A series of positive US economic data points helped instil a sense of optimism and push equity valuations higher. Industrial production in the US grew by 0.30% month-on-month in September, matching the consensus estimate, while capacity utilization stood at 76.0 compared to the 75.8 reported in August. Another upbeat development was the 0.70% gain in import prices during September, marking the biggest monthly gain in over a year and potentially helping stoke further inflationary upside.
On the earnings front, Morgan Stanley and Johnson & Johnson easily topped market expectations, further accentuating the bullish sentiment. Meanwhile, the US dollar gained against most major rivals on news that Stanford University’s John Taylor, considered one of the more hawkish names in the race to be the next Federal Reserve chief, made a favourable impression on President Donald Trump. Dow futures are back on the retreat, slipping to 22974 after briefly crossing 23000 on Tuesday.