U.S. Stocks Steady Near Record Levels

By David Hodari, Riva Gold and Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Stocks in Hong Kong, Australia, Japan jump

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-- Oil prices stall near two-year highs

-- Dollar rises, commodity currencies soften

U.S. stocks steadied around record levels Tuesday as continued gains in global energy companies were offset by a handful of downbeat earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 38 points, or 0.2%, to 23586 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1%. A rally in energy shares helped send all three indexes to new highs on Monday.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was unchanged in afternoon trading, near its highest since 2015, after indexes in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia jumped to multiyear highs on a climb in commodity prices.

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Brent crude oil swung between small gains and losses Tuesday and was last down 0.7% at $63.82 a barrel, after it jumped 3.5% Monday to heights not seen since 2015 following a wave of arrests in Saudi Arabia that spurred fears of disrupted supply.

Europe's oil and gas sector climbed 1.2% Tuesday, echoing a rally in its Asian counterparts.

"I see rising oil prices as a short-term positive for equities," said Chris Hiorns, fund manager at EdenTree Investment Management. Stronger balance sheets at big oil companies could mean more capital expenditures, boosting the industrial sector more broadly, he said.

A series of earnings reports dragged down shares of individual companies, however, tempering gains in the U.S. and Europe.

Shares of online travel companies Priceline Group and TripAdvisor shed 10% and 16% after announcing reducing a profit forecast and missing revenue expectations respectively.

In Europe, shares of luxury carmarker BMW, Danish shipping and oil conglomerate A.P. Moeller-Maersk and chip maker Dialog Semiconductor fell sharply after posting results.

Earnings in the U.S. have generally beat expectations so far in the third-quarter, helping underpin the stock rally. "It's a fundamental positive that allows you to see your way clear in the higher valuations you're paying today," said Marc Zabicki, president and chief investment officer at Bower Hill Capital Management.

"What is slightly concerning to me is that much of earnings upside has come from energy and materials, and I don't know that environment will be sustained," he added. Energy companies' earnings in Europe have been revised higher following a 22% gain in Brent crude over the past three months.

Semiconductor companies Tower Semiconductors and Skyworks fell 2.4% and 3.9%, with the tech-sector expected to focus on Broadcom's unsolicited $105 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm -- a deal that would constitute the largest ever tech-sector takeover.

Earlier, markets in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Taiwan hit multiyear highs, supported by the climb in energy and materials companies.

Japan's Nikkei rose 1.7% to levels last seen in early 1992 and Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.5% to its highest since 1990.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng's hit a 10-year high, supported by gains in Chinese oil majors and index heavyweight Tencent. Tencent spinoff China Literature goes public Wednesday.

Australia's benchmark hit its highest point since early 2008, aided by commodities, with roughly one quarter of the index composed of energy and materials companies.

Mining companies were up following gains in Chinese iron-ore futures after China's environmental restrictions on polluting steel mills helped steel and iron ore prices rally after weeks of declines.

The Reserve Bank of Australia kept to its script at its policy meeting, keeping interest rates at the record low of 1.5%.

Commodity-sensitive currencies including the Russian ruble, Norwegian Krone and Canadian dollar traded lower against the U.S. dollar Tuesday, giving back some of Monday's gains that came alongside the jump in oil prices.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against 16 others, was up 0.3% while yields on 10-year Treasurys inched up to 2.323% from 2.318% Monday. Yields move inversely to prices.

Many investors were watching for speeches Tuesday from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and the Fed's new vice chairman for supervision, Randal Quarles, whose remarks could shed light on his views on banking-sector rules.

Updates on House Republicans' tax bill were also in focus. If something can be passed, that should be supportive of stock markets, said Mark Haefele, global chief investment officer at UBS Wealth Management.

"Equity markets are not fully pricing in that tax is a done deal, but there's some sense that equities markets have become hopeful that it will be done," he said.

James Glynn contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

-- Dow industrials, S&P 500 extend gains from Monday

-- Stocks in Hong Kong, Australia, Japan jump

-- Oil prices stall near two-year highs

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 edged higher Tuesday, pushing the major indexes toward another set of records.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 40 points, or 0.2%, to 23590, while the S&P 500 rose 0.1%. Both were on track to notch fresh highs. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.1%.

Corporate earnings and deal chatter contributed to individual stock moves. More than 80% of companies in the S&P 500 have reported results for the third quarter so far, according to FactSet, with three-quarters of firms announcing earnings above estimates.

Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises rose 5.8% after the cruise-ship operator reported better-than-expected profit. That helped lift other companies in the travel segment, including Carnival, up 2.7%, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings up 2.3%.

21st Century Fox added about 2% after reports that Walt Disney had held talks to purchase a large chunk of the company's entertainment business, though those talks have since cooled. Shares of Disney were up nearly 1% in recent trading.

In 2013, media mogul Rupert Murdoch split his media empire into News Corp, owner of The Wall Street Journal and other publishing businesses, and 21st Century Fox, home to the major entertainment assets.

Meanwhile, online travel companies Priceline Group and TripAdvisor fell 10% and 16%, respectively. Priceline lowered its profit outlook for the remainder of the year, overshadowing better-than expected sales and earnings. TripAdvisor missed revised sales estimates as it struggled with a faster-than-expected shift toward mobile.

Earnings reports have been generally upbeat, with six of the 11 sectors of the S&P 500, led by energy, reporting year-over-year earnings growth, according to FactSet.

"What is slightly concerning to me is that much of earnings upside has come from energy and materials, and I don't know that environment will be sustained," said Marc Zabicki, president and chief investment officer at Bower Hill Capital Management.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was little changed in afternoon trading.

Elsewhere, markets in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Taiwan hit multiyear highs, supported by the climb in energy and materials companies.

Japan's Nikkei rose 1.7% to levels last seen in early 1992 and Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.5% to its highest since 1990.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng's hit a 10-year high, supported by gains in Chinese oil majors and index heavyweight Tencent. Tencent spinoff China Literature goes public Wednesday.

Australia's benchmark hit its highest point since early 2008, aided by commodities, with roughly one quarter of the index composed of energy and materials companies.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against 16 others, was up 0.4% while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note inching up to 2.322%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.318% Monday. Yields move inversely to prices.

Many investors were watching for speeches Tuesday from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and the Fed's new vice chairman for supervision, Randal Quarles, whose remarks could shed light on his views on banking-sector rules.

--Michael Wursthorn contributed to this article

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 07, 2017 10:42 ET (15:42 GMT)