Stocks rise on earnings, housing report
A key homebuilder confidence index jumps unexpectedly. Citigroup's results boost financial stocks. Northeast Utilities and NStar plan to merge. Apple and IBM will report quarterly results.
By Melinda Peer, TheStreet
Updated at 1:48 p.m. ET
Citigroup (C) said it earned 7 cents a share on $20.7 billion in revenue in the third quarter as the company set aside less money for bad loans. Excluding certain items, the bank earned 8 cents, beating the 6-cent average estimate of analysts. Citigroup shares were rising 2.8% to $4.06.
"The major news is earnings and will be for the next couple of weeks," said Jay Suskind, senior vice president at Duncan Williams. "The perception on Citigroup appears to be positive, but we're getting into the meat of earnings this week."
Citigroup's results were boosting other financial stocks. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was the best-performing Dow stock, rising 2.1% to $37.93. Wells Fargo's (WFC) shares were up 2.3% at $24.13, while Morgan Stanley's (MS) and Goldman Sachs' (GS) shares were each up more than 1%.
The National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index jumped 3 points to 16 in October. Economists had expected the measure of homebuilder confidence to be unchanged at 13.
In other company news, Halliburton's (HAL) shares were losing 4% to $34.38 after its third-quarter profit missed expectations. Net income doubled, but its earnings from continuing operations of 55 cents fell short of analysts' estimates of 56 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.
Philips Electronics (PHG) said net earnings tripled to 524 million euros ($725.3 million) in the third quarter from a year earlier but warned that it is cautious on its sales outlook for the coming quarter. Philips' ADRs were dropping 5.3% to $31.76.
Apple (AAPL) and IBM (IBM) will report earnings after the closing bell. Analysts expect profits of $4.06 a share and $2.75 a share, respectively, according to Briefing.com. Apple shares were gaining 0.9% to $317.41, while IBM's were adding 0.8% at $142.15.
Northeast Utilities System (NU) plans to buy NStar (NST) for $9.5 billion to form one of the largest U.S. utilities. Northeast Utillities' shares were up 0.4% to $30.83, while NStar's were rising 1.7% to $40.19.
Heart device maker St. Jude Medical (STJ) said it will acquire biotechnology company Aga Medical Holdings (AGAM) for $20.80 a share, or $1.3 billion. St. Jude's shares were rising 0.4% to $40.06, while Aga's were soaring 41% to $20.67.
Shares of Allergan (AGN) was rising 4.3% to $71.80 after Goldman Sachs raised its price target to $84 and increased its estimates, citing early Food and Drug Administration approval for Botox to treat migraines.
Starbucks (SBUX) is looking to boost its happy hour traffic by offering beer and wine at certain test locations. The stock was losing 0.6% to $27.38.
Industrial production unexpectedly fell 0.2% in September, according to the Federal Reserve. Economists had expected production to have increased 0.3% after climbing 0.2% in August. Capacity utilization declined to 74.7% from 74.8%. Economists had projected utilization to hit 75%.
In commodity markets, crude oil for November delivery was gaining $1.34 at $82.59 a barrel. The December gold contract shed $2.20 to $1,369.80 an ounce.
The dollar was trading slightly higher against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index up by 0.04%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 5/32, weakening the yield to 2.549%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.2%, and Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.02%. The FTSE in London was rising 0.8%, while the DAX in Frankfurt was ahead by 0.6%.
Downsize Foreign World CopThat is the best thing to happen to a country in the last75 years is for us to go to war with them. Germany, Japan, South Korea had US troops for thier militarys. They made out pretty well without the expense of supporting a military. Without the Soviets, why do we need to be a world cop anymore.
I suspect you will be the victim of the downward thumb, but I will give you a up thumb when I can.
Job security has become difficult, because many people only know how to do a few things. Historically, general knowledge, flexibility and skills help propel us to success.I think the Gen X, Gen Y crowd expect to retool thier skills 5 or 6 times during thier career. Some is changing workplace demands. Other is the mobility of 401K's vs pentions. The GM, ATT, IBMs of yesteryear with the life long employment opprtunities are pretty much gone. A lot of 20 and 30 some odd folks seem to roll with that as the new reality.
I agree with you about how general knowledge, flexibility and skills help us succeed. However the trades are being hurt by the lack of spending by people out of work who cannot afford to hire skilled laboar...
I find it sad that banks can borrow from the fed at 0.25% and lend it back to the treasury at 3%. That's a bigger pozi scheme Madof!!!
Then the banks turn around around say the mortgage crises is the homeowners fault and they should of just made thier payments!! While it's hard to make payment when you are out of work, used up your savings and then when you do get a little money you need to feed the family!!!
And as far as QE2 it's just another bailout, Geightner, Bernanke and the federal crooks at it again!!!
Can't stand the new comment format.
Keep up the fight, libs and moderates - politics is an endurance race. Be sure to vote.
Good luck in the market, guys.
Tumbleweed 1946 Saw a regional Fed chairman on CNBC. He espoused the prevailing theory that enabling the Upper Class via low interest rate business loans is what creates jobs.
Interesting since there doesn't seem to be much investment in the US. I just returned from Asia and traders are flooding those markets with cheap US$. The Asians are concerned since this was one of the causes of the Asian currency crises of 98, foreign cash flooding in and overheating their markets then a sudden withdrawal of foreign funds crashing their markets. Good for the traders though, not only do they get a good return with rising markets but the rising currencies is an added bonus. On their way out I am sure that they will be shorting the region.
I suspect you will be the victim of the downward thumb, but I will give you a up thumb when I can.This place should have middle finger instead!!...LOL
Yes, the new set up is nice, but the bugs will need to be worked out....
2- Sick - Now, I'm not going to start this morning, but read your statement, and look at it from my perspective for a minute. Its sort of like this: "The sky is beautiful today, report is for clear and wonderful. Sure hope it doesn't rain later. It did last year at this time.
Does that tell us anything?
give me a break, high oil , high medical cost, who gives a d--- about the banks. we americans can not recover as long as oil stays high!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the fed reserve is screwing with everyone to help usher in the socialist era.......interest rates should never of been allowed to go as low as they did, nor should the politicians of relaxed the law's for packaging of mortgages to sprout leg's to feed the housing market! difficult to say if both parties are involved in destruction of free enterprise! if gop win on nov 2nd and do not repeal oboomacare, then it'll be obvious!
keep em comin
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices settled on their lows following a steady, session-long slide. Similar to yesterday, small-caps paced the retreat as the Russell 2000 fell 1.6%, extending its December loss to 3.6%. The S&P 500 settled lower by 1.1%, widening its month-to-date decline to 1.3%.
There was no specific news catalyst behind today's slide, which had the markings of broad-based profit-taking. Seven of ten sectors settled with losses of 1.0% or more while only two groups ... More
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