The stock markets in the United States gained as biotechnology and commodity shares traded higher today. The S&P 500 moved back to its highest levels since the selloff in August.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Yesterday, the U.S. equity markets were down because of the decline of the stock price of biotechnology companies, and the lower global economic outlook by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The international creditor projected that the global real GDP will be 3.1% this year, down from 3.4% last year.

Commenting on today’s market trend, Andrew Burkly, head of institutional portfolio at Oppenheimer told Bloomberg, “There’s an anticipation of earnings season. We’ve had a couple of spotty company earnings, like Yum, which wasn’t very strong. There are implications there of slower growth.”

Market analysts estimated a 6.9% decline in the earnings of S&P 500 companies in the third quarter. Investors will focus their attention on the earnings season this week to gauge the strength of the global economy, and its impact on U.S. companies.

[drizzle]

In an interview with CNBC, billionaire investor Sam Zell said the stock market is out of syn with the Main Street. According to him, “The best example I can give you was [a week ago] Monday when the stock market was down 300 [points] and everything was horrific. I looked at the screen and said I don’t think there’s anything that I want to buy.”

Zell added, “We subsequently had a recovery that I don’t think fits any economic judgment. There’s a significant missing of demand, not only in the United States but worldwide.”

When it comes to the U.S. economy, Zell said it currently okay, but he emphasized that “much of the economy is predicated on noneconomic issues. He noted that a huge amount of “equity money fueling jobs out there.” He said most of the jobs are substandard, which now qualify as being employed, but don’t create any opportunity for people to grow further.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 16, 912.29 (+0.73%)
  • S&P 500- 1,995.83 (+0.80%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,791.15 (+0.90%)
  • Russell 2000- 1152.61 (+1.67%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,226.40 (+0.20%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,336.16 (+0.16%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,970.40 (+0.68%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 18,322.98 (+0.75%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,515.76 (+3.13%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,202.95 (+0.76%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Yum! Brands declined more than 18% to $67.71 per share. The owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell restaurants reported lower-than-expected earnings for the third quarter. Yum! Brands posted earnings of $1.00 per share, below the $1.06 per share expected by analysts.

Freeport-McMoRan gained more than 9% to $15.01 per share. The company agreed to appoint two new directors affiliated with Carl Icahn. Its new directors are Andrew Langham, general counsel of Icahn Enterprises and Courtney Mather, managing director of Icahn Capital.

The stock value of Pacific Biosciences of California surged more than 22% to $7.80 per share, the biggest gainer on NASDAQ. Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated their Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $9 per share. The company recently launched its new nucleic acid sequencing platform called “The Sequel System.”

[/drizzle]

Tags: