Monday October 10, 2016 – Friday October 14, 2016
On Monday U.S. crude rose 3.1% to settle at $51.35 a barrel, its highest level since July, 2015. The sharp gain was credited to comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin, stating that Russia is willing to back proposed caps on oil output by OPEC members. The Dow Industrials closed up 88 points on the news.
On Tuesday, the dollar rose slightly on expectations of a December rate hike, and the 10 year Treasury note closed yielding 1.76%. Earnings season officially kicked off with Alcoa reporting disappointing numbers. Markets ended the day down sharply, with the Dow Industrials off 200 points.
On Wednesday, the JOLTS job report for August showed job openings fell a sharp 7.3% to 5.443 million. The Federal Reserve also released minutes from last September’s meeting. Three of seven voting members wanted to increase rates, worried that if the Fed waits too long, it would have to play catch-up and raise rates too fast in the future, thus causing a recession. However, the other seven members argued that the economy is still growing slowly and that inflation is still low, and a rate hike is still premature.
On Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending October 8th remained unchanged from the prior week at 246,000. Import prices for September rose .1% and export prices rose .3%.
On Friday retail sales for September were up .6%, compared to the prior month’s .3% drop, and the producer price index was up .3%, compared to the prior month remaining unchanged. Markets were up sharply after strong earnings were reported by some large banks. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
On Tuesday, Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) posted its final quarterly results before splitting into two companies and worse-than-expected earnings and revenue sent the stock down more than 10%. The 128-year-old aluminum maker said revenue fell 6% to $5.2 billion, missing analysts’ projection of $5.3 billion. The company also said the worse-than-expected revenue was due to the impact of closed operations and lower alumina pricing.
American public furniture and electronics rent-to-own company, Rent-A-Center Inc (NASDAQ:RCII) warned investors that the company will miss on third quarter earnings per share. The company estimated its core U.S. same store sales for the quarter to be down approximately 12%. CEO Robert Davis commented that a new point-of-sale system experienced performance issues and outages that resulted in a larger than expected negative impact on core sales. Shares were down over 30% after the announcement.
On Wednesday, Wells Fargo & CO (NYSE:WFC) CEO John Stumpf resigned due to the ongoing scandal caused by Wells Fargo employees creating about two million fake accounts without customers’ knowledge. Stumpf’s response to the scheme was severely criticized by Senator Elizabeth Warren, who called Stumpf a “gutless leader” who “should be criminally investigated.”
Progressive Corp (NYSE:PGR), an insurance holding company, announced quarterly earnings of $0.34 per share, missing consensus estimates by $0.02. The company made $6.05 billion during the quarter, beating analyst estimates of $6.04 billion with a net margin of 4.8% and a return on equity of 13.6%.