S&P on course to extend run of weekly gains

Stocks on Wall Street recovered from an afternoon wobble to head higher deep into the trading session, leaving the S&P on the cusp of its fourth weekly gain in a row.

With under half an hour to the close on Wall Street, the stock market was mostly in positive territory, meaning November begins on an optimistic note.

The Dow was up 0.43% at 15,611 and the S&P 500 rose 0.29% to 1761.6.

With new record highs being set in October, it looked like the re-evaluation of expectations for tapering following the Fed’s mid-week statement might usher in a period of caution or even correction, but the upward momentum appears to have re-asserted itself, supported by earnings that are solid, if a little tame, and overall economic growth that continues to chug along despite the occasional hurdle.

James Bullard, the head of the St Louis Fed acknowledged that continued improvements in the labour market increase the chances of a reduction in stimulus, but hinted that the Fed would err on the side of caution, saying the FOMC ‘also wants reassurance that any progress made in labour markets will stick’.

This backs up recent comments from Chicago Fed President Charles Evans suggesting that a few months would be needed to 'sort out' a requirement of seeing 'a couple of good labour reports and evidence of increasing growth' before the Fed could begin to taper stimulus.

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