Shares were mostly higher on positive earnings

The European Central Bank’s monetary policy statement also boosted shares.

United States

Most stocks edged up Thursday as investors parsed fresh quarterly updates from corporate America while the US dollar was poised for its best day since mid-December. The Dow Jones industrials were up 0.3 percent while the S&P inched up 0.1 percent. Nasdaq however, slipped 0.1 percent.

Twitter jumped after the company said it could turn its first-ever profit in the fourth quarter, helped by cost cuts and new sources of revenue. Celgene tumbled after it reported lower-than-expected sales for its psoriasis drug Otezla and lowered its overall 2020 sales outlook. Bristol-Myers Squibb also retreated after its quarterly profit fell short of estimates due to higher costs and an inventory write-off. In addition, AbbVie was lower after reporting deaths in psoriasis studies. Pharmaceutical chains and drug wholesalers retreated after US President Donald Trump’s declaration that opioids are a public health emergency and a report that ecommerce giant Amazon has secured wholesale pharmacy licenses. Among the pharmacies that declined on the news were Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health.

DowDuPont advanced after it gave investors an early look into its sales and profit results, the first window into the global chemical giant following the combination of Dow Chemical and DuPont. Ford Motor was higher after the auto maker said third-quarter profit rose amid strong sales of its F-Series trucks, a lower tax rate and cost-cutting efforts. Amazon third quarter earnings were $256 million after earning $252 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue in the third quarter was $43.74 billion compared with $32.71 billion in the same period last year.

Shares of health insurer Aetna jumped on Thursday, following a report that it was in talks about a possible deal with pharmacy chain CVS. After a brief trading halt following the report, Aetna shares resumed trading as much as 12.6 percent higher, according to Thomson Reuters. CVS made a proposal to buy Aetna for more than $200 a share according to the Wall Street Journal.

For the three months ending in September, Intel said that revenue came in at $16.1 billion, a 2 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. Net income of $4.5 billion exceeded estimates. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, soared in after-hours trading, after it beat expectations on earnings.

These data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET. Gold at the afternoon London fixing was down US$1.25 to US$1,273.75. Copper futures were down 0.75 percent to US$3.18. WTI spot crude was up 48 US cents to US$52.66. Dated Brent spot crude was up 93 US cents to US$59.37. The US dollar was up against all of its major counterparts including the yen, euro, pound, Swiss franc and the Canadian and Australian dollars. The Dollar Index was up 1.1 percent. The yields on both the US Treasury 30 year bond and 10 year note were up 1 basis point to 2.76 percent and 2.45 percent respectively.

European markets

Shares rebounded from Wednesday’s losses and closed higher after the European Central Bank took its first cautious steps toward normalization. The FTSE was up 0.5 percent, the CAC advanced 1.5 percent, the DAX gained 1.4 percent and the SMI was 1.3 percent higher.

The ECB announced that it will reduce the size of its asset purchases at the start of next year to €30 billion. Monthly asset purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) will continue at the current monthly pace of €60 billion until the end of December 2017. From January 2018, the net asset purchases will be a monthly €30 billion, which will continue until the end of September 2018 or beyond if necessary or until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation target. The bank also kept all three of its interest rates unchanged for a 13th consecutive policy session. The benchmark refi rate stays at zero percent and the rates on the deposit and marginal lending facilities at minus 0.40 percent and 0.25 percent respectively. Future repo auctions will continue to be fixed rate and full allotment.

Bayer declined after reporting a slight decline in third-quarter sales. Deutsche Bank retreated after the bank's third-quarter profit more-than doubled from last year mainly reflecting cost reductions and lower provision for credit losses while revenues declined due to weak client activity. Munich Re climbed after the reinsurer projected a small profit for the full year 2017 after revealing a loss for the third quarter due to costs related to recent natural disasters. Orange rose after posting record mobile sales in France in the three months ended September 30.

Schneider Electric gained after the energy management firm posted muted growth in third-quarter revenues organically, while it was down 1.9 percent on a reported basis. Barclays tumbled after the lender reported a decline in revenues at its corporate and investment bank. Engineering firm ABB rallied in Zurich after its third-quarter earnings beat forecasts. Banco Santander rose in Madrid after delivering another solid quarter of results. STMicroelectronics jumped in Milan after the semiconductor company raised its full-year outlook after reporting a surge in third-quarter net income to $236 million from $71 million in the year-ago period.

Eurozone broad money supply climbed 5.1 percent on the year, slightly faster than August’s 5 percent increase. German November consumer confidence is set to fall, survey data from market research group GfK indicated. The forward-looking consumer sentiment index fell to 10.7 in November from 10.8 in October. British retailers reported a sharp contraction in sales, disappointing expectations for a solid expansion according to the Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry.

Asia Pacific

Stocks were mixed after US shares fell the most in seven weeks overnight in the wake of a string of disappointing earnings reports and rising bond yields. Investors also analyzed regional corporate earnings results as they waited for the European Central Bank policy announcement later in the global market day.

The Shanghai Composite was up 0.3 percent after President Xi Jinping's vast "Belt and Road" infrastructure project was included in the ruling Communist Party's constitution. The Hang Seng declined 0.4 percent.

Both the Nikkei and Topix edged up 0.1 percent on earnings optimism along with the prospect of further stimulus from the government. Brokerage Daiwa Securities Group rallied after announcing a share buyback. Panasonic climbed on a Nikkei report that it plans to expand production across all its battery factories. Advantest and Kobe Steel however declined.

Both the S&P/ASX and All Ordinaries were up 0.2 percent after recovering from early losses. The gains were led by gold miners, healthcare and consumer staple stocks. Newcrest Mining, Regis Resources and Evolution Mining climbed as gold recovered from 2-1/2 week lows. Vitamin maker Blackmores gained after the company ended its infant formula venture with Bega. Lender ANZ retreated after it reported an 18 percent jump in annual cash profit, but cautioned on revenue growth outlook. The other three banks advanced. Qantas Airways was down after the airline warned that it expects a tough second half due to rising fuel costs. Fortescue Metals Group tumbled after it reported a slight dip in the iron shipped in the September quarter and downgraded its forward price guidance. BHP Billiton declined, hit by a drop in iron ore prices.

The Kospi was down 0.5 percent as investors locked in some recent gains ahead of the ECB meeting. South Korea's third quarter gross domestic product expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent on the quarter after increasing only 0.6 percent in the second quarter. On the year, GDP was up 3.6 percent, up from a pace of 2.7 percent in the preceding quarter.

The Sensex was up 0.3 percent in volatile trade amid the expiry of near-month derivative contracts.

Looking forward

Japan posts September consumer price index. Australia releases third quarter producer price index. China reports September industrial profits. The US releases its first estimate of third quarter gross domestic product and final October consumer sentiment index.

Global Stock Markets

Global Stock Markets

Note — all releases are listed in local time.