REUTERS/Jorge Dan LopezA man receives a traditional cleansing outside San Simon chapel in Iztapa, in the region of Escuintla, around 62 km (39 miles), from Guatemala City, October 28, 2013.
Stocks had another up day.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 15,680.3, +111.4, +0.7%
- S&P 500: 1,771.9, +9.8, +0.5%
- NASDAQ: 3,952.3, +12.2, +0.3%
And now the top stories:
- Retail sales were a bit weaker than expected in September. Headline sales fell by 0.1% from the previous month largely due to the drop in auto sales and decline in gas prices. Excluding autos and gas, sales increased by just 0.4%; economists were looking for a 0.5% gain. “Electronics sales were probably helped significantly by the introduction of the new iPhone — adding 0.1-0.2 pct pt to retail sales growth,” said UBS’s Kevin Cummins on Friday.
- The incredible U.S. housing market continues show strength. The 20-city S&P Case-Shiller home price index increased by 0.93% month-over-month in August and 12.82% year-over-year. The y-o-y gain represented the fastest pace of growth since February 2006. “It appears house price increases have slowed recently based on agent reports and asking prices (a combination of a little more inventory and higher mortgage rates), but this slowdown in price increases is not showing up yet in the Case-Shiller index because of the reporting lag and because of the three month average (the August report was an average of June, July and August prices),” said Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride. “I expect to see smaller year-over-year price increases going forward and some significant deceleration towards the end of the year or in early 2014.”
- The Conference Board’s reading of consumer confidence was much worse than expected with the headline index plunging to 71.2 in October from 79.7 in September. Economists were looking for a reading of 75.0. “Consumer confidence deteriorated considerably as the federal government shutdown and debt-ceiling crisis took a particularly large toll on consumers’ expectations,” said the Conference Board’s Lynn Franco.
- In recent weeks, the economic data has been more disppointing than anything else. The popular Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, which tracks how real data performs versus expectations, has been slumping, and it’s close to going negative.
- LinkedIn and Yelp announce earnings after the closing bell. Follow the releases live
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