Asian stocks climb on hopes for US tax cuts, budget deal

Owen Stevens
April 26, 2017

Solid earnings reports and outlooks from several big companies sent US stocks higher in morning trading.

The index first touched the 5,000 mark on March 2000 as tech stocks bubbled before tumbling almost 80 percent through October 2002.The Dow Jones Industrial Average.DJI rose 252.45 points, or 1.22 percent, to 21,016.34, the S&P 500.SPX gained 17.05 points, or 0.72 percent, to 2,391.2 and the Nasdaq Composite.IXIC added 48.85 points, or 0.82 percent, to 6,032.67.The Russell 2000 also hit a record high.

At 9:36 am ET (1336 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 184.02 points, or 0.89%, at 20,947.91, the S&P 500 was up 9.71 points, or 0.41%, at 2,383.86 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 22.27 points, or 0.37%, at 6,006.09.

Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 11 percent in the first quarter - the most since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Strong sales and profits from the likes of Apple, Google owner Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook - which are all listed on the Nasdaq - are a big reason behind the index's surge during the past few years.

Caterpillar, which is often cited as a bellwether of global manufacturing activity, reported first quarter adjusted earnings of $1.28 on revenue of $9.8 billion, topping expectations for earnings of $0.62 per share on revenue of $9.27 billion. The Nasdaq increased 41 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,025.

Separately, new United States home sales rose to 621,000 in March from 587,000 in February, coming in above the 584,000 consensus forecast. With the continued upward move, the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed to a new record closing high.

Electronic screens display stock index values at the Nasdaq MarketSite, Tuesday, April 25, 2017, in NY.

Boeing (BA), Hershey (HSY), PepsiCo (PEP), and Twitter (TWTR) are also due to release their results before the start of trading on Wednesday.

A measure of consumer confidence slipped in April, but it remains close to its highest level in 16 years. The company's biggest customer, Anthem, doesn't plan to renew its contract after it expires in 2019. It rose 0.7 percent to 6,025.49. While the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1%, the UK's FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.2%.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.1 percent to 19,079.33 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 1.3 percent to 24,455.94. Brent crude, which is used to price worldwide oils, rose 50 cents to $52.10 per barrel.

Significant strength was also visible among natural gas stocks, as reflected by the 1.9% gain posted by the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index.

The euro rose to 1.0939 dollars from 1.0858 dollars late on Monday.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.30 percent from 2.27 percent late Monday. It was 2.17 percent a week ago.

Other reports by VgToday

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