Alphabet, Microsoft post earnings; Bitcoin soars; Albanese boosts critical minerals


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Stocks rose Tuesday as investors focused on a fresh slate of earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 204 points, or 0.6 per cent. The S&P 500 added 0.7 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.9 per cent.

Coca-Cola reported earnings and revenue that topped estimates, sending the stock up 2.8 per cent. Spotify, meanwhile, popped 10 per cent after the audio streaming giant posted third-quarter results that beat expectations.

General Motors shares ticked down 2.3 per cent following better-than-expected third-quarter results. The company pulled its full-year outlook amid rising costs due to the United Auto Workers union strikes, however.

Alphabet and Microsoft are among companies that posted results after the market closed. Alphabet reported an 11 per cent growth in revenue, marking its return to double-digit growth for the first time in over a year, with both sales and profit surpassing analysts' expectations; however, the stock declined in after-hours trading due to disappointing cloud revenue.

Microsoft’s net income jumped 27 per cent. The company’s Azure cloud revenue growth accelerated after two years of deceleration. The shares have jumped as much as 5 per cent in extended trading.

Other tech names reporting this week include Amazon and Meta.

Around 150 S&P 500 companies are slated to report this week. Thus far, the season is off to a solid start. Roughly 23 per cent of S&P 500 companies have already reported earnings, and 77 per cent of them have posted earnings surpassing analysts’ expectations, according to FactSet.

Turning to US sectors, all closed higher overnight except for Energy, which closed lower by 1.42 per cent. Utilities was the best performer of the bunch, closing higher by over 2.5 per cent.

The price of Bitcoin has surged to a 17-month high, recovering from last year's crash, amid growing optimism that US regulators will greenlight cryptocurrency-focused stock market funds, pushing its price above $35,000 and erasing Terra stablecoin-related losses.

Turning to commodities, Anthony Albanese plans to increase the Critical Minerals Facility funding to $4 billion, aiding projects facing financing challenges and boosting jobs in clean energy, manufacturing, and defence supply chains. This move follows talks with US officials, American and Australian miners, and processors, as part of efforts to strengthen critical minerals cooperation between the two nations.

China is increasing its strategic cobalt stockpiles, with the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration purchasing around 3,000 tons of cobalt after discussions with producers and traders in Beijing, aiming to capitalise on a more than 60 per cent drop in global cobalt prices since May last year, driven by increased supplies from countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia.

Futures

The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.4 per cent gain.

Currency

One Australian dollar at 7:35 AM was buying 63.56 US cents.

Commodities

Gold lost 0.18 per cent. Silver dropped 0.54 per cent. Copper added 1.30 per cent. Oil fell 2.28 per cent.

Figures around the globe

European markets closed higher. London’s FTSE added 0.20 per cent, Frankfurt gained 0.54 per cent, and Paris closed 0.63 per cent higher.

Turning to Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.20 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.05 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.78 per cent higher.

The Australian share market closed 0.19 per cent higher at 6,857.

Ex-dividends

GQG Partners (ASX:GQG) is paying 2.5877 cents unfranked
Lion Selection Group (ASX:LSX) is paying 1.5 cents unfranked

Dividends payable

Horizon Oil Ltd (ASX:HZN)
Reece Ltd (ASX:REH)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.

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