July 12th, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street opens higher as pace picks up for corporate profits

By Yuri Kageyama And Matt Ott, The Associated Press on October 24, 2023.

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street after Coca Cola, General Electric and other big companies reported fatter profits for the summer than expected. The S&P 500 was 0.6% higher in early trading Tuesday and on track to break a five-day losing streak. The pace is picking up for corporate profit reports, and the hope is that S&P 500 companies will report their first growth in a year. Such strength is crucial for the stock market, which has slumped since the summer under the weight of much higher bond yields. The 10-year yield was holding steadier Tuesday.

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

Stocks are markedly higher on Wall Street as pressure from the bond market eases, at least for the moment, and a slew of big U.S. corporations put up big quarterly numbers.

Futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% before the bell Tuesday.

Bond yields settled back after the 10-year briefly crossed over 5% early Monday, continuing to put pressure on equities.

Treasury yields can dictate how much investors pay for everything from stocks to corporate bonds to cryptocurrencies. Higher yields also make it more expensive for nearly everyone to borrow money, which puts the brakes on economic growth and adds stress to the entire financial system.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was at 4.86% early Tuesday, up a tick from 4.85% late Monday. It reached as high as 5.02% Monday before retreating.

Lower bond yields tend to benefit companies promising big growth because it’s easier to borrow. That particularly helpful in recent years to technology and other high-growth stocks.

Industrial stocks, those with more steady growth patterns, have done well in that environment.

General Electric is up nearly 5% Tuesday after easily beating Wall Street profit forecasts. 3M rose 4% and Sherwin Williams gained 3% before the bell. Both companies’ also topped analysts’ profit targets.

General Motors rose 1.2% after it posted net income of more than $3 billion from July through September. That’s down 7% from the same period last year due to lost production from the autoworkers strike. Company executives said the strike is expected to cut pretax earnings by $200 million per week.

Coca-Cola jumped 2.4% before the bell after it raised its full-year revenue forecast Tuesday following a stronger-than-expected third quarter.

In Europe at midday, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.6% and Germany’s DAX slipped 0.3%. Britain’s FTSE 100 was effectively unchanged.

In Asian trading Tuesday, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2% to finish at 31,062.35. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 6,856.90. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.1% to 2,383.51.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped nearly 1.1% to 16,991.53, while the Shanghai Composite advanced 0.8% to 2,962.24. Taiwan’s Taiex was up 0.4%.

Shanghai’s benchmark has been trading near its lowest levels in several years as worries over a slump in the property market and a slowing economy in general have led investors to sell off shares.

One wild card for inflation has been the price of oil, which has bounced in recent weeks amid worries potential disruptions to supplies due to the latest Hamas-Israel war.

A barrel of benchmark U.S. crude oil added 12 cents to $85.61 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It tumbled $2.59 to settle at $85.49 Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 14 cents to $89.97 a barrel. It fell $2.33 to $89.83 per barrel Monday.

U.S. oil had been above $93 last month, and it’s bounced up and down since then amid concerns that fighting in the Gaza Strip could lead to disruptions in supplies from Iran or other big oil-producing countries.

While worries about higher Treasury yields and the war in Gaza are weighing on markets, strong corporate profits and the resilient U.S. economy have helped to offset such pressures. This week, more than 30% of the companies in the S&P 500 will report. They include Boeing, Ford, Microsoft and Amazon.

Economic updates this week will include a Friday report on how much U.S. households are spending and what kind of inflation they’re feeling.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar inched up to 149.75 Japanese yen from 149.71 yen. The euro cost $1.0637, down from $1.0669.

On Monday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.6%.

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