stock markets

Stocks gain, Dow touches record; oil rises on EIA data

Stocks gain, Dow touches record; oil rises on EIA data

TRADING. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, October 20, 2021.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Investors are still on high alert for corporate comments on the impact of supply constraints, higher costs, and labor shortages

Most stock indexes worldwide rose on Wednesday, October 20, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average touched a record intraday high as more companies reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, while oil prices jumped.

Boosting oil was data showing crude inventories at the largest US storage site hit their lowest level in three years.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin touched a record high, a day after the first US bitcoin futures-based exchange-traded fund began trading.

The corporate earnings season will be in full swing in many countries over the coming weeks.

Verizon Communications gained 2.4% as it added more postpaid phone subscribers than expected in the third quarter.

“We had our dip two weeks ago, and we’re buying the dip. So here we are back at all-time highs and now you’ve got sentiment almost flipped 180 degrees,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Investment Management in Chicago.

Investors are still on high alert for corporate comments on the impact of supply constraints, higher costs, and labor shortages. They will also be glued to earnings from the heavily weighted US technology names.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 152.03 points, or 0.43%, to 35,609.34, the S&P 500 gained 16.56 points, or 0.37%, at 4,536.19, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 7.41 points, or 0.05%, to 15,121.68.

Netflix’s shares fell 2.2% even though it reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results, with Squid Game helping to lure more customers than expected.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.32% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.38%.

In the US Treasury market, long-dated yields rose after a weak auction of 20-year notes.

US 20-year yields rose to one-week highs of 2.1%, and were last up 2 basis points at 2.0873%. US 30-year yields also touched one-week peaks of 2.1210% and were last up 3 basis points at 2.1163%.

Investors are trying to gauge the outlook for interest rates. They expect the US Federal Reserve to announce tapering of its bond buying, and money markets futures are pricing in one US rate hike later next year.

The greenback hit a one-year high against a basket of other currencies last week as market participants ramped up bets that the Fed will raise rates sooner than expected to quell rising price pressures.

Those bets have faded, however, while investors are pricing for even more aggressive rate increases in other countries and as commodity-linked currencies including the Canadian and Australian dollars outperform.

The dollar index was last down 0.2% at 93.63.

In energy, Brent crude futures settled at $85.82 a barrel, a gain of 0.9% or 74 cents, and the highest since October 2018. November US West Texas Intermediate crude, which expires on Wednesday, settled at $83.87, up 91 cents, or 1.1%. The more active WTI contract for December settled up 98 cents to $83.42 a barrel.

Earlier, the US Energy Information Administration said US crude stocks fell by 431,000 barrels in the most recent week, against expectations for an increase, and gasoline stocks plunged by more than 5 million barrels as refiners cut processing due to maintenance.

US gold futures gained 0.64% to $1,781.00 an ounce. –