US markets snapped their losing streak overnight, with investor spirits lifted by some better-than-expected economic data. Durable goods orders rebounded in September, as businesses became slightly more optimistic about the economic outlook.
There was also a big drop in weekly jobless claims, signalling a slowdown in the pace of firings. However the gains weren’t as strong as some might have expected, with investors nervously eyeing tonight’s all-important third quarter US GDP numbers.
The Dow rose 27 points (+0.2%), settling at 13104, the Nasdaq climbed 0.1% and the S&P500 advanced 0.3%. It was a mixed performance on commodity markets. Oil put on 0.4% to US$85.68 as equities rose and the durable goods data eased concerns of a slump in energy demand.
Gold gained 0.7% to US$1713, which was the most in three weeks, and came amid reports central banks were adding to their bullion reserves. In the currency space, the greenback strengthened on rumors Fitch is looking to downgrade the US credit rating.
Elsewhere, the pound was a big mover after data showed the UK economy expanded more-than-forecast in the third quarter and officially recovering from a double dip recession. There is no major economic data due out today.