by Investing.com Staff, Investing.com
U.S. stocks gain on advancing factory data; Dow rises 0.45%
U.S. stocks finished Friday in positive territory after a widely-watch factory report beat expectations.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.45%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.29%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.06%.
The Institute of Supply Management’s U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 56.4 in October from 56.2 in September, defying expectations for a decline to 55.0.
The report came a day after data showed that manufacturing activity in the Chicago region expanded at the fastest rate in 30 years in October, while a separate report showed that U.S. initial jobless claims fell in line with expectations last week.
The data fueled hopes for a more sustained U.S. economic recovery, boosting stock prices in the process.
News of a shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport failed to rattle Wall Street, which applauded earnings as well as Boeing’s announced plans to hike production of its 737 jets to 47 a month from 38 by 2017.
Capping gains, however, were concerns that the Federal Reserve is moving closer to winding down its USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases, which aim to stimulate the economy by driving down borrowing costs, boosting stock prices as a side effect.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Boeing, up 1.93%, JPMorgan Chase, also up 1.93%, and General Electric, up 1.59%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s worst performers included Chevron, down 1.60%, Home Depot, down 1.13%, and Intel, down 0.59%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished largely lower.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.57%, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.62%, while Germany’s DAX 30 fell 0.29%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.05%.
The dollar strengthened against most major currencies on Friday after a U.S. factory indicator beat expectations and fueled already growing expectations for the Federal Reserve to taper dollar-weakening stimulus programs in the coming months, especially its USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program.
Stimulus programs tend to weaken the dollar by driving down interest rates to spur recovery, and talk of their dismantling often strengthens the greenback.
In U.S. trading on Thursday, EUR/USD was down 0.70% at 1.3489.
The euro, meanwhile, came under headwinds due to growing fears of a rate cut.
On Thursday, official data revealed that the euro zone’s consumer price index rose 0.7% in October, the slowest pace since November 2009, after rising 1.1% in September, while the unemployment rate came in at a record high 12.2% in September.
The date fueled expectations that the European Central Bank may trim interest rates at a monetary policy meeting next week or not far down the road, which pressured the euro lower.
The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.73% at 1.5920.
The pound came under pressure earlier after the Markit research group said the U.K. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 56.0 in October from a downwardly revised reading of 56.3 the previous month.
Analysts were expecting the index to tick down to 56.1 last month.
The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.42% at 98.78, and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.65% at 0.9125.
The dollar was mixed against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.04% at 1.0427, AUD/USD down 0.20% at 0.9436 and NZD/USD trading down 0.38% at 0.8232.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.62% at 80.83.
Gold prices dropped on Friday after an advancing U.S. factory gauge stoked already growing expectations for the Federal Reserve to begin winding down stimulus measures in the coming months.
Stimulus measures such as the Fed’s USD85 billion monthly bond-purchasing program weaken the dollar to spur recovery, making gold an attractive hedge.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at USD1,310.00 during U.S. afternoon hours, down 1.03%.
Gold prices hit a session low of USD1,305.80 a troy ounce and high of USD1,327.30 a troy ounce.
Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,251.10 a troy ounce, the low from Oct. 15, and resistance at USD1,361.70, Monday’s high.
The December contract settled down 1.90% at USD1,323.70 a troy ounce on Thursday. Friday the close was USD1315.90, down another 0.59%.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for December delivery was up 0.05% at USD21.877 a troy ounce, while copper for December delivery was up 0.04% and trading at USD3.302 a pound.
Oil prices fell on Friday as U.S. supply concerns continued to overshadow a string of positive U.S. economic indicators suggesting recovery is picking up and will hike demand for fuel and energy.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in December traded at USD94.91 a barrel during U.S. trading, down 1.53%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD94.70 and a high of USD96.65. The December contract settled down 0.40% at USD96.38 a barrel on Thursday.
Oil futures were likely to find support at USD92.73 a barrel, the low from June 24 and resistance at USD98.80 a barrel, the high from Oct. 28.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Thursday that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 4.1 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 25, well above expectations for an increase of 2.3 million barrels.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 383.9 million barrels, the highest level since June.
The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories declined by 1.7 million barrels, compared to expectations for a drop of 140,000 barrels.
Concerns that demand may be improving but failing to make a serious dent in supplies pushed prices lower despite advancing economic indicators.
Meanwhile, a stronger dollar, the product of advancing U.S. economic indicators, softened oil prices as well.
A strong greenback makes oil less attractive on dollar-denominated exchanges.
Meanwhile on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for December delivery were down 2.04% at USD106.62 a barrel, up USD11.71 from its U.S. counterpart.
Natural gas prices fell on Friday after weather reports continued to call for mild temperatures across much of the eastern U.S. through the first half of November.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas futures for delivery in December traded at USD3.532 per million British thermal units during U.S. trading, down 1.38%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD3.511 and a high of USD3.578.
The December contract settled down 1.08% at USD3.581 per million British thermal units on Thursday.
Futures were likely to find support at USD3.482 per million British thermal units, the low from Oct. 4, and resistance at USD3.869, the high from Oct. 16.
Updated weather forecasting models called for normal to above-normal temperatures for much of the eastern U.S. through Nov.15.
Milder temperatures cut into the need for heating or air conditioning this time of year, lowering demand for natural gas at the nation’s thermal power generators.
Hot or cold temperatures tend to boost demand for the commodity.
Natural gas accounts for about a quarter of U.S. electricity generation.
Inventory data released on Thursday also pressured prices lower.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended Oct. 25 rose by 38 billion cubic feet, higher than forecasts for an increase of 36 billion cubic feet.
Inventories rose by 66 billion cubic feet in the same week a year earlier, while the five-year average change for the week is a build of 57 billion cubic feet.
Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.779 trillion cubic feet. Stocks were 120 billion cubic feet less than last year at this time and 58 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 3.721 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.
The report showed that in the East Region, stocks were 91 billion cubic feet below the five-year average, following net injections of 17 billion cubic feet.
Stocks in the Producing Region were 102 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 1.161 billion cubic feet after a net injection of 18 billion cubic feet.
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