US open: Stocks higher as Q3 GDP figures come in ahead of expectations
Wall Street stocks were in the green early on Wednesday on the back of GDP figures that came in ahead of expectations,
As of 1515 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.12% at 35,461.21, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.39% to 4,572.47 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 0.50% firmer at 14,353.79.
The Dow opened 44.23 points higher on Wednesday, extending gains recorded in the previous session.
Comments from Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller were still in focus early on Wednesday after he seemed to indicate that he thinks current monetary policy appears to be sufficiently restrictive to cool inflation back down to the central bank's 2% target.
However, Wednesday's primary focus was seemingly news that the US economy grew more than initially estimated in the third quarter, according to the Commerce Department. GDP grew 5.2% in the three months to September, ahead of the initial estimate of 4.9% growth. On the other hand, the figures also showed that consumer spending rose 3.6% from July to September, a downward revision on a previous estimate of 4%.
Elsewhere on the macro front, the US trade deficit in goods widened to $89.8bn in October, according to an advance estimate from the Census Bureau, up from a revised $86.8bn reading for the previous month. Exports declined by 1.7% to $170.8bn, while imports remained unchanged at $260.7bn.
On another note, wholesale inventories fell 0.2% month-on-month in October, according to the Census Bureau, following a downwardly revised 0.1% rise in September and falling short of market estimates for a 0.1% increase. Non-durable stocks fell 0.6% and durable inventories increased 0.1%.
Finally, US mortgage applications edged 0.3% higher on the week ending 24 November, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, marking the fourth consecutive rise in mortgage applications since hitting a 28-year low in late October. Applications for new homes rose by 4.7% month-on-month, offsetting an 8.9% decline in applications to refinance a home. The increase comes as the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage with conforming loan balances fell to a ten-week low of 7.37%
In the corporate space, automotive giant General Motors revealed on Wednesday that it will return a "significant" amount of capital to shareholders and hike its quarterly dividend as it looks to put recent strikes behind it, while sporting goods retailer Foot Locker beat earnings expectations with its latest earnings and guided to better-than-estimated sales in the pivotal fourth quarter.
Hormel Foods delivered full-year profits that came in below estimates, reflecting weak markets for turkey products and lower branded export volumes, and lower sales in China, while discount retailer Dollar Tree trimmed its annual sales forecasts and placed its Family Dollar business under review.
Still to come, Salesforce will issue an update after the close of trading.
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com