The stock markets in the United Stated ending the trading session higher today as investors are still waiting for the financial performance of retail companies to evaluate strength of consumer demand. Investors are also anticipating the possibility that the Federal Reserve will start tapering its $85 billion bond-buying program given the recent economic data.

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Some of the companies scheduled to report earnings later this week include Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), and Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN). The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) will report its financial results on Tuesday next week, November 19.

John Carey, portfolio manager at Pioneer Investment Management told Bloomberg, “Sometimes a boring day is nice. People will be watching over the next few weeks to see if the Fed does decide to begin tapering this year. If earnings continue trending higher the support will be there for better share prices.”

On the other hand, Alison Porter, U.S. equities fund manager at Ignis Asset Management opined,  “Investors want to know the strength of the U.S. consumer going into what might be a tepid holiday season. Consumer spending has been fairly restrained. With big retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot yet to report, we’ll want to see whether that has picked up.”

Data compiled by Bloomberg showed that 75% out of the 447 companies listed in the S&P 500 that already reported quarterly financial results outperformed the consensus estimates of Wall Street analysts. Based on average estimates, companies achieved a 4.7% increase in earnings per share for the third quarter, and are expected to increase at 6.2% in the fourth quarter.

“We can put in the books that the third quarter earnings season was another positive surprise,” The market was way too pessimistic going in,” according to Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15, 783.10 (+0.14%)
  • S&P 500- 1,771.89 (+0.07%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,919.79 (+0.01%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,101.76 (+0.16%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,052.83 (+0.59%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,728.37 (+0.30%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,107.86 (+0.33%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 14, 269.84 (1.30%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,069.85 (+1.43%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 315.89 (+0.34%)

 

Stocks in Focus

The shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) increased by 1.16% to $354.38 per share after the company reported its partnership with United States Postal Service (USPS) to deliver online orders every Sunday to customers located in Los Angeles and New York, with more to follow.

The stock price of Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS) declined 13.53% to $19.24 per share after an analysts at Barclays Capital noted that the iPad Air of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) does not contain two amplifiers from the company that were included in the previous versions of the iPad.

NQ Mobile Inc (ADR) (NYSE:NQ) gained 19% to $13.49 per share on reports that the mobile internet service provider will deliver outstanding earnings for the third quarter. In addition, the stock was considered by Trades Ideas LLC as a “storm the castle” candidate because it crossed above the 200-day simple moving average, and for several other reasons. TheStreet Quant Ratings also noted the NQ Mobile has a robust revenue growth, solid financial position with reasonable debt levels, and solid stock price performance.