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S&P 500 Makes a Comeback

S&P 500 Futures, Oil Little Changed as Euro Slips Versus Dollar
Investors’ attention will shift to corporate profits this week, with Alcoa Inc. unofficially starting the earnings season with the release of its third-quarter numbers on Oct. 9. Photographer: Stephen Morton/Bloomberg

U.S. stock-index futures were little changed following last week’s rally, while the euro was lower against the dollar. Oil fluctuated below $90 a barrel after capping a third weekly decline.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December were down less than 0.1 percent at 1,454.50 at 7:22 a.m. in Tokyo after the benchmark gauge rallied 1.4 percent last week. The euro slipped 0.2 percent to $1.3019, retreating from the strongest level since Sept. 19. Oil was down 0.1 percent at $89.77 a barrel while gold for immediate delivery was little changed at $1,779 an ounce.

The S&P 500 and Dow will mark the fifth anniversary of their record highs on Oct. 9. The S&P 500 needs to rise 7.1 percent to reach the peak of 1,565.15 and the Dow needs to advance 4.1 percent to reach its record of 14,164.53. Better-than-estimated earnings and global central-bank policy decisions have helped drive a 14 percent gain in the S&P 500 since June 1.

U.S. stocks advanced last week amid better-than-estimated economic reports. The S&P 500 added 1.4 percent to 1,460.93, after slumping 1.7 percent in the previous two weeks. The Dow climbed 173.02 points last week, or 1.3 percent, to 13,610.15 and reached the highest level since two months after its record in 2007.

An Oct. 5 Labor Department report showed the unemployment rate in the U.S. unexpectedly fell to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank is ready to undertake bond purchases “once all the prerequisites are in place.”

Earnings Season

Investors’ attention will shift to corporate profits this week, with Alcoa Inc. unofficially starting the earnings season with the release of its third-quarter numbers on Oct. 9. The streak of 11 quarters of profit growth in S&P 500 companies is projected to end as analysts estimate a decline of 1.7 percent in earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

European finance ministers will meet in Luxembourg to discuss Spain’s finances and closer banking cooperation. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy travels to Paris on Oct. 10 for talks with French President Francois Hollande. In Greece, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 9 will make her first visit to the country since the crisis began in 2009.

The U.S. trade deficit widened to $44 billion during the month from $42 billion in July amid higher oil prices, according to the median forecast of 62 economists in a Bloomberg survey before the Commerce Department’s report on Oct 11. Another report on Oct. 12 may show the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer-sentiment index held near a four-month high, easing to 78 in October from 78.3, according to the median forecast of economists.

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