US open: Dow Industrials, S&P 500 push further into record territory
The Dow Industrials and S&P 500 were pushing further into record territory on Monday afternoon as investors eyed a rate announcement from the Federal Reserve later in the week.
At 1658 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 0.13% or 34.73 points at 24,364.12, alongside a gain of 0.20% or 5.32 points on the S&P 500 and an advance of 0.45% or 30.41 points to 6,870.19 for the Nasdaq Composite.
From a sector standpoint, the best areas of the market were: Coal (6.37%), Aluminum (3.14%) and Drug retailers (2.33%).
"The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 are edging higher as the US indices appear to have shrugged off the negative sentiment that crept in at the start of the month. 2017 has been an impressive year for US equity benchmarks and we could see another round of record highs from the before the year is out," said CMC Markets's David Madden.
The Fed's rate announcement was scheduled for the following Wednesday, with the Bank of England and European Central Bank also due to announce their own latest policy decisions the following day.
Ahead of the US central bank's policy announcement, Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, forecast America's gross domestic product would expand at a 2.7% pace in 2018, helped by fiscal stimulus - which would lift the rate of GDP growth by 0.3 percentage points.
Based on the above, and expectations for global GDP growth to pick-up from a 2.9% pace in 2017 to 3.2% in 2018, Daco projected the Fed would hike interest rates three times over the course of the following year.
There was little by way of fresh economic data out on Monday.
However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings in the US fell by 181,000 in October to reach 5.996m (consensus: 6.09m).
Commenting on the data, Marshall Glitter, chief economist at ACLS Global, said: "No doubt it's a disappointing figure, but we have to put it in context – the month before was revised up to a record high, so the fact that it came down from that level isn’t as disappointing as it might first appear.
"Job openings still seem to be in an uptrend relative to the NFP figures – that is, there are still more and more jobs relative to the number of people being hired each month (35.3 months of NFP gains vs 31.5 months a year ago). That should eventually translate into higher wages.
"And the fact that the 'quit rate' stayed constant indicates that people are still confident about getting another job. That’s another indication of a healthy job market."
In corporate news, insurers such as Travelers Companies were in focus as wildfires in Southern California took their toll.