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World stocks on tap for 12th month of gains, dollar edges up

Stock MarketsOct 31, 2017 02:05PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) at the NYSE in New York

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stocks advanced on Tuesday and were poised for a record twelfth month of gains as Europe outpaced gains on Wall Street while the dollar edged up, on track for its best month of the year.

Wall Street had a choppy morning while European stocks closed at a 5 1/2-month high and a 1.8-percent gain for October, buoyed by data that showed euro zone growth of 2.5 percent year-on-year and unemployment at its lowest since early 2009.

Economic data in the U.S. was also positive, as consumer confidence jumped to a near 17-year high in October, with households upbeat about the labor market and business conditions.

Apple (O:AAPL) shares, up 1.35 percent, and strong earnings from Oreo cookie maker Mondelez (O:MDLZ), up 6.11 percent, boosted the S&P 500 while a 0.85-percent decline in Pfizer's (N:PFE) shares following the drugmaker's earnings weighed.

Apple shares gained after the first reviews of its iPhone X received mostly positive marks. The phone is scheduled for release on Friday, a day after the company is set to report earnings. Also on the tech front, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was scheduled to post results on Wednesday.

"Earnings have been the key driver," said Jeff Carbone, managing partner at Cornerstone Financial Partners. "We're going through a period without any major pullbacks and that must be warranted to the economic data and earnings."

With 306 of S&P 500 companies having reported earnings, 73 percent have topped Wall Street expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, compared with the 72 percent average over the past four quarters.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 18.1 points, or 0.08 percent, to 23,366.84, the S&P 500 (SPX) gained 3.49 points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,576.32 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) added 27.05 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,726.02.

The dollar index (DXY), which measures the greenback against major currencies, was on track for its biggest monthly rise since November 2016.

However, investors also exercised caution ahead of announcements from the Bank of England and U.S. Federal Reserve, as well as the expected nomination of a new Fed chair on Thursday and Friday's U.S. jobs report.

The dollar index (DXY) rose 0.02 percent, with the euro down 0.03 percent to $1.1646.

U.S. Treasury prices were steady. Benchmark 10-year notes (US10YT=RR) last fell 1/32 in price to yield 2.3739 percent, from 2.37 percent late on Monday.

The 30-year bond (US30YT=RR) last rose 4/32 in price to yield 2.8746 percent, from 2.88 percent late on Monday.

RECORD RUN

The MSCI's 47-country 'All World' index (MIWD00000PUS) was set to top its 2003 run of 11 straight months of gains. It gained 0.14 percent Tuesday. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index (FTEU3) rose 0.24 percent.

Oil prices advanced modestly as the prospect of increasing U.S. exports dampened bullish sentiment that has driven Brent to more than two-year highs above $60 per barrel.

U.S. crude rose 0.54 percent to $54.44 per barrel and Brent was last at $61.05, up 0.76 percent on the day.

World stocks on tap for 12th month of gains, dollar edges up
 

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