Here’s the scoreboard:
- Dow: 23,436.01, +35.15, (0.15%)
- S&P 500: 2,581.42, +21.02, (0.82%)
- Nasdaq: 6,705.08, +148.31, (2.26%)
- The US economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter even after hurricanes disrupted activity in some parts of the country. Gross domestic product rose by 3%, boosted by stronger consumer and business spending.
- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy fired the cabinet of the Catalan government and dissolved its Parliament just hours after Catalan lawmakers voted to declare independence from Spain. Rajoy has also called for elections in the Catalan region to be held on December 21, 2017.
- Options traders are piling into bets that Amazon’s stock, already up 45% this year, will continue to climb. As of midday Friday, the six Amazon options with the most open interest — defined as outstanding contracts trading at once — were all calls.
- Short sellers in major drugstore chains have earned $US874 million this year, according to the financial-analytics firm S3 Partners. They earned $US100 million late Thursday as drugstore stocks fell on a report that retail-pharmacy giant CVS may buy insurer Aetna, in a deal that would respond to the threat from Amazon.
- JCPenney shares slumped to an all-time low after the retailer cut third-quarter profit forecasts. The company expects a loss of $US0.40 to $US0.45 a share in the period, far worse than analyst expectations for a loss of $US0.18 a share.
- Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer, beat on Q3 earnings as higher crude and natural gas prices more than offset the effects of a major hurricane on its US operations. Oil and gas production increased, helped by higher pricing.