,279.40 an ounce and the May copper contract was up 1.65 cents at US$2.91 a pound.

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