This week is proving to be a welcome return to business as usual for investors after weeks of focusing the political gridlock in Washington. Companies are posting quarterly results and another dose of strong earnings yesterday helped push the stock market higher. The Dow rose 96 points. The S&P 500 index added nearly six. And the Nasdaq composite was up 22 points. Futures point to some weakness at this morning's opening.
- International stock markets were dragged down today by doubts about the durability of recoveries in Asia's two biggest economies. Tokyo's benchmark dived 2.8 percent after mixed signals from the latest inflation numbers. Benchmark crude oil rose and remains above $97 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and the euro.
- There are two Commerce Department reports today. One is on durable goods for September. The other concerns wholesale trade inventories for August. Also, more corporate earnings will be reported. In the U.S., United Parcel Service releases its quarterly financial results before the market opens. In Europe, Volvo, Electrolux and Finnair are reporting earnings.
- Heading into the next round of budget talks there already seems to be an agreement of sorts -- that high expectations are probably not a good idea. GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan and top Senate Democrat Harry Reid both say a "grand bargain" appears out of reach. They say the best that can be done appears to be a limited deal to take the edge off of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.
- The British economy grew at its fastest quarterly rate in over three years in perhaps the clearest sign yet that the recovery is becoming more self-sustaining. The Office for National Statistics said Europe's third-largest economy expanded by 0.8 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30 from the previous three-month period. That was slightly up from the 0.7 percent recorded in the previous quarter.