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US open: Dow jumps 150 points amid strong earnings

LONDON (ShareCast) – (ShareCast News) – US equities gained grounds early on Friday, as Wall Street remained on track to clinch its seventh weekly gain in the last two months.
Shortly before 1500 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 151 points to 17,883.94, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq (NasdaqGS: NDAQnews) were 12 and 25 points higher respectively.

On Thursday, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart reiterated the US central bank was ready for liftoff but warned that “the pace of increases may be somewhat slow and possibly more halting than historic episodes of rising rates.”

Meanwhile, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer added Fed policymakers had done everything “we can to avoid surprising the markets and governments when we move.”

“We’re now less than a month away from the December meeting at which the Fed is expected to raise interest rates and these comments could provide crucial insight into what it would take for the Fed to delay the hike again,” said Oanda‘s senior market analyst Craig Erlam.

Elsewhere, Asian stocks ended the week on an upbeat note as investors looked to have come to terms with the prospect of higher US interest rates, while European stocks were on track for weekly gains.

Oil prices edged higher, as West Texas Intermediate rose 0.26% to $41.83, while Brent rose 1.01% to $44.63 a barrel, while gold spot declined 0.09% to $1,081.25.

The dollar was broadly flat against the yen but gained 0.37% and 0.24% against the euro and the pound respectively.

“With (Other OTC: WWTHnews) the Fed moving closer to raise US rates in the near future, this short term dollar weakness may provide an opportunity for devoted bullish investors to reinvest at a reduced price, especially if other central banks such as the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank ease monetary policy further,” said FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga.

“The noticeable depreciation of the dollar across the board has offered a false lifeline to assets that were previously being oppressed by dollar dominance.”

In company news, Gap jumped 6.18% despite cutting its profit guidance for the year late on Thursday, as quarterly sales fell more than expected.

Software (Xetra: 330400news) maker Intuit (NasdaqGS: INTUnews) rose 5.73% after posting better-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday, while Foot Locker (NYSE: FLnews) surged 6.70% after better-than-expected sales and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANFnews) soared 19.9% after it said its quarterly profit rose because the company offered less discounts during the period.

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