On Monday the Empire State manufacturing survey increased 2 points to 4.0. Investors started to doubt that the trade deal announced last Friday between the U.S. and China will be completed. News coming out of China was measured, with the country saying it wanted to finalize details in another talk later this month. Markets slipped slightly by the end of the day.
On Tuesday earnings season began with analysts expecting S&P 500 companies to report lower earnings in general. However, markets got a shot of good news when some banks and health-care companies reported unexpectedly good results and markets soared with the Dow Industrials closing 237 points higher.
On Wednesday retail sales for September were unexpectedly weak, falling .3%, and the Federal Reserve released their October Beige Book. In it, the Fed described business spending as slowing to a modest pace and manufacturing as continuing to slightly decline. Inflation was downgraded to modest. Overall, the report slightly downgraded the overall strength of the economy. Markets didn’t like the weak retail sales and ended the day down slightly.
On Thursday housing starts for September fell 9.3% to an annualized 1.256 million units and the EIA petroleum status report for the week ending October 11th saw crude oil inventory surge 9.3 million barrels. Jobless claims for the week ending October 12th increased 4,000 to 214,000 and industrial production for September fell .4%. Companies continued mostly reporting strong earnings and markets rose modestly, with the S&P 500 closing within 1% of its all-time high.
On Friday China’s third quarter GDP grew at its slowest pace in 27 years, stoking fears of a global slowdown. Market opened modestly lower on the news. Now let’s take a look at some stocks.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) shares increased by 4% on Tuesday after reporting stronger-than-expected results. The bank reported third-quarter earnings of $2.68 per share on revenue of $30.1 billion. Both earnings and revenue increased by 8% year-over-year, largely due to growth in home loans, auto, and credit cards.
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE: UNH) reported its third-quarter results before the market open on Tuesday. The healthcare provider topped analysts’ estimates, which sent shares 6% higher shortly after the opening bell. For the third quarter, UnitedHealth reported earnings of $3.88 per share on revenue of $60.4 billion. Revenue grew 6.7% year-over-year, primarily led by the double-digit growth in UnitedHealth’s Optum segment.
Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) shares edged higher by 3% after reporting stronger-than-expected quarterly results. The bank reported earnings of $0.56 per share, surpassing estimates of $0.51 per share. Average loan and lease balances in business segments rose to $923 billion, increasing by 6% year-over-year. Consumer and commercial loans each increased by 6%.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) shares rose by 11% during extended trading hours on Wednesday after topping analysts’ estimates for earnings and international subscribers. For the quarter, Netflix reported earnings of $1.47 per share on revenue of $5.2 billion. The company added 6.26 million international paid subscribers versus estimates of 6.05 million.
International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) reported its third quarter results during aftermarket hours on Wednesday. Shares fell by 6% on Thursday morning due to weaker-than-expected revenue. For the quarter, IBM reported earnings of $2.68 per share on revenue of a little over $18 billion. IBM has now reported five consecutive quarters of declining revenues, despite 20% growth in Red Hat.