Stocks rise on strong earnings and progress on budget deal

U.S. stock indexes closed higher Thursday after good third quarter earnings reports and signs Democrats in Congress may be close to a budget deal provided support to investors who looked past a disappointing reading on the health of the overall economy in the third quarter. The S&P 500 gained 0.98% to 4596.42. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.68% falling to 35730.48 while the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.39% at 15448.12. The Treasury yield curve inverted between 20 and 30 years on Thursday, a sign that investors expect central-bank policy tightening to lead to slower economic growth and inflation.

European stocks were steady, with positive earnings reports from the likes of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and Nokia Oyj buoying sentiment as investors assessed comments from the European Central Bank on the outlook for inflation. Stoxx 600 Europe Index gained 0.24% on Thursday, DAX fell by 0.06%, and CAC 40 gained by 0.75%, while FTSE 100 was down 0.05%. Bunds went through a wider selloff in as ECB President Christine Lagarde says the phase of higher inflation will last longer than expected.

Asian equities headed for their third day of declines as disappointing results weighed on big technology stocks and financials fell as bond yield curves continued to flatten.

Oil prices fell about 1% to their lowest in two weeks on Thursday after Iran said talks with world powers on its nuclear programme would resume by the end of November and on rising US crude inventories. Brent crude futures closed at $84.32 a barrel on Thursday, down 0.31%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures stood at $82.81, up 0.18%.