Although the stock market is continuing the positive momentum it set in October, some investors are expressing skepticism stocks can keep up the rapid pace of growth heading into the last two months of the year. The S&P 500 ended October with a gain of 4.5 percent. The S&P rose five points Friday. The Dow was up 70 and the Nasdaq rose two points. Futures point to gains at this morning's opening.
- Fears the U.S. will soon start withdrawing its economic stimulus continued to unnerve Asian stocks today but European markets inched higher in early trading on hopes that the European Central Bank will cut its key interest rate. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose nearer to $95 a barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and gained against the yen.
- Investors are hoping today's Commerce Department report on factory orders for August and September will be as positive as Friday's report from the Institute for Supply Management that its U.S. manufacturing index increased to 56.4, the highest level since April 2011. Today, Kellogg Co., the cereal maker, will report its quarterly financial results before the market opens.
- HSBC PLC, Europe's biggest bank by market value, saw its profit increase 23 percent in the nine months through September as it benefited from cost cutting and stable revenue. The bank, which has a big presence in Asia, says net income grew to $13.5 billion, compared with $10.9 billion in the same period last year.
- A new poll finds the Wall Street debut of Twitter this week isn't generating the same enthusiasm that can be found among the service's users. The Associated Press-CNBC poll finds that 36 percent of Americans say buying stock in the short messaging service would be a good investment, while 47 percent disagree. In the 18-34 age group, which encompasses many users, more than half say the investment is not a good idea.
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