It’s been over a week since we’ve seen a decent rally in the stock market.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,380.3, +263.1, (+1.6%)
- S&P 500: 1,886.7, +24.0, (+1.2%)
- Nasdaq: 4,258.4, +41.0, (+0.9%)
And now, the top stories on Thursday:
1. Friday’s rally was led by the large-cap companies with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 outperforming. General Electric rose 2.3% and Honeywell jumped 4.2% after announcing strong financial results. The Russell 2000 — an index of small and mid-cap stocks — closed down 0.2%.
2. “It has been an insane week for stocks, that’s for sure,” NYSE floor governor Rich Barry said. “[T]he market traded down 747 points from Monday’s highs to Wednesday’s lows — then reversed by 545 points from Wednesday’s low to today’s session-highs… Amazing.”
3. Housing starts jumped 6.3% in September to an annualized rate of 1.017 million. This was stronger than the 1.00 million pace expected. The growth was driven in the multi-family sector of the housing market. “Tight mortgage credit has resulted in all net new household formations continuing to go into rental units, driving multi-family to the highest share of new home construction (36% average this year) in thirty years,” Morgan Stanley’s Ted Wieseman noted. “With no immediate relief in sight for tight mortgage credit conditions and improving job prospects probably supporting some improvement in sluggish rates of household formations — running about 500,000 a year still versus an underlying demographic trend closer to 1 million — we look for the apartment share of starts to continue rising going forward as overall starts move higher.” Homebuilder stocks DR Horton, PulteGroup, and Lennar all surged.
4. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer confidence index unexpectedly jumped to a 7-year high of 86.4 in October from 84.6 in September. Economists were forecasting a decline to 84.0. This came despite escalating worries about things like the Ebola virus outbreak. However, Capital Economics’ Paul Diggle noted “the preliminary survey results pre-date the recent equity market sell-off, so the final survey reading could come in substantially lower.”
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