Global stocks finish 3rd quarter on upbeat note


File: Wall Street was higher at the open, a day after the Federal Reserve said the US economy is likely strong enough to withstand an interest rate increase later this year.

NEW YORK - Global stocks mostly rose Friday, with Wall Street scoring fresh records, amid upbeat sentiment over growth and the upcoming third-quarter corporate reporting season.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended at records, with technology shares especially strong.

Money managers have been cheered by the release of President Donald Trump's tax cut plan, as well as expectations of solid earnings.

Analysts estimate companies in the S&P 500 will report a 4.2 percent rise in profits in the third quarter compared with a year ago, according to Factset. Earnings season gets started in earnest in about two weeks.

"The buzz about a tax cut bill and the possibility of a solid earnings season on the way have investors putting sidelined capital to work," said a note from Gorilla Traders strategist Ken Berman.

European equities also pushed higher, with Frankfurt winning one percent and London and Paris both gaining 0.7 percent.

READ: Tax cuts to help most in middle-class: White House

"It's a risk-on end to the week, in Europe anyway," said Accendo Markets analyst Mike van Dulken.

William Hamlyn, investment analyst at Manulife Asset Management, said European investors were waiting to see whether the Eurozone's economic strength would translate into higher corporate profits as the quarterly earnings season gets underway.

"Economic activity and corporate earnings generally look robust, and investors will be waiting for confirmation of that (in) third-quarter results," he told AFP.

"We will also be waiting for clarification of the European Central Bank's intentions."

The Frankfurt-based ECB has strongly hinted that it will begin winding down bond-buying in October, although inflation in the Eurozone remains well short of its target.

An exception among stocks was the Nikkei in Japan, which fell slightly on a stronger yen.

Investors were largely unmoved by a raft of Japanese data with factory output growing more than expected while household spending - seen as key for Japan's exit from years of deflation - edged up and the unemployment rate sat at a more than two-decade low.

However, consumer price data showed the world's third largest economy still has a long way to go to achieve its 2.0 percent inflation target.

- Key figures around 21:00 GMT -

New York - DOW: UP 0.1 percent at 22,405.09 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.4 percent at 2,519.36 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.7 percent at 6,495.96 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 7,372.76 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.0 percent at 12,828.86 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.7 percent at 5,329.81 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 percent at 3,576.05 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN less than 0.1 percent at 20,356.28 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.5 percent at 27,554.30 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.3 percent at 3,348.94 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1818 from $1.1784

Dollar/yen: UP at 112.52 yen from $112.29

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3398 from $1.3439

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 13 cents at $57.54 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 11 cents at $51.67 per barrel