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Stocks Open Higher on Thursday         10/28 09:16

   Stocks are moving higher in early trading on Wall Street Thursday, keeping 
the S&P 500 hovering near the record closing high it set on Tuesday. 

   (AP) -- Stocks are moving higher in early trading on Wall Street Thursday, 
keeping the S&P 500 hovering near the record closing high it set on Tuesday. 
The benchmark index was up 0.5% in the early going, and the Dow Jones 
Industrial Average and the Nasdaq were also up about as much. It's a big day 
for company earnings reports. Ford jumped 12%, the most in the S&P 500, after 
reporting earnings that easily beat analysts' forecasts and raising its 
full-year outlook. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar also rose 3% after turning 
in strong results. Apple and Amazon report after the closing bell.

   Shares slipped Thursday in Europe and Asia after a retreat on Wall Street 
pulled the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average back from their latest 
record highs.

   Shares fell in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Shanghai but rose in Paris.

   A steady flow of corporate report cards continues Thursday with industrial 
bellwether Caterpillar and technology giant Apple. Amazon and Starbucks will 
also report their results on Thursday.

   Outside of earnings, investors will get an update on U.S. economic growth 
when the Commerce Department releases its report on third-quarter gross 
domestic product on Thursday.

   Investors are also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's meeting next week 
to see how it moves forward with plans to trim bond purchases and its position 
on interest rates.

   Germany's DAX edged 0.1% lower to 15,690.45 while in London, the FTSE 100 
declined 0.4% to 7,221.86. The CAC 40 in Paris added 0.3% to 6,772.04.

   The future for the Dow industrials was 0.1% higher, while that for the S&P 
500 also gained 0.1%.

   On Wednesday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 
lost 0.7%. The Nasdaq edged up less than 0.1% and the Russell 2000 index of 
small companies took the heaviest losses, falling 1.9%.

   In Asia, flaring cases of coronavirus in China and Singapore have added to 
doubts over the economic outlook, given signs that inflationary trends might 
lead central banks to step up moves to tighten monetary policy.

   In Seoul, the Kospi lost 0.5%, to 3,009.55, even after Samsung Electronics 
reported its highest quarterly profit in three years Thursday thanks to 
continued robust demand for its computer memory chips.

   Samsung's dual strength in parts and finished products has allowed it to 
flourish during the pandemic as millions of people were forced to work at home. 
However, the company said it was dealing with "longer-than-expected" component 
shortages that may affect the demand for semiconductors during the current 
quarter.

   Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index sank 1% to 28,820.09.

   The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged at a meeting that 
wrapped up Thursday while warning of downward pressure on the world's third 
largest economy from the pandemic and from "supply-side constraints" like 
shipping delays and bottlenecks and shortages of computer chips and other 
manufacturing materials.

   It downgraded its growth forecast for the fiscal year ending in March to 
3.4% from the 3.8% estimate it issued in July. It forecast that inflation would 
be 0.0% this year, a sharp decrease from its earlier forecast of 0.9%.

   But it also said it expects improvement as the impact of COVID-19 gradually 
wanes, "mainly due to widespread vaccinations, the economy is likely to 
recover, supported by an increase in external demand, accommodative financial 
conditions, and the government's economic measures," it said.

   Sony reported a 54% drop in fiscal second quarter profit, mainly from a 
one-time tax-related gain that had inflated last year's number, as the Japanese 
electronics and entertainment company managed to maintain results despite the 
coronavirus pandemic. The company's shares fell 1.6% on Thursday.

   In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gave up 0.3% to 25,555.73, while the Shanghai 
Composite index dropped 1.2% to 3,518.42. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney shed 0.3% 
to 7,430.40.

   The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 1.55%, up from 1.53% late 
Wednesday.

   On Thursday, U.S. benchmark crude lost 68 cents to $81.98 per barrel. It 
fell 2.4% on Wednesday. Brent crude, the basis for international pricing, 
declined 69 cents to $83.18 per barrel.

   The dollar fell to 113.56 Japanese yen from 113.83 yen. The euro almost 
unchanged at $1.1604.

 
 
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