Investors are hoping the stock market continues to rally today. Surprisingly good corporate profit reports led traders to bid up a broad range of stocks on Friday. The S&P 500 set a record for the second straight day. The broad index added 11 points to 1,744. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 28 points and the Nasdaq composite climbed 51. Based on futures trading, Wall Street appears set for slight gains at this morning's opening.
- International stock markets are mixed today. Asian stocks rose after U.S. markets gained on stronger corporate profits and China reported a rebound in economic growth. In early European trading, British stocks were little changed while French and German markets were down. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen. Benchmark crude oil fell but remained above $100 a barrel.
- A number of major corporations both in the United States and abroad are releasing quarterly financial results today. In the U.S., Halliburton, Hasbro, McDonald's, Netflix and Discover Financial will report earnings. In Europe, Royal Philips, Akzo Nobel and S-A-P release results. Also today, the National Association of Realtors report on existing home sales for September.
- U.S. corporate economists aren't bullish about future hiring but they do think future economic growth will strengthen. Only 37 percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics say they expect their firms to increase payrolls in the next six months. But nearly 70 percent predict gross domestic product growth of 2-to-3 percent in the coming year.
- Japan reports its trade deficit rose to a fresh record for September, as costs for imports of food and other necessities outstripped growth in exports. According to preliminary customs data released today, September's deficit was $9.5 billion, the 15th consecutive monthly shortfall. The deficit for April-September rose to nearly $51 billion.