Several positive economic reports boosted US stocks on Thursday. Private employers were reported to have added jobs in October at the fastest rate in eight months, a good sign for the US labor market. Consumer confidence was up close to its highest level in almost five years and a 9,000 drop in new jobless claims for the past week was also encouraging. Investors were feeling positive about China as well after factory activity showed gains for the first time since July. Many companies announced earnings reports after the close of US markets, including LinkedIn (LNKD), who beat estimates and saw shares jump and after seeing strong sales Starbucks (SBUX) raised their full-year outlook. The S&P 500 had its best day in seven weeks. Disappointingly, Chesapeake Energy (CHK) announced a $2.06 billion Q3 loss and Pfizer (PFE) posted revenue lower than expectated. In response to the positive data, oil prices in the US rose and overall crude inventories dropped.
Word on the Street
- Consumer confidence rose to its highest in almost five years, sending the dollar up.
- US manufacturing expanded faster than expected for the month of October.
- Kellogg Co. (K) sees a 2.1% rise in Q3 net profit after a strong sales report.
- Yelp Inc. (YELP) reports a third-quarter loss of $2 million while sales meet expected company outlook.
- Weekly jobless claims decreased 9,000 from the previous week’s number, coming to a total of 363,000.
- Priceline Corp (PCLN) says earnings jumped 27% in the third quarter due to a gain in travel bookings.
- Average 30-year mortgage rates in the US drop to 3.39%, close to its record low.
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