Wall St rises on strong earnings and weak dollar

US stock indexes hit their highest in five months yesterday as stronger-than-expected earnings and lingering US dollar weakness increased demand for equities.

Shares in industrials and materials led the way while commodity prices soared as China’s month-on-month import growth hit a record high.

Completing a bullish trifecta, the S&P 500 broke a short-term technical barrier and triggered more buying of stocks as money managers chased performance. The S&P 500 is up 12.3 per cent since 1 September.

“There’s three months left in the year and a lot of fund managers are watching the clock,” said Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson in New York.

Industrials and materials were the S&P 500’s leading sectors. Caterpillar rose 1.2 per cent to $80.29 and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold jumped 4.2 per cent to $99.08.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 75.68 points to 11,096.08. The Standard & Poor’s 500 added 8.33 points to 1,178.1. Nasdaq rose 23.31 points, or 0.96 per cent, to 2,441.23.