European stocks are poised for another set of firm gains Wednesday, while U.S. equity futures suggest the chase is on for more records on Wall Street, as investors prep for details on tax reform, key corporate earnings and a decision on the new Federal Reserve Chairman.
Britain's FTSE 100 is expected to open 18 points, or 0.25% higher at the start of trading, according to financial bookmakers IG, with Germany's DAX performance index returning from a Reformation Day holiday with a 33 point advance, possibly lifting the benchmark for stocks in Europe's biggest economy to an all-time high.
Wall Street could also be looking at record highs again today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average expected to rise 57 points, or 0.24%, at the opening bell while the S&P 500, fresh off its strongest monthly gain since February, is poised for a 4.5 point gain that would take it within touching distance of a new lifetime best.
Overnight in Asia, the MSCI broad index rose 0.14% thanks in part to firm factory data from China, where the Caixin PMI hit 51 for the month of October, and still-solid gains for tech shares around the region after Samsung Electronic's (SSNLF) record third quarter yesterday and ahead of Apple Inc. (AAPL - Get Report) much-anticipated fourth quarter figures tomorrows from California.
Facebook Inc. (FB - Get Report) will also post its third quarter earnings after the bell as its top executives continue to face tough questions from Sentate lawmakers as to why the tech giant allowed the purchase of political advertisments from Russia-based sources during the U.S election.
A huge profit forecast upgrade for Sony Corp. (SNE - Get Report) , which now sees its shift from consumer electronics to image sensors paying dividends, sent shares in the group to a near decade high in Tokyo and helped boost the Nikkei 225 by 1.9% to end the session at 22,420.08 points.
The U.S. dollar index, which benchmarks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies, was marked 0.15% higher at 94.71 amid speculation that Republican lawmakers would unveil a corporate-friendly tax proposal Thursday. Investors were also positioning themselves ahead of what is expected to be Presdient Donald Trump's final decision on a new Fed Chair, with current Governor Jerome Powell the bookies' favorite.
The Fed will wrap up it latest policy gathering in Washington Wednesday with a statement from current Chairwoman Janet Yellen at 2:00 PM Eastern, but few are expected any significant alteration to the central bank's language ahead of Friday's October payroll report and a host of key economic readings between now and the Fed's next meeting in December.
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