US stocks edge up ahead of big earnings reports

Key earnings reports were expected from many of the biggest US companies, including Google parent Alphabet, ExxonMobil, McDonald's and Boeing.
Key earnings reports were expected from many of the biggest US companies, including Google parent Alphabet, ExxonMobil, McDonald's and Boeing.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks added modestly to records early Monday (Oct 23) at the start of a heavy week of corporate earnings reports and a much-anticipated European Central Bank meeting.

Key earnings reports were expected from many of the biggest US companies, including Google parent Alphabet, ExxonMobil, McDonald's and Boeing.

Earnings growth has been generally solid through the early part of the reporting season, with few companies reporting a significant hit from the US hurricanes.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 23,344.10, up 0.1 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose a hair to 2,576.01, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.1 per cent to 6,633.79.

All three indices finished at records last Friday.

Key factors behind the rally over the last six weeks include greater confidence the US Congress will enact President Donald Trump's tax cut plan and broad investor confidence that has seen buyers step in at moments of market weakness.

Investors are looking ahead to Thursday's ECB meeting at which chief Mario Draghi is expected to unveil a long-awaited plan to pare back monetary stimulus.

Among earnings reports released Monday, toymaker Hasbro sank 7 per cent, while Kimberly Clark rose 1.9 per cent.

Tesla Motors advanced 1.3 per cent following a Wall Street Journal report that the electric car company reached an agreement to set up its own factory in Shanghai.