German stocks surged to another lifetime high Wednesday as markets in Asia and Europe continued to rumble onward as global investors prep for details on tax reform, key corporate and tech-sector earnings and a decision on the new Federal Reserve Chairman.
Germany's DAX performance index returned from a Reformation Day holiday with a 200-point advance in the open hours or trading, taking the benchmark for stocks in Europe's biggest economy to an all-time high of 13,428.51 and extending its year-to-date advance to 17%. Britain's FTSE 100 was also in the green, but only barely, as gains were held down by a two-week high for the pound of 1.3305 against the U.S. dollar a series of slumping retail sector stocks.
One notable downside mover was Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGY) , whose shares fell sharply in Frankfurt amid speculation that the owner of T-Mobile (TMUS) has hit an impasse on merger talks with Japan's SoftBank Group (SFTBY) that would bring its U.S. subsidiary together with rival carrier and Sprint (S) . DT shares were down 1.6% in Frankfurt, changing hands at €15.37, extending a three-month loss of around 2%.
Wall Street could also be looking at record highs again today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average expected to rise 100 points, or 0.46%, at the opening bell while the S&P 500, fresh off its strongest monthly gain since February, is poised for a 9.75 point gain that would take it within touching distance of a new lifetime best.
Overnight in Asia, the MSCI broad index rose 0.14% to surge past a 10-year high 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) much-anticipated fourth quarter figures tomorrows from California.
Earnings expected today include Ford Motor Co. (F) Pitney Bowes (PBI) and U.S. Steel (X) .Facebook Inc. (FB) 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) , 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 highest in more than 26 years.
The U.S. dollar index, which benchmarks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies, was marked 0.15% higher at 94.65 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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