The U.S. stock markets slightly gained except the Russell 2000, down by 0.212% today. Investors are monitoring corporate earnings to determine the strength of the country’s economy.

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Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated that the earnings of S&P 500 companies declined 7.2% in the third quarter. Companies in the energy and materials sectors are expected to report the biggest drop during the period. Last week, Alcoa posted quarterly earnings and revenue that missed the consensus estimate of analysts.

Andrew Brenner, the head of international fixed income at National Alliance Capital commented, “As long as earnings are fair or better than the expectations, I think we’re going to be okay.”

Brenner also noted that some people are suddenly saying that “China’s not so bad. Emerging markets are coming back. Oil is coming back. I’m looking for a grind higher.”

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Investors are also monitoring the statements of Federal Reserve officials regarding interest rates. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer recently said the U.S. economy may be strong enough to guarantee an interest rate hike by the end of this year. However, he emphasized that policymakers are also considering domestic labor market conditions and international developments.

Today, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart reiterated his position that he supports raising interest rates by the end of the year. On the other hand, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans maintained his position that it is best to increase later since inflation is struggling to move back to the target rate.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17, 131.32 (+0.27%)
  • S&P 500- 2.017.33 (+0.12%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,838.64 (+0.12%)
  • Russell 2000- 1163.95 (-0.12%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,247.33 (-2.98%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,371.18 (-0.70%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 10,119.83 (+0.23%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 18,438.67 (+1.64%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,730.93 (+1.71%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,447.69 (+3.22%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Eli Lilly declined almost 8% to $79.45 per share. The pharmaceutical company announced its decision to terminate the Phase 3 trial for evacitrabib due to insufficient efficacy. Evacetrapib is an investigational medicine for patients with a high-risk atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

The shares of Twitter dropped more than 6% to $28.75 per share. The company was negatively impacted by the report that it will reduce its workforce this week. It number of employees that will be affected by the job cuts is still uncertain.

SkyWest surged more than 11% to $19.26 per share. Investors expect the company to deliver strong earnings for the third quarter. Last month, SkyWest Airlines said it will operate additional 18 new Embraer E175 dual-class regional jet aircraft after signing an amended Capacity Purchase Agreement with United Airlines.

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