FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
Finally clear of headwinds emanating from Washington, D.C., the broad S&P 500 climbed to a fresh record high Thursday as traders digested corporate earnings reports.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9.8 points, or 0.04%, to 15369, the S&P 500 rose 11.4 points, or 0.66%, to 1733 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 23.7 points, or 0.62%, to 3863.
Optimism over a deal in Congress -- and excitement for a reprieve from Beltway news -- sent the markets surging on Wednesday. The S&P 500 extended those gains on Thursday, rising above its record closing and intraday highs notched in September. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq is trading at its highest mark in 13 years.
With earnings season revving up, corporate news took the spotlight on Thursday. IBM (IBM) posted a beat on the bottom line, but disappointing sales sent shares of Big Blue tumbling. The selloff is enough to shave some 80 points off of the price-weighed Dow.
Goldman Sachs (GS) weighed in with mixed results too, sending shares of the newly-minted Dow component stumbling. Fellow blue-chip American Express (AXP) revealed better-than-expected results, while Verizon Communications (VZ) rallied on the back of upbeat quarterly profits.
On the economic front, the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 358,000 from a downwardly revised 373,000 the week prior. Economists expected the number of claims to fall to 335,000 from an initially reported 374,000. The Labor Department said there wasn’t a noticeable increase in claims from non-federal workers who were affected by the partial government shutdown.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's gauge of manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region is forecast to have slumped to 15 in October from 12.6 the month before. Readings above 0 point to expansion, while those below indicate contraction.
Both reports will be valuable in helping economists determine when the Federal Reserve will begin paring back its vast bond-buying program. Standard & Poor's estimated Wednesday the government shutdown cost the U.S. economy $24 billion. That means the central bank might have to keep its foot on the accelerator longer than initially expected, several investment bank economists said.
In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures fell $1.62, or 1.6%, to $100.67 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline slid 2% to $2.648 a gallon. Gold surged $40.70, or 3.2%, to $1,323 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.48% to 3001, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.14% to 6562 and the German DAX slumped 0.56% to 8797.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 jumped 0.83% to 14587 and the Chinese Hang Seng slipped 0.57% to 23095.