Apple shares at record high before results
With most main European markets closed yesterday for the May Day holiday, it was down to the United States to supply investor action.
Apple shares hit a record high of $146.60, lifting US stocks and a gauge of key world equity indices, while data on US drilling and output kept downward pressure on oil prices.
Data showed US manufacturing activity slowed in April while consumer spending was unchanged in March, and a key inflation measure recorded its first monthly drop since 2001. Despite the soft data, traders continued to see a 70pc chance that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in June.
On Wall Street, Apple and other large technology companies led the way, sending the Nasdaq Composite to a record high.
Apple was due to report its earnings late yesterday, while Facebook will report tomorrow.
Stocks were supported also as US Congress negotiators agreed on a federal funding deal late on Sunday, removing a hurdle for investor confidence.
"We have some renewed optimism that the market strength will continue, helped by strong earnings and as a government shutdown was averted," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in New Jersey.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20.07 points, or 0.1pc by early afternoon. The Nasdaq was up 0.5pc.
US drillers added nine oil rigs in the week to April 28, bringing the count to the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes said. Crude output in the US has hit its highest since August 2015, government data showed.
"The US rig count indicates that there is plenty more to come," analysts at JBC Energy said.