US stocks hit record high as Tesla tops $1 trillion

By: AFP      Published: 10:18 AM, 26 Oct, 2021
US stocks hit record high as Tesla tops $1 trillion
Representational image.

US stock markets struck fresh records on Monday as investors awaited earnings results from tech firms and cheered the latest Tesla surge while European traders looked ahead to an ECB rate decision and the UK budget later in the week.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 finished at all-time highs, extending a bullish run on good earnings while Tesla shot above $1 trillion in market value. 

The gains came after leading European bourses advanced, while Asian stocks were mixed.

The S&P 500 has risen the last three weeks as generally better-than-expected earnings has bolstered confidence in the economic recovery. This week's calendar includes reports from Apple, Amazon and others.

"After another decent week of gains, US markets have picked up where they left off on Friday as attention turns to another big week of earnings announcements" said market analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets UK.

While the earnings reports have confirmed worries about higher costs, executives have offered encouraging commentary about strong consumer demand that is enabling many companies to pass on price increases.

Analysts also pointed to weekend statements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressing confidence that congressional Democrats are near a deal on a large spending package.

Among individual companies, Tesla jumped 12.7 percent following an announcement that car rental company Hertz ordered 100,000 electric autos from Elon Musk's company in the latest embrace of electric car technology by the auto industry.

The Hertz announcement offset a sharply critical letter from the National Transportation Safety Board chair to Musk slamming the company for inaction on recommendations to safeguard the automaker's driver assistance programs.

The rise left Tesla the latest big tech company to top $1 trillion, joining a group that includes Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

Earlier, Asian markets closed mixed following last week's gains, with investors keeping a worried eye on a fresh Covid outbreak in China that could drag on the already stuttering economy.

Meanwhile, HSBC bank on Monday posted bumper earnings and plans to buy back shares, which its London-listed shares rising 1.9 percent.

News that China's troubled Evergrande had paid interest due on a bond before Saturday's deadline provided a much-needed boost to market confidence in Asia, though it remains to be seen whether the property developer can meet obligations on other notes due before the end of the year.

Chinese markets also got some extra cheer from Evergrande saying it had resumed work on more than 10 projects. 

But there were concerns about the property sector after reports that China plans to expand pilot property tax reforms as part of a drive against real estate speculation.

In currency trading, the euro dropped with data showing Germany's business climate worsened in October for the fourth month in a row, as supply chain woes weighed on the country's export-driven economy.

European Central Bank policymakers meet on Thursday, with markets hoping for hints on when the ECB may start raising interest rates or taper its massive pandemic-fuelled stimulus program.

The British government releases on Wednesday is tax and spending plans in its annual budget announcement.

- Key figures around 2050 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 35,741.15 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.5 percent at 4,566.48 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.9 percent at 14,226.71 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,222.82 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.4 percent at 15,599.23 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 6,712.87 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 4,188.31 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.7 percent at 28,600.41 (close) 

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: FLAT at 26,132.03 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.8 percent at 3,609.86 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1614 from $1.1643 at 2100 GMT on Friday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3767 from $1.3755

Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.33 pence from 84.65 pence 

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.71 from 113.50 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.5 percent at $85.99 per barrel 

West Texas Intermediate: FLAT at $83.76 per barrel