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US stocks up despite shutdown angst

NEW YORK, Jan 19 — Wall Street stocks rose early today as markets assessed the risks of a possible US government shutdown that could damage the economy. The early gains suggested investors were still not convinced a shutdown would take place…


SE Asia Stocks: Indonesia, Thailand set fresh records

BANGKOK, Jan 18 — Thai and Indonesian stocks scaled all-time peaks this morning and Singapore notched up a 10-year top as gains on Wall Street lifted broader Asian shares. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2…


Wall Street soars yet again; bitcoin crashes below US$10,000

NEW YORK, Jan 18 — Wall Street shot past a fresh set of a milestones yesterday as irrepressible investor appetite returned US stocks to their steady stream of record finishes. Across the Atlantic, however, European equities churned lower as…


Behind roaring US stocks are profit upgrades of unprecedented size

NEW YORK, Jan 17 — The rally in the equity market is running hot by almost every standard, from sentiment to momentum signals. Yet anyone worrying about a meltdown can take comfort in an equally strong trend in corporate earnings. Thanks to…


US stocks end at records again, extending rally

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks surged to another round of records Friday as earnings season kicked off amid optimism ignited by the US tax reform.

All three major indices again ended at records, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.9% at the closing bell to 25,803.19.

The broad-based S&P 500 finished at 2,786.24, jumping 0.7% from Thursday's record, as did the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index which closed the week at 7,261.06.

Earnings from big banks were mixed, with JPMorgan Chase rising 1.7% after beating expectations, even as profits were hit by one-time effects of the tax law changes. But JPMorgan expressed confidence the tax changes would boost results long-term.

Wells Fargo shed 0.7% as fourth-quarter earnings rose 17% to US$6.2 billion, (RM24 billion) but were marred by US$3.3 billion in litigation costs, some in the aftermath of the fake accounts scandal.

Many analysts believe the market has not yet priced in the higher profits that the corporate tax cut is expected to generate.

“Over time they will have to revise their estimates for earnings higher,” said Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors.

Friday's gains also followed a strong Dec US retail sales report, which lifted annual retail sales by 4.2%, the biggest increase since 2014.

Some consumer-oriented companies enjoyed big gains, including home-improvement retailer Lowe's, up 5.3%, big-box store Target, up 3.8%, and discount retailer Dollar Tree, up 3.1%.

Most large technology shares also rose, with Apple, Amazon, Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft all winning one percent or more.

But Facebook sank 4.5% after announcing a plan to update its newsfeed to emphasize posts from friends and family over other content.

The shift prompted fears it could drive away advertisers if people spend less time on the social network. — AFP


Euro scales 3-year dollar pinnacle on German deal hopes

NEW YORK: The European single currency surged Friday to a three-year peak against the dollar as German Chancellor Angela Merkel moved closer to a new coalition government.

The euro's advance came as most global equity markets pushed higher, with US stocks again surging to fresh records as earnings season got underway amid optimism following tax reform.

Near 2140 GMT, (5.40 Malaysia time) the euro was at US$1.22, (RM4.84) up 1.4% on news that Merkel's conservatives have reached a “breakthrough” deal with Germany's second biggest party, the Social Democrats, toward building a new coalition.

In the all-night negotiations in Berlin, Merkel and her Christian Democrats, Horst Seehofer of her Bavarian allies the CSU, and Social Democrats (SPD) chief Martin Schulz hammered out a 28-page paper that will form the basis for the talks ahead.

The euro “jumped to its highest level in three years as the improving political sentiment in Germany and the upbeat comments from the ECB yesterday are fuelling the rally,” said market analyst David Madden at CMC Markets UK.

“Merkel is one of the biggest proponents of the eurozone project, and her ability to remain in power will be key to ensuring stability as we go forward,” said IG analyst Joshua Mahony.

European bourses also finished higher, with Frankfurt rising 0.3% and Paris 0.5%.

In the US, meanwhile, investors continued to aggressively add to stock holdings. All three major US indices finished at records, with the broad-based S&P 500 winning 0.7%.

Many analysts believe the market has not yet priced in the higher profits that the corporate tax cut is expected to generate.

“Over time they will have to revise their estimates for earnings higher,” said Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors.

Most large technology shares also rose, with Apple, Amazon, Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft all winning one % or more.

But Facebook sank 4.5% after announcing a plan to update its newsfeed to emphasize posts from friends and family over other content.

The shift prompted fears it could drive away advertisers if people spend less time on the social network.

Key figures around 2140 GMT

New York – DOW: UP 0.9 % at 25,803.19 (close)

New York – S&P 500: UP 0.7 % at 2,786.24 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.7 % at 7,261.06 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.2 % at 7,778.64 points (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.3 % at 13,245.03 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.5 % at 5,517.06 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 % at 3,607.98

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.2 % at 23,653.82 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.9 % at 31,412.54 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.1 % at 3428.94 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.2200 from US$1.2030 at 2200 GMT Thursday

Pound/dollar: UP at US$1.3737 from US$1.3537

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.98 yen from 111.29 yen

Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 61 cents at US$69.87 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 50 cents at US$64.30 per barrel — AFP


Dollar at three-year low vs euro; stocks extend record run

NEW YORK, Jan 13 ― The US dollar slumped to a more than three-year low against the euro yesterday, extending recent losses on expectations European Central Bank policymakers are preparing to reduce their stimulus, while a key global stock index…


Facebook shares sink as US stocks add to records

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Airlines, oil shares lead as US stocks resume upward climb

NEW YORK, Jan 11 — Shares of airlines and energy companies were among the early winners today as US stocks resumed their upward climb after the pullback in the prior session. About 30 minutes into trading, all three major indexes had gained…


DoubleLine’s Gundlach predicts S&P will post negative return in 2018

NEW YORK, Jan 10 — While US stocks are now in an “accelerating phase,” billionaire investor Jeffrey Gundlach is predicting that the S&P 500 will post a negative rate of return in 2018. One of the best investments for 2018 will be…