Daily Data Flow: U.S. Stocks Rise; Softbank Buys Sprint; Skilled-Worker Shortage Exaggerated

Daily Data Flow

U.S. Stocks Rise as Retail Sales, Citigroup Top Estimates (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) rebounded from its biggest weekly drop in four months, after American retail sales and Citigroup (C) Inc.’s earnings topped estimates. The retail sales report looked a little bit better than expected,” Dan Veru, who oversees $3.5 billion as chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management LLC in Fort Lee, New Jersey, said in a phone interview. “The big question regarding earnings is whether expectations have come down enough so that companies can beat guidance.” U.S. stocks rose as the Commerce Department said retail sales climbed 1.1 in September following a revised 1.2 percent increase in August that was the biggest since October 2010 and larger than previously reported.

Softbank to Buy 70% of Sprint as Son Seeks Growth in U.S. (Bloomberg)
Softbank Corp. agreed to buy a stake of about 70 percent in Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) for $20.1 billion as Japan’s third-biggest mobile-phone operator seeks growth overseas amid a declining local market. Entering the U.S. allows billionaire Masayoshi Son, Softbank’s president, to participate in a market that’s still growing in contrast to Japan, where handset shipments tumbled 27 percent during the past five years. Son is pursuing an acquisition strategy that counts on smartphone users migrating to faster wireless networks to surf the Web and download videos and music.

Skilled-Worker Shortage Is Exaggerated, Says Study (USA Today)
A shortage of skilled manufacturing workers that’s blamed for helping push up unemployment is far smaller than believed, according to a study out today. he study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) says manufacturers may have openings they can’t fill, but it’s not because workers aren’t out there. It’s because companies are being too selective about who they hire and are unwilling to pay a competitive wage. It says 58% of high-skill manufacturing and engineering jobs remain open at least three to six months. But Sirkin says that’s partly because employers are not committed enough to hiring the workers.

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Last week proved to be a challenging one for the stock market. All of the major indices were in the red -- the S&P 500 fell 2.2% for the week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.1%. Even though last week kicked off third-quarter earnings season with a trickle, economic data took a back seat to reports from Alcoa (AA), Yum! Brands (YUM), Costco (COST) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). While all of those companies beat quarterly expectations, internal financial numbers of those reports a

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