* U.S. stocks advance, techs up before Apple results after
* S&P at 5-year high after five straight winning sessions
* Yen extends gain against dollar; BoJ action seen lacking
* Gold stalls as U.S. debt talks make progress
* U.S. crude oil futures near highest level in four months
By Ellen Freilich
NEW YORK, Jan 23 U.S. and European stocks moved
higher on Wednesday, helped by strong earnings reports and signs
American lawmakers were close to raising the federal debt limit.
Technology shares were a focus, with Apple earnings
due late in the day, following strong results from IBM
and Google on Tuesday.
In foreign exchange markets, the yen rose against the U.S.
dollar for a second day. The yen had weakened against the dollar
for several months as investors adjusted to prospective monetary
accommodation from the Bank of Japan.
On Monday the BOJ raised its inflation target to 2.0 percent
and but promised to buy assets only in 2014, disappointing the
Spot gold traded near a one-month high at $1,692.16
an ounce. Traders said progress in talks about the U.S. debt
limit reduced gold's appeal as a safe-haven, offsetting the
influence of this week's monetary easing promise from the Bank
The same development was said to be holding safe-haven U.S.
debt prices in check. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note
was up 7/32, its yield easing to 1.8188 percent,
comfortably within its recent range.
Congressional talks on raising the U.S. debt ceiling talks,
seen as a potential threat to recovery of the world's leading
economy, have made some progress. The House of Representatives
plans to pass a bill on a nearly four-month extension of the
Investors' attraction to stocks also damped their appetite
for safe-haven U.S. debt.
Recent upbeat data from China and the United States and
monetary easing in Japan have helped spur rallies in equities.
"We think enough has been done to sow the seeds of a
gradual economic recovery this year, which will gain pace next
year," said Nick Kounis, head of macro economic research at ABN
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was
up 58.45 points, or 0.43 percent, at 13,770.66. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index was down 0.75 points, or 0.05 percent,
at 1,491.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.59
points, or 0.37 percent, at 3,154.77.
Overall, of the 13 percent of companies on the S&P 500 index
that have reported results so far, 75 percent have met or beaten
forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
The MSCI index of global markets was off 0.17
percent. But Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 index was up
0.13 percent near a 22-month high on Wednesday. Germany's DAX
, which is close to its 2008 high, was up 0.6 percent,
and Britain's FTSE 100 index gained 0.16 percent, having
briefly reached a 2013 peak.
The European debt markets were still basking in the glow of
Tuesday's strong 10-year bond sale by Spain, which was swamped
with demand from foreign investors. Portugal is expected to
return to the debt market this week for the first time since its
Prices have risen across the euro zone debt market this
month as foreign investors returned, reassured by the European
Central Bank's policies to support the region and a strong
desire for higher-yielding assets.
The dollar fell 0.2 percent to 88.52 yen, off a 2-1/2
year high of 90.25 yen on Monday, while the euro was steadier
against the Japanese unit at 118.25 yen.
The euro was up 0.2 percent against the dollar to
$1.3342, near last week's 11-month high of $1.3404 after
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said "the darkest
clouds over the euro area subsided" in 2012.
Oil prices were mostly steady as investors awaited inventory
data from the United States for clues to demand in the world's
largest oil consumer.
Brent crude rose 5 cents t0 $112.47 a barrel while
U.S. crude for March fell 10 cents at $96.58, off a
four-month high of $96.90 hit earlier.
Copper was barely changed despite higher output reported by
mining groups such as BHP Billiton. Three-month copper on the
London Metal Exchange was down 0.09 percent at $8,126 a tonne