The stock markets in the United States gained driven by economic data showing the strength of the American economy. The data overshadowed reports regarding the slowdown of the manufacturing sector in China and Europe.

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that the sales of existing homes in the United States climbed 1.5% to an annual rate of 5.26 million units in October.

In a statement, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR stated described the housing market this year as a tale of two halves. According to him, “Sales activity in October reached its highest annual pace of the year as buyers continue to be encouraged by interest rates at low not seen since last summer, improving inventory and stabilizing price growth.”

Yun added that the job market showed continued strength over the past six months, which bodes well for solid demand to close out the year and the possibility of year-over-year sales increases.

[drizzle]On the other hand, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve manufacturing index rose higher than estimates. The index of leading economic indicators was higher than estimated.

The manufacturing and services sector in the European region declined while the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in China dropped below expectations of economist at 50%, which is the midpoint of expansion and contraction.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Paul Zemsky, heal of multi-asset strategies at Voya Investment Management commented, “The swing from this morning was powerful, that shows you there’s strength and the data is quieting market fears about growth.”

Zemsky added, “We got some concerning numbers out of Europe and softness in China but the data in the U.S. continues to be mixed to better. It favors the U.S. and that’s good for markets.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,718.97 (+0.19%)
  • S&P 500- 2,052.76 (+0.20%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,701.87 (+0.56%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,169.91 (+1.06%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,102.21 (-0.67%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,678.90 (-0.26%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,483.97 (+0.12%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 17,300.86 (+0.86%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23.349.64 (-0.10%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,537.10 (-0.00%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Dillard’s, Inc. (NYSE:DDS) climbed more than 9% to $121.19 per share after Mick McGuire’s Marcato Capital Management urged the company to pursue a REIT spinoff.

The shares of Kirkland’s Inc. (NYSE:KIRK) surged more than 24% to $22.53 per share after the company reported better than expected earnings for the third quarter. The company posted $0.07 in earnings per share on $117.2 million in revenue. Wall Street analysts expected the company to deliver $0.03 in earnings per share on $114.4 million on revenue.

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) gained more than 8% to $75.22 per share reported third quarter earnings that exceeded the estimates of Wall Street analysts. The company reported $0.68 in earnings per share on $1.14 billion in revenue compared with the $0.63 in earnings per share on $1.12 billion in revenue expectations.

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