With very little else to focus on all week, investors have been closely studying corporate results in the hope that momentum may gather on the back of encouraging data. Asian shares traded lower overnight on the back of disappointing earnings with 60 percent of the 73 companies in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index that have reported quarterly results this earnings season missing expectations. Many of the export-driven Japanese companies like Canon had the weakening yen supporting them earlier in the year but that is now stagnating. People are starting to reassess those shares that have had that support.
However, in the U.S the S&P 500 index has surged 6 percent over the previous two weeks , capped by a record close of 1,754.67 on Tuesday. This comes on the back of solid earnings and expectations that monetary stimulus will be in place for the foreseeable future after weak data, principally in the form of this Tuesday’s disappointing non-farm employment data. Earnings beat analyst estimates at 74 percent of the 141 companies in the S&P 500 that have released their results so far this reporting period, while 53 percent exceeded sales projections.
Fed policy makers are scheduled to meet October 29th-30th, when they will evaluate the strength of the recovery with a less complete set of figures than usual due to the 16-day partial government shutdown that caused the suspension of reports and collection of data. The euro remains steady at $1.3812, not far from a two-year high of $1.3826 touched on Thursday and shrugging off data showing the pace of growth in euro zone business unexpectedly eased this month.