Top 5 Things to Know in The Market on Wednesday


Top 5 Things to Know in The Market on Wednesday – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, October 31:

1. Dow Set for Triple-Digit Gains in Final Day of Grim October

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a positive conclusion to what has been a brutal October for shares, with the Dow set for triple-digit gains, ahead of the latest batch of corporate earnings and economic data.

At 5:35AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 125 points, or about 0.5%, the S&P 500 futures rose 16 points, or around 0.6%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 71 points, or roughly 1%.

U.S. stocks closed higher in the previous session, as markets pared some of the month’s losses before the end of a brutal October for equity markets.

After Tuesday’s comeback, the Dow is down 5.9% this month, still its worst performance since August 2015. The S&P 500 is off by 7.9% in October, on track for its worst month since May 2010. The Nasdaq has shed 11% and is on pace for its worst monthly performance since September 2008.

Elsewhere, in Europe, the region’s major bourses staged a strong rally, as strong results from L’Oreal (PA:OREP), Sanofi (PA:SASY), and banks Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) and Santander (MC:SAN) eased investors’ nerves.

Earlier, Asian stocks clawed up from 20-month lows, as a tumultuous October drew to a close.

The Shanghai Composite climbed 1.3% as weaker-than-expected factory activity data reinforced views that Beijing will roll out more support measures for the economy.

In Japan, the Nikkei advanced 2%, reassured by the Bank of Japan’s signal that it will keep its ultra-easy policy for some time to come.

2. GM Highlights Another Busy Day of Earnings

In earnings, General Motors (NYSE:GM), Sprint (NYSE:S), Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), Anthem (NYSE:ANTM), GNC Holdings (NYSE:GNC), and Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) are among the major companies due to publish their latest quarterly figures before the opening bell.

AIG (NYSE:AIG), Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI), Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX), Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP) and Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure (NYSE:SOI) are among the major companies set to report earnings results after Wednesday’s market close.

3. Facebook Results Calm Nerves

Facebook relieved investors by forecasting that margins would stop shrinking after 2019 as costs from scandals ease up, sending shares higher in pre-market trade despite a second-straight quarter with record-low user growth.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg repeated the company’s warning that growing user interest in private messaging, video and safer content would cause costs to rise faster than revenue for “some time.”

Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) traded up about 4% ahead of the opening bell. They reversed course several times in volatile after-hours trade on Tuesday after the social media giant released a mixed third-quarter earnings report.

The company reported earnings of $1.76 per share, beating estimates for $1.47 per share. Facebook missed expectations on revenue, however, reporting $13.73 billion compared to the $13.78 billion estimated by analysts.

4. ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) Payrolls Data

On the data front, the market’s attention will shift to the U.S. labor market with the ADP’s report on private payroll growth, which is often seen as a warmup act for the big Friday government nonfarm payrolls report.

Economists expect the ADP report, due at 8:15AM ET, to show that private payroll growth totaled 189,000 during October.

Elsewhere on the economic calendar on Wednesday, investors are likely to keep an eye out for third-quarter employment cost index data at 8:30AM ET, as well as Chicago PMI data for October at 9:45AM ET.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was at 96.75, having hit an overnight peak of 96.85, the most since August 15.

5. EIA’s Weekly Oil Supply Report

In commodity markets, the U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended October 26 at 10:30AM ET.

Analysts expect the EIA to report a climb of around 4.1 million barrels in crude supplies. If confirmed, it would be the sixth straight weekly climb in domestic oil inventories.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. crude supplies rose by 5.7 million barrels last week.

Oil prices climbed for the first time in three days, drawing support from upcoming U.S. sanctions on Iran, which are due to come into force from next week.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude futures were up 52 cents, or 0.8%, at $66.70 a barrel. They dropped 1.3% the day before, after hitting their lowest since Aug. 17 at $65.33 a barrel.

International Brent crude oil futures tacked on 74 cents, or 0.9%, to $76.69 per barrel. They fell 1.8% on Tuesday, at one point touching their lowest since Aug. 24 at $75.09 a barrel.

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