/Market Coverage: Friday October 16 Yahoo Finance

Market Coverage: Friday October 16 Yahoo Finance

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Stock futures rose Friday morning as markets looked to recover some of the last three days’ worth of losses. Investors monitored a slate of upbeat announcements from major companies including Boeing and Pfizer and a much better than expected print on spending by the U.S. consumer.

U.S. retail sales jumped 1.9% in September from August, blowing past estimates for a 0.8% gain, according to Bloomberg data. Spending at clothing stores surged 11% during the month, but held below levels from September last year. Sales at department stores, auto dealers and sporting goods stores also contributed to retail sales’ fifth straight monthly gain.

Shares of Dow-component Boeing (BA) jumped more than 3% in early trading after the company said Europe’s top aviation regulations agency EASA deemed that the 737 Max will be safe to fly again in the region before the end of the calendar year. The 737 Max had been grounded globally since March 2019 following two deadly crashes.

Pfizer (PFE), meanwhile, said in an update Friday that it expected to reach a key milestone in its COVID-19 vaccine candidate testing in the third week of November, after which it planned to apply for Emergency Authorization Use through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The positive company news helped disperse some of the gloom around fast-fading prospects for fiscal stimulus out of Washington Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell broke with the White House and said he was going to have the chamber next week take up a proposal worth about $500 billion – or less than a quarter the size of the proposal House Democrats advanced earlier this month.

President Donald Trump, for his part, suggested in a Fox Business interview he was willing to go higher than the $1.8 trillion package he last put forward. Still, however, ongoing discussions between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have produced little tangible progress in the way of narrowing the spread between their plans.

Each of the three major indices logged a third straight day of losses Thursday, putting the Dow (^DJI) on track to post a slight decline for the week. Tech shares lagged, but bank stocks outperformed after lagging earlier in the week, after Morgan Stanley (MS) reported estimates-topping profit and a 22% jump in markets revenue to round out a strong batch of third-quarter trading desk results from big banks.

Other economic data disappointed on Thursday, foreboding more strain for Americans as hundreds of thousands more filed new unemployment insurance claims last week. Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose by 898,000 for the week ended Oct. 10, representing the highest level since mid-August.

8:30 a.m. ET: Retail sales rise far more than expected in September
Sales at U.S. retailers accelerated far more than expected in September, driven by a rebound in sales at clothing stores.

Headline retail sales rose 1.9% in September from August after a 0.6% gain in the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday. Consensus economists had been looking for a rise of 0.8%, according to Bloomberg consensus data.

Excluding auto and gas sales, retail sales still jumped 1.5%, or three times the 0.5% rise expected. The gain was driven by an 11.0% jump in sales at clothing and clothing accessory stores, which had lagged earlier on during the pandemic. Department store sales also jumped 9.7% in September, and sporting goods and hobby store sales rose 5.7%.

The only major category to post declines in September was electronics and appliance stores, with sales falling 1.6%.

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