Saturday, 27 October 2007

US stocks post solid gains, Hang Seng breaks 30,000

US stocks had a good day yesterday. MarketWatch reports:

U.S. stocks rallied Friday, and posted solid weekly gains, with technology stocks leading the charge after Microsoft Corp.'s earnings blew past analysts' estimates while raised forecasts from Countrywide Financial Corp. helped soothe concerns about bad home loans.

Investors also looked positively for the coming week, with firm expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 134 points to 13,806, to end near its highs of the session. For the week, the Dow posted a gain of 2.1%...

The S&P 500 Index gained 20 points to 1,535. For the week, the broad index advanced 2.3%.

But most of gains were seen in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index which rallied 53 points, or 1.9%, to 2,804. For the week, the Nasdaq rose 2.9%.

Tech bubble 2.0?

Stock prices rose despite the University of Michigan reporting yesterday that its consumer confidence index fell to 80.9 in October from 83.4 in September.

Germany is also seeing consumer confidence falling even as consumer prices continue to rise.

In fact, inflation could remain a concern in the euro area in general as money supply in the form of M3 grew 11.3 percent in September, near a 28-year high.

Japan, in contrast, is still waiting for inflation to re-appear. From AFP/CNA:

Japan's core consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in September from a year earlier, the government said, in line with market expectations.

But the core consumer price index (CPI) for Tokyo alone in October, which is seen as a leading indicator for national price trends, rose 0.2 percent from the previous month and was flat from a year earlier...

The government also reported that Japan's industrial output dropped by 1.4 percent in September from the previous month as automakers curbed production, matching market forecasts.

Falling consumer confidence or prices isn't a worry in China though, not with retail sales rising 17 percent, producer prices rising 2.7 percent and house prices rising 8.9 percent in September from a year earlier.

And riding on the coat-tails of China's boom, Hong Kong's stock market has surged, the Hang Seng Index closing above 30,000 for the first time yesterday after gaining 550.73 points or 1.8 percent to close at 30,405.22.

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