Stocks rise slightly as Wall Street aims to build on records after October rally

US stocks started November with modest gains early Monday, as bulls aimed for more records ahead of a crucial Federal Reserve move later in the week.

What are the main indexes doing?
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
    + 0.16%
    increased 161.33 points, or 0.5%, to 35,980.89.

  • The S&P 500 SPX,
    -0.03%
    gained 7.16 points, or 0.2%, to trade at 4,612.54.

  • The Nasdaq Composite COMP,
    + 0.21%
    was up 14.94 points, or 0.1%, to 15,513.33.

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all closed at record highs on Friday. Last month’s 7% rise for the S&P 500 was the best since November 2020, after the U.S. election and Pfizer announced the results of a study on its COVID-19 vaccine.

What drives the markets?

The backdrop to the stock market’s gains has been impressive earnings. According to Credit Suisse, profits of S&P 500 companies exceeded estimates by 10% in the third quarter.

Investors will again have plenty of results to look at this week, with 167 S&P 500 companies expected to report, a number similar to last week as the peak of the earnings season continues. Among the highlights will be the results of drug manufacturers Pfizer Inc.
PFE,
+ 0.17%
and Moderna Inc.
MRNA,
-5.04%.

Monitoring of earnings: How much does Big Pharma earn from COVID-19 vaccines? We are about to find out

The Fed will announce its latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday, with expectations that it will finally announce the reduction in asset purchases. Traders will be closely scrutinizing comments on its latest actions.

Read: What the Federal Reserve’s cut means for the markets

“We are waiting [Fed Chairman Jerome] Powell will not actively push market prices off rate hikes given the high uncertainty about the outlook, especially with regard to the risks of upside inflation, ”said Deutsche Bank economists led by Matthew Luzzetti.

See: Fed announces start of “taper” in bond purchases next week

A weekend deal on US and EU steel and aluminum tariffs also contributed to an optimistic tone, as well as a convincing Liberal Democratic Party victory in Japan which sent the Nikkei 225 NIK,
+ 2.61%
up 2.6%

Read: Japan Kishida wins electoral mandate, but economic agenda unclear

Which companies are targeted?
  • Actions of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.
    AMC,
    + 4.50%
    rose 1.8% after the theater operator said October entry revenues were the highest since the start of the pandemic. The stock of popular memes grew by more than 1,500% in 2021.

  • Video games platform Roblox Corp.
    RBLX,
    -3.05%
    came back online on Sunday after a crash Friday, the company citing an internal issue. Shares fell 2.1%.

  • American Airlines Group Inc.
    AAL,
    + 0.57%
    shares fell 1.1% after the carrier canceled nearly 2,000 weekend flights, citing weather and personnel issues.
  • Harley-Davidson Inc.
    PORK,
    + 6.22%
    shares jumped 8.5% after the US-EU agreement on steel and aluminum tariffs. The motorcycle manufacturer faced a retaliatory European tariff of 56%.
  • McKesson Corp.
    MCK,
    + 0.63%
    announced that it would sell its UK businesses, including LloydsPharmacy, LloydsDirect, AAH Pharmaceuticals, LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare, LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor, MASTA and John Bell & Croyden, to asset management group Aurelius. McKesson shares rose 0.7%.
  • Loews Corp.
    THE,
    + 0.50%
    recorded an increase in its results in the third quarter, thanks to the improvement in the activity of its subsidiaries. Stocks gained 0.9%.
  • Coca-Cola Co.
    KO,
    -0.45%
    confirmed on Monday that it would buy the remaining 85% of BodyArmor it does not already own for $ 5.6 billion in cash. The deal was originally reported this weekend by the Wall Street Journal. Coca-Cola shares fell 0.4%.
What are other markets doing?
  • The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bill TMUBMUSD10Y,
    1.584%
    rose 4.1 basis points to 1.594%. The yields and prices of debt move in opposite directions.

  • The ICE US Dollar DXY index,
    -0.12%,
    a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.1%.

  • Oil futures rose, with the US benchmark CL00,
    + 0.78%
    up 1.2% to $ 84.58 per barrel. GC00 gold futures contracts,
    + 0.57%
    increased by 0.5%.

  • In European equities, the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP,
    + 0.58%
    and the FTSE 100 UKX from London,
    + 0.67%
    each increased by 0.5%.

  • Shanghai Composite SHCOMP,
    -0.08%
    edged down 0.1%, while the Hang Seng HSI index,
    -0.88%
    fell 0.9%.

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