The stock markets in the United Stated ended the week higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) reached more than 16,000 points while the Standard & Poor’s 500 reached over 1,800 points, a gain of 0.33% and 0.43%, respectively.  Investors believe that there is no reason for the markets to go down given the positive trend in job hiring in the country.

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In September, the number of job openings in the United States reached a five-year high at 4.59 million. The figure exceeded the highest job opening of 4.56 million recorded in August 2008.

Karyn Cavanaugh, vice president and market strategist at ING U.S. Investment Management told Bloomberg, “I don’t see any reason why the market shouldn’t go up. There’s not really any bad news. We have a little bit of a pullback and then people jump in and say, ’Hey, I want a piece of this.'”

On the other hand, Chris Bouffard, chief investment officer at Mutual Fund Store commented that the tailwinds in the market are hard to ignore such as low price of oil, which helps consumers particularly as we enter the holiday spending season. He also noted, “Buybacks and dividends are doing very well.”

With regard to the speculations of the presence of a “bubble” in the markets, hedge fund manager David Tepper of Appaloosa Management emphasized that the equity markets are not in a bubble during an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Stephanie Ruhle. He said, “I know there’s talks about bubbles, this is not one.” According to him, China, Europe, and the United States are on “firm ground.” He added that he remain bullish on U.S. stocks, but he projected that the markets could fall 5% to 10% once the Federal Reserve starts tapering its monthly stimulus.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16, 063.55 (+0.33%)
  • S&P 500- 1,804.40 (+0.48%)
  • NASDAQ- 3,990.59 (+0.54%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,125.54 (+0.53%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,055.98 (+0.38%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,674.30 (-0.11%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,219.04 (-0.25%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 15, 381.72 (+0.10%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,686.28 (+0.49%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 397.96 (-0.50%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Biogen Idec Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) increased 13.19% to $285.73 per share after the company’s drug called Tecfidera designed for the treatment of multiple sclerosis received the “new active substance” designation in Europe. The designation means that Tecfidera is protected from competition particularly from a similar generic drug for 10 years.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee commented, “This is an overhang removed as BIIB should now most certainly launch Tecfidera in EU, generating peak sales of $1 billion to $2 billion before data exclusivity expires in 2024.”

Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL) climbed 4.11% to $38.78 a share after the athletic shoe retailer reported better than expected earnings for the third quarter. The company delivered $0.68 earnings per share on $1.62 billion revenue, higher than the $0.66 earnings per share on $1.57 billion revenue consensus estimates of Wall Street analysts.

On the other hand, the stock value of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) fell 5.72% to $75.67 per share after providing guidance for the fourth quarter that is lower than the expectations of analysts. The retailer expects to generate earnings of around $1.01 a share, lower that its previous guidance of $1.03 per share and the $1.08 per share average estimate of analysts. During the third quarter, Ross Stores generated $0.80 earnings per share on $2.4 billion revenue.