Dow: 13,424, +95 (+0.72%) S&P 500: 1,440, +12 (+0.81%)
What’s that? Stocks don’t always go down? After last week’s 5 straight days of negative markets (and ensuing Yankees losses) resulted a gloomy weekend for many a NYC-based investor, Monday finally brought the top-shelf candy and stocks finished positive. Surprisingly solid retail sales in September and better-than-expected earnings from the big bank Citigroup propelled the Dow up 95 points – its biggest daily gain in a month, following the blue chip index’s worst week since way-back-when in the beginning of June.
September Retail Sales strongly beat forecasts
Buying a lot of Spanx after all this post-summer Chipotle burrito binging? The Commerce Department rounds up the receipts monthly from merchandise-related stores nationwide and reported today that US retail sales solidly beat economists’ forecasts, climbing 1.1% in September for a 3rd straight rise. So thank you Apple: The push came from electronics stores, where sales jumped 4.5% from cult-level excitement over the iPhone 5. Just to add a little more sugar on top of the good news, the government revised its retail sales reading from August up to a 1.2% rise, making that the biggest monthly gain in 2 years. Even though the Federal Reserve Bank of NY reported in its “Empire State Survey” that manufacturing in the economically-significant region contracted slightly last month, investors were more focused on the great retail numbers.
Citi earnings increase on 3rd quarter revenue gains
Last week Alcoa got the 3rd quarter earnings season started…This week Citi (C) is getting the earnings train back chuggin along. Shares of the Gotham-based bank jumped over 5% today, leading the S&P 500 stock index after increased 3rd quarter revenues led to an improved earnings report. CEO Vikram Pandit has been mixing together a peanut-butter/jelly style 2-part business approach: cutting jobs & selling off undesirable assets (like the firm’s 49% ownership stake in Smith Barney) like a madman and investors are chewing it up. Crust and all. It’s still young this earnings season and analysts have forecast the 1st overall profit drop for US companies since 2009 – but over the last 5 trading sessions, 27 of the 38 reporting firms exceeded estimates. This week features 84 earnings reports…a huge focus for investors.
- Earnings season kicks into another gear: IBM, Intel, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson…
- The September Consumer Price Index gives economists a sense of inflation
© 2012 MarketSnacks