U.S. equities continue to grind higher
U.S. equities continue to grind higher heading into the Fed Beige Book, propelled by a solid round of bank earnings that culminated with solid beat by Morgan Stanley thanks in part to its bond trading unit. The 3% surge in WTI crude oil to test $52 bbl helped prop up the energy sector, while the blue chips +0.3-0.4% are pacing gains for a change over tech +0.17%. Within the Dow top gainers are AMEX +2.3%, UnitedHealth +1.8% and Chevron +1.5%, while to the downside are Intel -6.5% (after forecasting weaker Q4 sales thanks to sluggish PC growth and data center slump), P&G -1.9% and J&J -0.6%. The VIX equity volatility has since fallen 1% to the 14.24 area compared to a session range of 13.87-15.68.