NEW YORK: Global equity markets rose on Thursday, with stocks on Wall Street climbing more than 1 percent as U.S. corporate earnings continued to beat expectations, while government debt prices slid on stronger American and German economic reports.
Results from Caterpillar Inc and 3M Co, both Dow components, reassured investors that companies with large overseas revenue streams can deliver solid profits despite concerns about global economic growth.
Shares of Caterpillar, which raised its full-year earnings outlook, rose 5.0 percent, while 3M shares jumped 4.4 percent.
The major U.S. indexes pared gains of nearly 2 percent in late afternoon trading on news that a potential Ebola patient who recently worked in West Africa with Doctors Without Borders was being tested in New York City.
The stock surge put the benchmark S&P 500 index up 3.4 percent for this week, reversing four straight weeks of decline, and on track for its biggest weekly gain since January 2013.
“If we’re looking at headwinds like currency and slowing global growth, seeing multinationals like Caterpillar and 3M post solid beats gives us confidence that economic growth is holding on and probably better than the market is currently expecting,” said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors in New York.
With 177 of the S&P 500 companies having posted third-quarter results, 69.5 percent have beaten expectations, better than the 67 percent beat rate over the past four quarters, and higher than the 20-year average of 63 percent, Thomson Reuters data show.