The US closed higher on Tuesday, with the Dow finishing at its 47th record high for 2017, as optimism appeared to grow ahead of the start of the earnings season, which will provide concrete insight into the state of US corporations. This week, investors are likely to focus on two main events - the release of the FOMC's minutes from its September meeting and the launch of third-quarter earnings season. The IMF upgraded its global economic growth forecast for 2017 by 0.1 percentage points to 3.6 percent, and to 3.7 percent for 2018, from its April and July outlook, driven by a pickup in trade, investment, and consumer confidence. The growth outlook in the United States was unchanged from the Fund's July report at 2.2 percent for this year and 2.3 percent in 2018, as expected tax cuts under President Trump's administration have not yet materialized. The US outlook for 2017 had been cut by 0.1 percentage points, and its 2018 forecast had been cut by 0.2 percentage points in the Fund's April report, but then revised upwards in July by the same amounts.
On the economy front, sentiment among small-business owners stumbled in September as expectations for sales and economic growth plunged. The sentiment gauge from the National Federation of Independent Business fell to 103 from 105.3. NFIB's index soared after the election on hopes of more business-friendly policies from Washington, including a rollback of the Affordable Care Act. But as policy makers got bogged down in gridlock and dysfunction, the survey retreated from those earlier highs. The September decline in confidence was due to that inaction, not to the destructive hurricanes that battered the US last month. In September, six of the 10 index components declined, three increased, and one was unchanged.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 69.61 points or 0.31 percent to 22,830.68, the Nasdaq gained 7.52 points or 0.11 percent to 6,587.25, and the S&P 500 edged higher by 5.91points or 0.23 percent to 2,550.64.