U.S. stocks are following Europe higher this morning as investors brace for the presidential election and commodities gain.
The S&P 500 is higher by more than one-quarter of a percent, compared with gains of more than half a percent in Germany, France and the U.K. This morning's strength also comes after the S&P 500 continued to hold above its 100-day moving average and the key 1400 level. That suggests the longer-term uptrend remains in effect despite weakness in the last month.
The economic backdrop is also supporting equities, with growing evidence that growth is accelerating on the Chinese mainland. Industries such as steel and coal have been recovering in the last month, and overnight Australia's central bank unexpectedly refused to lower interest rates again because of a stabilizing economy.
Commodities are reflecting that increased confidence as well. Oil, gold, and silver are all higher by more than half a percent, while copper gained by more than one-third of a percent. All the agricultural foodstuffs are broadly higher.
Foreign-exchange markets are mixed, with the U.S. dollar lower against most other currencies while the Japanese yen is stronger across the board. The real story, however, is the rally in the Australian dollar after those bullish comments by the country's central bank.
Despite gains in the broader market, most companies moving on their own news are lower. Express Scripts fell 13 percent after warning investors that analysts are too optimistic about its performance. Real-estate company Zillow also plunged 18 percent on weak revenue guidance.
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