Stocks open higher as more companies report solid earnings

By AP News

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Stocks are moving higher in early trading on Wall Street Thursday, keeping the S&P 500 hovering near the record closing high it set on Tuesday. The benchmark index was up 0.5% in the early going, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq were also up about as much. It’s a big day for company earnings reports. Ford jumped 12%, the most in the S&P 500, after reporting earnings that easily beat analysts’ forecasts and raising its full-year outlook. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar also rose 3% after turning in strong results. Apple and Amazon report after the closing bell.

Stocks are moving higher in early trading on Wall Street Thursday, keeping the S&P 500 hovering near the record closing high it set on Tuesday. The benchmark index was up 0.5% in the early going, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq were also up about as much. It’s a big day for company earnings reports. Ford jumped 12%, the most in the S&P 500, after reporting earnings that easily beat analysts’ forecasts and raising its full-year outlook. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar also rose 3% after turning in strong results. Apple and Amazon report after the closing bell.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Shares slipped Thursday in Europe and Asia after a retreat on Wall Street pulled the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average back from their latest record highs.

Shares fell in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Shanghai but rose in Paris.

A steady flow of corporate report cards continues Thursday with industrial bellwether Caterpillar and technology giant Apple. Amazon and Starbucks will also report their results on Thursday.

Outside of earnings, investors will get an update on U.S. economic growth when the Commerce Department releases its report on third-quarter gross domestic product on Thursday.

Investors are also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week to see how it moves forward with plans to trim bond purchases and its position on interest rates.

Germany's DAX edged 0.1% lower to 15,690.45 while in London, the FTSE 100 declined 0.4% to 7,221.86. The CAC 40 in Paris added 0.3% to 6,772.04.

The future for the Dow industrials was 0.1% higher, while that for the S&P 500 also gained 0.1%.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7%. The Nasdaq edged up less than 0.1% and the Russell 2000 index of small companies took the heaviest losses, falling 1.9%.

In Asia, flaring cases of coronavirus in China and Singapore have added to doubts over the economic outlook, given signs that inflationary trends might lead central banks to step up moves to tighten monetary policy.

In Seoul, the Kospi lost 0.5%, to 3,009.55, even after Samsung Electronics reported its highest quarterly profit in three years Thursday thanks to continued robust demand for its computer memory chips.

Samsung’s dual strength in parts and finished products has allowed it to flourish during the pandemic as millions of people were forced to work at home. However, the company said it was dealing with “longer-than-expected” component shortages that may affect the demand for semiconductors during the current quarter.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index sank 1% to 28,820.09.

The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged at a meeting that wrapped up Thursday while warning of downward pressure on the world's third largest economy from the pandemic and from “supply-side constraints" like shipping delays and bottlenecks and shortages of computer chips and other manufacturing materials.

It downgraded its growth forecast for the fiscal year ending in March to 3.4% from the 3.8% estimate it issued in July. It forecast that inflation would be 0.0% this year, a sharp decrease from its earlier forecast of 0.9%.

But it also said it expects improvement as the impact of COVID-19 gradually wanes, “mainly due to widespread vaccinations, the economy is likely to recover, supported by an increase in external demand, accommodative financial conditions, and the government’s economic measures," it said.

Sony reported a 54% drop in fiscal second quarter profit, mainly from a one-time tax-related gain that had inflated last year’s number, as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company managed to maintain results despite the coronavirus pandemic. The company's shares fell 1.6% on Thursday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gave up 0.3% to 25,555.73, while the Shanghai Composite index dropped 1.2% to 3,518.42. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney shed 0.3% to 7,430.40.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 1.55%, up from 1.53% late Wednesday.

On Thursday, U.S. benchmark crude lost 68 cents to $81.98 per barrel. It fell 2.4% on Wednesday. Brent crude, the basis for international pricing, declined 69 cents to $83.18 per barrel.

The dollar fell to 113.56 Japanese yen from 113.83 yen. The euro almost unchanged at $1.1604.

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Author: AP News

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