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October 23, 2014 - US Stockmarket Update
Stocks Jump to End Higher After Upbeat Earnings By Morningstar Investment Research
U.S. Market stocks rallied today after upbeat earnings reports.
Initial unemployment claims rose by a slightly larger-than-expected 17,000 to 283,000 last week. The less volatile four-week moving average fell by 3,000 to the lowest level since May 2000.
Markitís purchasing manager index ticked up slightly for the eurozone in October rising to 52.2 from Septemberís reading of 52.0. The reports subindexes showed only a small rise in new orders and also that businesses were cutting prices at the tasted rate since 2010.
At market close the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq were up 1.2%, 1.3% and 1.6% respectively.
Stocks on the Move
Shares of Caterpillar (CAT) were up nearly 5% after the firm reported upbeat quarterly results. Total sales were flat year over year, as the firmís mining-related sales are finally declining at a slower pace but are being fully offset by energy and transportation product demand. Adjusted operating income was similarly flat, as ongoing restructuring efforts and Lean implementation continue to rein in costs. The company narrowed its revenue outlook to $55 billion from $54 billion-$56 billion, given greater visibility with only one quarter to go. It raised its adjusted earnings per share outlook to $6.50 from $6.20, reflecting a combination of better cost control and the timing of share repurchases.
3M (MMM) shares also rallied, rising over 4% at market close, after reporting results. The firm said it earned $1.98 a share, up from both analyst estimates of $1.96 and the $1.78 the firm earned in the year-ago quarter. The firm also raised its full-year earnings and sales outlook.
Comcast's (CMCSA) solid momentum in the core cable business continued into the third quarter, with television and Internet access customer metrics at multiyear-best levels. Comcast added 315,000 Internet access customers during the quarter, up from 297,000 a year ago and about three times the additions at AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) combined. Comcast clearly continues to take share in this business. Total cable revenue grew 5.2% year over year, with an increase in political ad spending offsetting modest deceleration in core residential and business services revenue growth.
Eli Lilly (LLY) reported third-quarter results that largely matched both our and consensus expectations. With earnings down 41% year over year, the patent loss on neuroscience drug Cymbalta has an amplified impact on the bottom line. Shares were down 0.5% at market close.
AT&T's (T) wireless results have evened out as the shift away from traditional wireless device subsidies has slowed. Reported wireless revenue grew 4.9% year over year and 2.3% sequentially during the third quarter. AT&Tís pricing actions continued to mitigate the impact from a noisy competitive environment, as the firm added 785,000 net postpaid connections during the quarter, including around 335,000 new phone customers. AT&T shares fell 2.4% on the report.
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