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US benchmarks head higher as Catalonia, Apple and Spielberg in the frame

US benchmarks were sliding towards a positive close on Tuesday
US benchmarks head higher as Catalonia, Apple and Spielberg in the frame
Steven Speilberg
  • US shares higher into close

  • Apple strikes deal with Amblin

  • Catalonia president suspends independence declaration for talks

Wall Street shares are heading convincingly higher into the close, with the Dow Jones up over 51 points at 22,812.

The Nasdaq is up 2.72 at 6,582 and the S&P 500 is up 4.28 at 2,549.

In the oil markets, US crude (West Texas Intermediate) is up 2.58% to stand at US$50.86 each.

In Toronto, the TSX is up 50.87 at 15,779.

In the rest of the world eyes are on Spain and the momentous goings-on there as Catalan president Carles Puigdemont earlier made a speech where he suspended a declaration of independence so negotiations could take place.

Addressing the Catalan parliament, Puigdemont said his government had  a mandate to create a sovereign republic after the vote, but he would not immediately push ahead.

In  stocks, tech behemoth Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) caught the focus late on but shares nudged 0.01% lower as it made its first move into creating original video content with none other than movie legend Steven Spielberg.

Apple struck a deal with Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Comcast Corp's NBCUniversal television production unit to make new episodes of 'Amazing Stories'  a science fiction and horror series that ran on NBC in the 1980s, according to people familiar with the matter.



US stocks continued to rally at mid-session, with the Dow Jones up over 56 at 22,817.

The S&P 500 index was up 4.23 at 2,549 but the tech heavy Nasdaq was down 3.58 at 6,576.

In the oil markets, crude was up 2.86% to US$51 a barrel.

Heavyweight broker Morgan Stanley reportedly said in a note on Tuesday that the equity market rally had reached "epic proportions."

"Dispersions in valuations and growth rates are among the lowest in the last 40 years; stocks are at their most idiosyncratic since 2001; and equity hedge fund beta is at its highest since March 2008.”

David Madden, at London-based CMC Markets, said: "The risk-on appetite in America is still going strong as the major equity benchmarks keep setting fresh records.

"The possibility of Donald Trump’s tax reforms being introduced are playing into bullish activity but a an argument between the US President and fellow Republican Bob Corker would derail the new tax proposals from getting the green light. It says a lot about Mr Trump he can’t get the support of a senator from the same Party."

To stocks themselves and shares in AnaptysBio Inc (NASDAQ: ANAB) blasted over 87% higher at US$ 65.70 after the company issued topline proof-of-concept data from Phase 2a trial of ANB020 In atropic dermatits.

Meanwhile, Kalvista Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: KALV) shares raced up over 49% to US$11 as the firm reported a collaboration deal with Merck for KVD001.

On the losing front, oilers were slipping. Apache Corp (NYSE:APA) shed 5.74% lower to US$43.22 on high volatility.





US stocks cruised to new intra-day highs on Tuesday, as the bulls appeared to be out in force.

Yesterday saw thin volumes as the market was closed for Columbus Day, but today stocks surged. In London, FTSE 100 is also making gains - up over 26 points, at 7,534.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones added almost 83 points at 22,844.

The broader-based S&P 500 gained almost seven points at 2,551 and the tech heavy Nasdaq added over 12 at 6,591.

In Toronto, the TSX gained almost 50 points to stand at 15,777.

In stocks, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares added 1.35% to US$ 347.57 after broker Morgan Stanley  hiked its price forecast to US$379  from US$317.

Shares in Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) shed 0.19% to US$ 36.06 as it emerged the group  was reviewing alternatives for its consumer healthcare business. That could include a potential sale of all or part of its business or a spinoff, it said.

Top riser on S&P 500 was United Continental Holdings (NYSE:UAL), which added 6.69% to US$69.03 after it gave an improved unit revenue forecast for the third quarter.

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