Wall Street set for third day of gains in buoyant start to November

Business

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were on pace for third straight day of gains on Thursday, leaving behind a brutal October, as improving risk sentiment globally was further boosted by a string of robust earnings reports.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The rise in futures follows gains in Chinese shares on a new round of stimulus plan and European markets hitting an eight-day high.

Chemicals producer DowDuPont Inc (DWDP.N) rose 5.2 percent premarket after quarterly profit topped estimates and the company announced a $3 billion share buyback.

NXP Semiconductors (NXPI.O) climbed 4.7 percent after the chipmaker topped profit and revenue estimates, while American International Group Inc (AIG.N) gained 2.6 percent after the insurer posted a smaller-than-quarterly loss.

“Over the past few days, we’ve seen the pressure valve taken off the selling which certainly helps from a sentiment perspective,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

“Investors are starting November with a shopping list, because the last few days have reassured them that the selling isn’t going to continue, it’s probably over for now.”

Apple (AAPL.O), last among the major technology names to report earnings, inched up 0.5 percent, ahead of earnings after markets close.

October marked the worst month for the S&P 500 .SPX since September 2011 and the Nasdaq’s biggest monthly fall since November 2008 as fears of rising borrowing costs, global trade disputes and a possible slowdown in U.S. corporate profits spooked equity investors.

S&P 500 companies are on pace to have posted a 26.3 percent rise in third-quarter earnings with more than half of the constituents having reported, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv. Despite the big overall profit increase, some high-profile companies have issued disappointing reports.

At 8:31 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 107 points, or 0.43 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 9.25 points, or 0.34 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 19.75 points, or 0.28 percent.

The CBOE Volatility index .VIX, also known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, eased to more than seven-day low at 20.67 points.

Health insurer Cigna Corp (CI.N) rose 2.5 percent after beating quarterly profit estimates and raising its full-year earnings forecast on tight cost controls.

Shares in Spotify Technology (SPOT.N) fell 10.1 percent after the paid music streaming service reported quarterly revenue and margins in line with expectations and a modest rise in premium subscribers.

On economic data, the Institute for Supply Management’s report on manufacturing activity is likely to show national factory activity index falling to 59.0 in October, from 59.8 in September, due at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila

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