The focus on earnings is a change of pace for Wall Street, which was absorbed in Washington's political drama over the last month. The stock market hit an all-time high yesterday as investors put the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis behind them. The S&P 500 rose 12 points to a record close of 1,733. The Dow dropped two points but the Nasdaq was up 24. Futures point to gains at this morning's opening.
- International stock markets pushed ahead today on an acceleration in China's economic growth after a short-term deal pushed Washington's financial battle into the background. Benchmark crude oil fell slightly but was above $100 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and fell slightly against the yen.
- As the trading week ends, investors will be looking at corporate earnings for some guidance. Two major companies will release their 3rd quarter financial results before the stock market opens today: General Electric and Morgan Stanley.
- J.C. Penney is hoping to get back in the game for the crucial holiday selling period by opening its doors on Thanksgiving. Most stores will open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, the same time as rival Macy's. J.C. Penney also is bringing back its tradition of giving away nearly 2 million holiday snow globes starting at 4 a.m.
- The world's second-largest economy grew by 7.8 percent over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, boosted by higher government spending. China hit a two-decade low of 7.5 percent the previous quarter. The rebound eases pressure on communist leaders for more stimulus and allows them to focus on longer-term reforms.