Stock markets in the United States traded higher today while investors wait for news regarding the proposed military action against Syria. Bullish trading activities in markets were driven primarily by the outstanding sales results of the auto industry in the United States in August.

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The retail sales of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) increased by 22%, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) surged by 20%, and Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) climbed by 18.4%. Other automakers also recorded positive sales results for the month.

Analysts estimated that the auto industry’s average annual sales was 15.8 million up from 14.5 million last year.

With regard to the proposed military strike against Syria, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is currently working on a resolution to support the military action with a 90-day limit, and does not authorize the use of ground troops. The committee is expected to vote on the resolution today.

The Federal Reserve stated that economy maintains a moderate growth early in July until late August despite the increase of borrowing costs. Based on the Beige book survey of economic conditions of central banks in the 12 Federal districts consumer spending was higher on travel and tourism and modest on manufacturing.

The Department of Labor reported that payrolls increased and the unemployment rate was 7.4% in August. Jim Landreth, a portfolio manager with 300 North Capital LLC commented, “The employment number is going to help drive the Fed … The Fed is going to be careful. They don’t want rates to spike up again because housing has been one of the fundamental underpinnings of this recovery.” 

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 14,930 (+0.65%)
  • S&P 500- 1,653 (+0.81%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,640 (+1.01%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,024 (+0.85%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 2,758 (+0.18%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,474 (+0.10%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,195 (+0.19%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14, 053 (+0.54%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22, 326 (-0.31%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 350 (-0.16%)

Stocks In Focus

The stock price Ciena Corporation (NASDAQ:CIEN) increased by more than 13% to $23.51 per share after posting earnings results better than the expectations of Wall Street analysts. The company delivered $0.23 earnings per share on $538.4 million revenue compared with the consensus estimate of $0.16 earnings per share on $533 million revenue.

E TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) gained by more than 7% to as much as $15.97 a share after reporting that its banking subsidiary will pay $100 million in dividend to the parent company. The online brokerage received regulatory approval to receive dividend payment from its subsidiary this month, and it intends to seek approval for similar payments every quarter.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) surged by more than 6% to $13.50 per share. Investors reacted positively regarding the report that Glenview Capital Management and Hayman Capital Managements boosted its stake in the department store chain.

The stock value of LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) declined by nearly 3% to $238.93 per share after the company launched a secondary offering to raise $1 billion. The company offered 4.17 million of class A shares and its intention is to strengthen its balance sheet and increase financial flexibility.