U.S. equities were drawn higher
U.S. equities were drawn higher in the slipstream of firmer global stocks and a round of solid earnings reports that helped tip the scales, despite ongoing mixed signals from the Fed. U.S. core CPI rose only 0.1% in September, which certainly won't panic the Fed despite the firmer 0.3% headline reading. Netscape surprised on the upside, rallying over 19% after attracting more subscribers that forecast, while both UnitedHealth and J&J rallied after beating the Street. IBM fell in line with its weaker earnings, while Visa sank after its CEO Scharf resigned. Goldman Sachs rallied after posting a 47% earnings gain thanks to solid trading revenues, driving its shares higher. Intel and Yahoo are set to report after the close. The Dow is 105-points firmer, S&P gained 15-points and NASDAQ is up 43-point in pre-market action. Global bourses were firmer, with Japan's N-225 0.4% higher, China's CSI 300 1.3% firmer and a 1.3% gain on the Euro Stoxx 50. The NAHB housing market index is on tap next.