The Week on Wall Street
Earnings helped give the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 a slight lift last week, offsetting investor disappointment over the small scope of the preliminary U.S.-China trade deal reached on October 11. Blue chips took a small weekly loss.
The Nasdaq and S&P respectively gained 0.40% and 0.54% on the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated just 0.17%. Outdoing these three benchmarks, the MSCI EAFE index tracking stocks in developed overseas markets rose 1.35%.
The Early Earnings Picture
According to stock market analytics firm FactSet, 15% of S&P 500 companies had reported results through Friday’s close. Of those companies, 84% announced that net profits topping projections, and 64% said that revenues had exceeded forecasts.
One big question is whether overall earnings for S&P 500 firms will show year-over-year growth. There was no year-over-year earnings gain evident in either Q1 or Q2.
Retail Sales Declined Last Month
Shoppers scaled back their purchases in September. The Census Bureau announced a 0.3% dip for retail sales, the first decrease in seven months.
Auto sales can influence this number, and car and truck buying fell 0.9% last month. A fall pickup in that category may help encourage another monthly advance.
If you buy your own health coverage, note that the open enrollment period for 2020 health insurance plans begins on November 1 in most states. The open enrollment window closes on December 15.