US stocks

S&P 500 hits fresh all-time high on US-China trade op­ti­mism

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW YORK (AFP) — Wall Street surged Mon­day on re­newed opt­mism about U.S.-China trade talks, with the S&P 500 hit­ting a new record, while the pound firmed against the dol­lar after the EU backed an ex­ten­sion on Brexit.

Wall Street in­vestors also were buoyed by ex­pec­ta­tions that the Fed­eral Re­serve will pro­ceed with an­other in­ter­est rate cut Wed­nes­day.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­peated his con­fi­dence that Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing are mov­ing to­wards a par­tial “phase one” trade deal, which he ex­pects to sign on the side­lines of the APEC sum­mit in Santiago in mid-Novem­ber.

“The mar­ket seems to be say­ing that be­tween cen­tral bank eas­ing and the steps to­wards enough of a trade agree­ment to stop tar­iffs from go­ing up, the world econ­omy is go­ing to sta­bi­lize,” said LBBW’s Karl Hael­ing.

“This sum­mer there was a great fear of a re­ces­sion.”

Adding to the mo­men­tum has been bet­ter-than-ex­pected earn­ings, an­a­lysts said.

Com­pa­nies in the S&P 500 are on track to see a de­cline of 3.7 per­cent in the third quar­ter from the year-ago lev­els, but 80 per­cent have re­ported bet­ter earn­ings per share than ex­pected, ac­cord­ing to Fac­tset.

Large tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies were broadly higher, with Ap­ple, Ama­zon, Face­book and Google par­ent Al­pha­bet all adding around one per­cent or more.

Tif­fany surged 31.6 per­cent after the com­pany con­firmed it had re­ceived and is re­view­ing LVMH’s bid valu­ing the iconic high-end jew­eler at $14.5 bil­lion.

Space tourism com­pany Vir­gin

Galac­tic made its mar­ket de­but, soar­ing at first but then end­ing the day marginally lower, down 0.34 per­cent.

EU extends Brexit dead­line

Euro­pean Union states on Mon­day agreed to post­pone Brexit for up to three months, step­ping in with a de­ci­sion less than 90 hours be­fore Bri­tain was due to crash out with no di­vorce deal.

The new dead­line is now Jan­uary 31 — although the E.U. would al­low an ear­lier date should London rat­ify a with­drawal agree­ment sooner.

Although the an­nounce­ment helped the pound, its gains were mod­est.

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son wanted to call a snap gen­eral elec­tion for Dec. 12, with a plan to per­suade MPs to back his agree­ment be­fore then — but law­mak­ers de­feated the ini­tia­tive.

“The de­ci­sion to pro­vide an ex­ten­sion must be seen as a pos­i­tive thing, given how close we are to a dis­or­derly Brexit,” said Joshua Ma­hony, IG se­nior mar­ket an­a­lyst.

“How­ever, while a no-deal has been averted for now, this ex­ten­sion points to more un­cer­tainty and eco­nomic de­cline as busi­nesses re­main in the dark over where the coun­try is head­ing.”

Brexit un­cer­tain­ties are im­pact­ing the outlook for HSBC, the Bri­tish bank­ing giant said Mon­day, as it posted a fall in third-quar­ter prof­its.

Shares in the len­der were down more than four per­cent at one stage, mak­ing them the top loser on the FTSE 100 in­dex, but they re­cov­ered a few pen­nies in late trade.

In Asian trad­ing, stock mar­kets climbed after China and the U.S. said they were close to agree­ing a mini trade deal.

AP-Yon­hap

A screen above the trad­ing floor of the New York Stock Ex­change shows the closing num­ber for the S&P 500 in­dex, Mon­day. The S&P 500 rose 16 points, or 0.6 per­cent, to 3,039.

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