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We're in the thick of earnings season this morning:

 

GM handily beat earnings expectations before the bell, but the Detroit automaker also reported production down 26 per cent for the third quarter, reflecting factory shutdowns due to model changeovers, but also softer demand in the US market which GM predicted could have its weakest year since the 2008-09 recession (FT).

 

Caterpillar shares rallied in pre-market trading this morning after the maker of construction and mining equipment lifted its full-year outlook and posted upbeat quarterly results citing strength in North American on-shore oil and gas markets, Chinese construction and investments by miners. (FT)

 

McDonald's global same-store sales climbed 6 per cent in the three months to the end of September, eclipsing analyst forecasts and reaffirming that the world's largest burger chain's turnround is on track. (FT)

 

In other earnings news this morning, 3M, United Technologies, and Eli Lily all topped estimates and raised guidance, while Lockheed Martin missed slightly, but still revised guidance higher (FT). 

 

Over in the debt markets, Venezuela has now missed $586M in payments tied to the debt of the government, state oil giant PDVSA, and utility Electricidad de Caracas, just days before the first of two can't-miss debt deadlines.  Sovereign debt investors will be a keeping a close eye on that one this week (SA).

 

S&P 500 futures up 5 and the NASDAQ futures are up 7. The MSCI international index is up 4/100 of a percent

Oil is up 29 cents at $52.19 a barrel.

Gold is down $3 at $1278 a Troy ounce.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

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