Shares of manufacturing and transportation companies ticked up on earnings bets. The economy showed signs of heating up, putting upward pressure on wages, in a regional review of economic activity conducted by Federal Reserve branches. "Worker shortages and increased labor costs were restraining growth in some sectors, including manufacturing, transportation and construction," the Fed said in the so-called beige book. One brokerage said first-quarter earnings season would be broadly positive after a mixed start. "First quarter earnings results should be supportive of US equities by exceeding the expected 9% year-over-year growth by the 2-3 percentage points that we have observed in the past several quarters," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a note to clients. "Importantly, these earnings should be accompanied by the best revenue growth we have witnessed since 2012." Industrial giants General Electric and Honeywell International are set to report earnings later in the week. Dutch aint and chemicals company Akzo Nobel boosted dividend payouts and set a timeline for the spinoff of its specialty-chemicals unit, as it attempts to fend off a $24 billion takeover approach from U.S. rival PPG Industries.
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-Rob Curran, firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 19, 2017 16:20 ET (20:20 GMT)