The financial performance of many corporations show better earnings than the expectations of Wall Street analysts. The increasing optimism among investors that the Federal Reserve will not taper its $85 billion bond-buying program due to data indicating that the economic growth is slower propelled the stock markets higher today.
Data from Markit Economics preliminary index showed that the expansion of the manufacturing industry in October was weaker than projected, an indication that economic growth is more tepid. In addition, the consumer confidence declined last week to an eight-month low based on the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. Furthermore, the Department of Labor recently reported that the unemployment rate declined to 7.2 percent, but the148,000 jobs added in September were lower than the 180,000 estimate of economists.
Commenting on the performance of the stock markets, Mark Spellman, portfolio manager at Value Line Funds told Bloomberg, “We are right at the heart of earnings season so everything at this point of time is very earnings driven. Earnings have been as good, if not slightly better than expected. We’ve done a lot on the cost side. What people want to see is continued progress in the sales line.”
On the other hand, David James, research director at James Investment Research Inc said, “We want to look at the quality of these earnings as far as looking at revenues and making sure there is actual growth and not just manufactured growth.”
There are 47 companies reporting their financial results today, including Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Based on data compiled by Bloomberg, 76 percent of the 212 companies that have already released earnings results outperformed the consensus estimates of Wall Street analysts.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 15, 515.60 (+0.66%)
- S&P 500- 1,752.53 (+0.36%)
- NASDAQ- 3,929.54 (+0.58%)
- Russell 2000- 1,118.76 (+0.70%)
- EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,038.96 (+0.72%)
- FTSE 100 Index- 6,713.18 (+0.58%)
- Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 8,980.63 (+0.68%)
Asia Pacific Markets
- Nikkei 225- 14,486.41 (+0.42%)
- Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,836.32 (-0.71%)
- Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2, 400.51 (-0.74%)
Stocks in Focus
The stock price of Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) dropped more than 11 percent to $46.06 per share after the company issued a revenue guidance for the fourth quarter that is lower than the estimates of Wall Street analysts. The company also revealed that it is trying to renegotiate its contract with its largest media client. Akamai reported $0.50 earnings per share on $398.8 million revenue in the third quarter.
Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE:GNRC) gained more than 13 percent to $47.48 per share after reporting outstanding financial results for the third quarter. The company delivered $0.67 earnings per share, up from $0.37 earnings per share in the same period a year earlier. Its revenue increased by 20.9 percent from $300.6 million last year to $363.3 million.
Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) declined by 12.75 percent to $21.48 per share after reporting financial results lower than the expectations of analysts. The maker of security software delivered $0.47 earnings per share on $1.64 billion revenue for the second quarter fiscal 2014.
Meanwhile, Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX) declined 10.44 percent to $9.61 per share after the company reduced its fourth quarter earnings guidance to $1.08 per share due to concerns related to its plan to transform into business services. For the third quarter, the company reported $0.22 earnings per share on $5.26 billion revenue.