The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined slightly today as investors wait for the jobs report for the month of September from the Department of Labor tomorrow. Investors are also monitoring earnings reports from corporations for the third quarter to evaluate the country’s economic situation.

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Last Friday, investors were optimistic due to speculations that the Federal Reserve will maintain its current level of quantitative easing or bond-buying program due to the impact of 16-day partial shutdown of the U.S. government. The Congress ended the government shutdown and raised the debt ceiling on October 17.

Data compiled by Bloomberg indicated that economists are projecting that employers hired an additional 180,000 workers last month. The estimate is higher than the 168,000 jobs added in August.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Matt Maley, equity strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. opined, “People do want to lighten up a bit in front of tomorrow’s jobs report.” According to him, the market “is pretty extended, so it would actually be healthy if we took a breather before it tried to move higher from current levels.”

In terms of corporate earnings, analysts increased their estimates for all the companies listed in the S&P 500 to gain 2.5 percent from their previous estimate of 1.7 percent. Bloomberg reported that 106 companies already reported financial results and data indicates a growth rate of 4.5 percent. The companies recorded sales increase at 2 percent. Seventy one percent (71 percent) of the companies outperformed the earnings estimates while 54 percent beat the sales expectations of Wall Street analysts.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15, 392.20 (-0.05%)
  • S&P 500- 1,744.66 (+0.01%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,920.05 (+1.15%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,112.55 (-0.20%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3, 028.65 (-0.15%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,654.20 (+0.48%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,867.22 (+0.02%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,693.57 (+0.91%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,485.15 (+0.42%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 471.32 (+1.87%)

Stocks in Focus

Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) dropped by 3.4% to $50.67 per share after the largest provider of hydraulic fracturing services worldwide reported quarter revenue that missed the expectations of Wall Street analysts. The company also warned that it might deliver weaker revenue and margins from its operation in Latin America in the fourth quarter. Halliburton delivered $0.79 earnings per share on  $7.47 billion revenue in the third quarter.

Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) gained 5.25% to $49.72 per share after the toy manufacturer delivered better-than-expected third quarter financial results. The company reported $1.31 per share, excluding special items on $1.37 billion revenue. The solid financial results of the toy maker was driven by a 29% sales increase from its girls’ category.

The stock value of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI) fell by 2.15% to $26.90 per share after the company third quarter revenue missed analysts’ expectations. The publisher of USA Today also cautioned that its advertising revenue in the fourth quarter might decline in “high teens” percentage points.  The company reported $1.25 billion revenue, lower than the $1.27 billion revenue estimates of analysts. Its earnings were $0.34 per share during the third quarter.

Meanwhile, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ:GT) dropped 6.67$ to $21.12 per share after an analyst from Deutsche Bank AG lowered its rating for the stock from buy to hold on concerns that its profit margins mat have reached their peak. The company was also affected negatively by its announcement that it has not received any new proposal for its Amiens Nord plant in France.