Earnings, Debt Ceiling Talks Elevate Stocks (Bloomberg)
With the S&P 500 hitting another five-year high, U.S. stocks rose today. Next week, House Republicans intend to vote on a temporary debt-limit increase. “It’s a bonbon market,” said John Manley, chief equity strategist for Wells Fargo Advantage Funds in New York. “We’ve had little pleasant packets of surprises as these corporations keep coming through. I don’t think the box’s finished. Yet you need to remember that the market is near a five-year high and the economy is recovering at a subpar rate.”
CEOs Worry about Uncertainty, Despite Improved Earnings (CNBC)
Most companies beat the market’s lowered expectations with their earnings in 2012’s final quarter, but chief executives cite looming battles in the nation’s capital for uncertainty which could undermine the recent recovery. “The outlook for developed markets remains uncertain, but we are seeing growth in China and the resource rich countries,” General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt said about GE’s latest earnings, which are among those which topped expectations.
Expected Bank of Japan Action Lowers Yen (Reuters)
Expectations of aggressive monetary policy from the Bank of Japan caused the yen to slide for the tenth consecutive week to its lowest point in 31 months. “Expectations are nearly universal for a shift from a 1 percent to a 2 percent inflation target, including upsized (asset buying) measures,” said Dan Dorrow, head of research at FX broker Faros Trading in Stamford, Connecticut. “Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe and the political class as a whole have a very compelling need to push BoJ into a regime change and keep it there. The political pressure on the BoJ will not abate.”