European Stocks Grind Higher; Wall Street Futures Point to Dow 23,000

October 18, 2017

Frankfurt (Oct 18)  European stocks traded higher Wednesday, while Wall Street futures signalled a record-setting open for the Dow, as investors continue to take the global bull market into uncharted territory.

The Stoxx Europe 600, the region's broadest measure of share prices, was marked 0.2% higher by mid-morning in London led by another record high for Germany's DAX performance index of 13,089.72 points. U.S. equity futures suggest a 50-point gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, thanks in part to last night's blowout third quarter earnings for IBM Corp. (IBM - Get Report) , which could take the bellwether stock close to a three-month high at the opening bell.

Key earnings expected during the day include Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Get Report) , US Bancorp (USB - Get Report) , Alcoa (AA) and American Express (AXP - Get Report) , ebay (EBAY - Get Report) and United Airlines parent United Continental Holdings (UAL - Get Report) .

IBM shares were indicated to open 4.4% higher at $153.05 each, the highest since July 18, after the group topped Wall Street estimates with an 11% increase in third quarter sales at its cloud, cybersecurity and data analytics division to just under $9 billion. 

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was marked 0.16% higher at 7,541.60 as a weaker pound boosted the value of companies on the benchmark that earn the bulk of their revenues outside of the United Kingdom.

The pound fell 0.35% to 1.3145 against the U.S. dollar Wednesday after Britain's Office for National Statistics published data showing wage growth of 2.1%, well shy of the 3% pace inflation indicated yesterday. The so-called "Brexit squeeze" on consumer spending could potentially influence the Bank of England's plans for a November rate increase.

Reckitt Benckiser plc (RBGLY)  shares were an early mover of note, falling 0.6% after the consumer brands giant posted weaker-than-expected third quarter sales and cut its full year revenue outlook as it cautioned it will reorganise its business and face challenges in the months ahead.


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