On Friday (October 24, 2014), the U.S stock markets were up. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose by 0.76%, to 16,805.41; the S&P 500 (SPX) increased by 0.71%, to 1,964.58; the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rose by 0.69%, to 4,483.72.
On weekly basis, the stocks saw the biggest weekly gains in nearly two years. DJIA increased by 425 points or 2.6%; S&P 500 increased by 77.82 points or 4.1%; Nasdaq Composite rose by 225.28 points or 5.3%.
On the year-to-date basis, DJIA increased by 1.38%, S&P 500 rose by 6.29%, and Nasdaq Composite increased by 7.35%.
Last week, U.S. investors focused on the following developments;
- US existing homes sales data increased by 2.4% in September to a higher-than-expected annual rate of 5.17 million, which was the highest level of 2014. The consensus was 5.10 million.
- US new homes sales data was reported as 467.000 in September, which was high-than-expected number of 460.000. In addition, previous data revised down to 466.000 from 504.000
- US inflation rose by 0.1% in September, and 1.7% on yearly, which has supported the Federal Rserve to maintain low interest rates
- US weekly initial jobless claims rose by 17.000 to 283.000, which is lower than the estimate of 285.000. The four-week moving average fell 3.000 to 281.000.
- China’s economic growth slowed to 7.3% in the third quarter, which was under target rate of 7.5% and the slowest pace since 2009.
- Eurozone Markit Composite PMI Index slightly rose to 52.2 in October from 52.0 in September.
- UK’s economy growed by 0.7% in the third quarter and 2.8% on yearly. Recall that the growth rate was 0.9% in the second quarter.
- Some major US companies such as Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Caterpillar, McDonald’s, GM, Daimler, Ford announced their quarterly profit reports. Generally, reports showed profits to be growing faster than estimated.