Wall Street stocks end at fresh records as US car sales jump

Breaking News October 04, 2017 07:19

By Agence France-Presse

NEW YORK - Wall Street stocks finished at records again Tuesday as a surge in automobile sales following US hurricanes kept the bull market alive.

All three major US equity indices notched records for the second straight day, while European and Asian markets also mostly rose as Ford, General Motors and other automakers reported September car sales spike after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma forced consumers to replace hundreds of thousands of flooded vehicles.

"Demand across the spectrum was up," said analyst Alec Gutierrez of Kelley Blue Book, emphasizing that smaller cars and sedans, as well as popular trucks and SUVs, sold well.

"We know that there was an increase in retail volume driven by the hurricanes," he said.

US auto sales rose 6.1 percent from the year-ago period to 1.5 million, according to Autodata.

After Asian stocks had risen strongly earlier, Europe tracked Wall Street higher, with London and Paris both ending the session with gains of more than 0.3 percent, while Frankfurt was shut for a German public holiday.

In Asia, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped one percent Tuesday to finish at 20,614.07 points -- the best close since August 2015, with a weaker yen boosting share prices of Japanese exporters.

Hong Kong closed 2.3 percent higher, with its market playing catch-up after a long weekend.

US stocks have been on a tear in the wake of the introduction of a tax cut proposal last week from President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans.

Stocks have also been boosted by better economic data and positive sentiment about the upcoming corporate earnings period, allowing investors to brush off lingering worries about North Korea and other international hotspots.

Currency traders were eyeing Friday's US jobs report for September, which will be scrutinized for its implications for an additional Federal Reserve interest rate hike in 2017.

Ahead of Friday, private payrolls firm ADP will release its own jobs data for September, while the Institute for Supply Management will release its report on the services sector.

"The dollar's quiet strength suggests that investors are optimistic and it's hard not to be with stocks hitting fresh record highs Monday and Tuesday," said BK Asset Management analyst Kathy Lien. "It will be interesting to see if the greenback can maintain its firm tone after Wednesday US economic reports."

Key figures around 2100 GMT


New York - DOW: UP 0.4 percent at 22,641,67 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.2 percent at 2,534.58 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.2 percent at 6,531.71 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,468.11 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: CLOSED

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 5,367.41 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 3,605.73 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 20,614.07 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 2.3 percent at 28,173.21 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1749 from $1.1733

Dollar/yen: UP at 112.84 from 112.71 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3240 from $1.3277

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 12 cents at $56.00 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 16 cents at $50.42 per barrel

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