The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P 500 ended the trading day with record highs, up by 0.72% and 0.56% respectively, propelled by positive earnings today. Data compiled by Bloomberg showed that the earnings per share of the 284 companies that already reported third quarter financial results beat the consensus estimates of Wall Street analysts.

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Despite the weak economic data such as the decline in consumer confidence, slow jobs growth in the United States, lower-than-expected expansion of factory output, and pending home sales, investors are optimistic on stocks due to speculations that the Federal Reserve will not taper its quantitative easing. The policy makers started their two-day meeting today.

Randy Bateman, chief investment officer of Huntington Asset Advisors commented, “It still seems that the Fed has created this ‘good news is bad news, bad news is good news’ scenario. The anticipation is that the Fed will retain its purchasing of $85 billion in monthly Treasury and mortgage securities, which is going to continue to help the housing market. That will be taken fairly well by the market.”

Today, the Department of Commerce reported that retail purchases excluding vehicles increased by 0.4%, in line with the estimate of economists polled by Bloomberg. On the other hand, the S&P/Case Schiller reported that home prices rose at a faster rate, up 12.8% in August.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15, 680.71 (0.72%)
  • S&P 500- 1,771.98 (0.56%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,952.34 (0.31%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,119.95 (0.18%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,050.64 (0.95%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,774.74 (0.73%)
  • Deutsche Boerse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,022.54 (0.18%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14,325.98 (-0.49%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,846.54 (0.18%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 372.05 (0.26%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of NutriSystem Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRI) surged by more than 20% to $18.31 per share after the company reported better-than-expected financial results for the third quarter. The company delivered $0.15 earnings per share on $85.4 million revenue compared with the consensus estimate of $0.13 earnings per share on $81.3 million revenue.

MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR) gained more than 18% to $119.17 per share after reporting outstanding financial results for the third quarter. The company’s income from continuing operations increased by 59% to $17.1 million or $1.52 per share and revenue rose by 4% to $141.9 million.

The stock value of Xylem Inc (NYSE:XYL) increased by more than 12% to $32.53 per share after the water treatment company generated earnings for the third quarter that beat the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts. The company reported a profit of $73 million or $0.39 earnings per share on $965 million revenue. During the same period last year, the Xylem earned $72 million or $0.38 earnings per share on $931 million revenue. Analysts projected that the company will deliver $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter.