Stocks managed to post small gains lifted by a strong housing report, but tepid quarterly results from major tech companies weighed. The day's gains were propelled by signs of continued strength in the housing market. Construction of new homes surged more than expected in September to the highest level in more than four years. Separately, new building permits, an indication of future construction, rose above estimates in September.
Among earnings, Bank of America (BAC) reported a breakeven quarter, exceeding expectations for a loss but revenue was less than expected. Pepsico (PEP) posted higher-than-expected earnings, but revenue fell slightly short due to the stronger U.S. dollar. Intel (INTC) reported quarterly results that beat analysts forecast but shares slid as the personal computer industry wrestles with a shaky global economy and a shift by consumers toward tablets. Dow heavyweight IBM (IBM) posted a profit that topped expectations, though revenue fell short, sending shares sharply lower.
Tomorrow more earnings will be released from the like of Morgan Stanley (MS), Travelers (TRV), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG), On the economic front jobs will likely be the focus with initial claims for the week ended October 13 are expected to come in at 370,000, up from 339,000 the previous week. Continuing claims will be released as well. After the open the Philadelphia Fed survey will be released followed by leading indicators.
Among the high volume stocks today Microsoft Corp (MSFT), Cymer Inc (CYMI), Cree Inc (CREE), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR) and American Express Company (AXP) posted gains while Bank of America Corporation (BAC), Intel Corporation (INTC), Apollo Group Inc (APOL), International Business Machines Corp (IBM) and PepsiCo Inc (PEP) moved lower. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index closed the day down $0.15 at $15.07 a 0.99% decrease. The Put/Call Volume Ratio is at 0.79 while the Put/Call Open Interest ratio is at 0.91. [MarketIntelligenceCenter.com]