World stocks subdued as Wall Street eyes new record highs

World stocks subdued as Wall Street eyes new record highs

With today's rally, the S&P and NASDAQ finished the day with a new record close.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, eased 0.03 percent to 97.606.

Microsoft Corp, Facebook Inc and Tesla Inc, set to report after the closing bell on Wednesday, were down slightly.

The dollar slipped to 70.34 U.S. cents from 71.19 USA cents on Tuesday.

Consumer Price Index, for March 2019 from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The S&P 500 slipped on Wednesday after ending the previous session with a record and the Nasdaq failed to hold all-time highs reached earlier in the day while investors waited for more earnings reports. It closed just 0.3% below its intra-day record high of 2,940.91 hit on September 21.

The Toronto stock market's heavyweight financials sector fell 0.86 per cent led by the Royal Bank of Canada as bank profitability would be constrained without any move to increase net interest margins.

Both indexes have had strong starts to the year, with the S&P 500 up 17 percent, its best start since 1987, and the Nasdaq has risen 22 percent for its best start since 1991.

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The CPI report is significant because in early April, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said in its monetary policy statement that if inflation failed to accelerate as desired and unemployment were to suddenly trend higher, then rates would need to be cut from an already record low of 1.5 percent. The Calgary-based railway's shares were up 2.7 per cent on the day despite missing analyst expectations Tuesday after markets closed.

"The overall picture confirms the economy is on a steady footing".

But a broad range of companies charged higher on Tuesday following earnings reports, including defence giant Lockheed Martin, soft drinks company Coca-Cola, toymaker Hasbro and social media company Twitter. "But the next big news that the markets could face is the China trade agreement, if we are going to get one", said Mr Meckler.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145.34 points, or 0.55%, to 26,656.39, the S&P 500 gained 25.71 points, or 0.88%, to 2,933.68 and the Nasdaq Composite added 105.56 points, or 1.32%, to 8,120.82.

Profits at S&P 500 companies are expected to decline 1.3% in the first quarter, in what analysts say could be the first earnings contraction since 2016. West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery rose 1.1%, to settle at $US66.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Lockheed Martin jumped 5.7 per cent after it reported upbeat quarterly results and lifted its full-year profit forecast on strong demand for its missiles and fighter jets.

The energy sector decreased 2.3 per cent as oil prices fell following a weekly report pointing to US crude inventories growing 5.5 million barrels last week, far exceeding analyst forecasts. Occidental's shares fell 3 per cent. The Nasdaq decreased 0.1% to 8,110.1 and the S&P 500 dropped 0.1% to 2,930.3.

The stock market has rebounded sharply this year after a steep sell-off in December that pulled the S&P 500 just 0.2% from entering a bear market, or decline of 20% from its peak.