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October 29, 2014 - US Stockmarket Update
Stocks End Modestly Lower After Fed By Morningstar Investment Research
As expected, the Fed said in its statement today that it is ending its bond buying program this month. The Fed also kept language that it will keep rates at current levels for a "considerable time." The central bank upgraded its view of the labor market and was generally upbeat about the state of the U.S. economy. Yields on treasury bonds rose on the news as did the dollar.
At market close the Dow was off 0.2%, S&P 500 was down 0.1% while the Nasdaq lost 0.3%.
Stocks on the Move
Shares of Facebook (FB) fell over 6% after the firm reported strong third-quarter earnings but showed signs of increasing expenses. The firm posted 59% revenue growth and 90% growth in GAAP operating income as the largest social network in the world reached 1.3 billion monthly active users and 864 million daily active users. The negative effects of recently closed acquisitions Oculus Rift (a virtual reality company) and WhatsApp (a global messaging company) will amplify operating expenses in 2015 versus this calendar year, according to comments made by management.
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) reported consolidated EBIT before special items of EUR 962 million, slightly ahead of the Street consensus (according to Reuters as of Oct. 24) of EUR 940 million. The result was impressive considering the major headwinds the company faced, with continued pressure from the Brazilian and Italian markets where it maintains the leading share, plus the higher warranty and recall costs in the U.S. The result was an 11% improvement compared with the EUR 863 million reported in the third quarter of 2013. The firm also said it is planning on spinning-off Ferrari by first listing 10% of the equity of the luxury car maker in the United States then spinning off the remainder of the equity to the holders of Fiat Chrysler. Shares soared nearly 12% on the report.
Express Scripts (ESRX) reported third-quarter results that were largely in line with our expectations. Revenue decreased 4.8% year over year while operating margins increased a decent 44 basis points to 3.82%. These metrics include the runoff of the UnitedHealth Group contract and are not unexpected. Excluding the effect of the UnitedHealth claims volume, adjusted EBITDA increased 8.4% from year-ago levels. The firm also narrowed its 2014 adjusted full-year earnings per share outlook to $4.86-$ 4.90 from $4.84-$ 4.92 (maintaining a midpoint estimate of $4.88). Shares were down 0.5% at market close.
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