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Friday, October 21, 2016

U.S. Stocks Higher Despite Global Equity Slump

NEW YORK (AFP) – U.S. stocks moved higher Tuesday as solid earnings reports from the retail sector helped firm Wall Street shares amid a global slump in equity markets.

About 45 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.50 (0.07 percent) at 15,021.24.

The broad-based S&P 500 was 3.10 (0.19 percent) higher at 1,649.16, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 10.22 (0.28 percent) to 3,599.31.

Most Asian markets fell as investors beat a retreat from local currencies spurred by expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will trim its bond-buying program and send interest rates higher.

Indonesia’s market fell 3.21 percent, while Shanghai’s lost 0.62 percent.

Markets in Hong Kong and Japan were also lower, as were European bourses like France and Britain.

Dow member Home Depot and electronics retailer Best Buy both exceeded expectations in quarterly earnings reports.

Home Depot opened higher, but was off 0.6 percent after earnings gained 17.2 percent and the company raised its full-year forecast on the strength of the housing recovery. The company now expects overall sales to grow 4.5 percent, compared to the prior forecast of a 2.8 percent rise.

Best Buy shot up 8.7 percent after earnings of 32 cents per share exceeded analyst expectations by 20 cents. Revenues came in at $9.3 billion compared with the expected $9.1 billion.

Troubled department store operator JC Penney rose 1.1 percent despite reporting a loss of $586 million compared with last year’s loss of $147 million on lower-than-expected revenues. On the positive side, the company saw sequential sales improvement through the quarter and expects to see a continued rise in the second half of the year.

Popular garment chain Urban Outfitters rose 8.9 percent after profits exceeded expectations by three cents at 51 cents per share.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble sank 16.3 percent after reporting an $87 million loss for the quarter on lower-than-expected revenues. Comparable store sales declined 9.1 percent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year U.S. bond fell to 2.82 percent from 2.88 percent Monday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.86 percent from 3.90 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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