The S&P 500 rose for a sixth straight week on upbeat macroeconomic data and solid quarterly earnings. US industrial production rebounded 0.30% in September, while weekly jobless claims came in lower than forecast. To round out this data, investor hopes for a tax reform agreement before the end of the year received a boost after a fractious Senate passed the fiscal 2018 budget resolution. In other news, negotiators from the United States, Mexico and Canada extended talks to discuss adjustments to the North American Free Trade Agreement into the first quarter of 2018.
The power struggle between Madrid and Catalonia also dominated headlines this week. In a drastic crackdown, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to fire the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and force fresh elections on the separatist-led region. Financial markets were relatively muted in their reaction, with most assets already discounting this outcome. Meanwhile, in Asia, the Chinese Communist Party Congress began in Beijing with an inaugural address by President Xi Jinping. The reform agenda took a back seat as President Xi emphasized the need for national rejuvenation in a meeting that will give him a second five-year term as head of the party. On the data front, China recorded third quarter annualized growth of 6.80%, marginally below the 6.90% pace registered a quarter earlier.