U.S. Stocks Rise Amid Better-Than-Estimated Economic Data (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, giving benchmark indexes their biggest advance in seven weeks, as reports on employment and manufacturing topped estimates while consumer confidence climbed in October to a more than four-year high. One of the major concerns of the market is a deceleration of growth,” Mark Freeman, who oversees about $14 billion as chief investment officer at Westwood Holdings Group Inc. in Dallas, said in a phone interview. “The data is actually saying that deceleration has basically stopped and the growth rate has stabilized. When we look at fundamentals, the economy still supports earnings growth going into next year.”
Brent Slips, U.S. Crude Higher as Stockpiles Drop (Reuters)
Brent crude prices fell on Thursday on returning North Sea supply and euro-zone concerns, while U.S. gasoline edged higher as support from supply disruptions after superstorm Sandy countered any pressure from data showing rising inventories. After Hurricane Sandy battered the region, logistical problems from power outages and navigational hazards continued to threaten fuel and crude oil deliveries in the New York area, including the New York Harbor delivery point for New York Mercantile Exchange fuel futures contracts.
Starbucks Raises Its Outlook, Increases Dividend (CNBC)
Coffee retailer Starbucks reported quarterly earnings that topped analysts’ expectations by a penny and announced that it would hike its dividend by 24% today to 21 cents from 17 cents. “We’re going to open up to close to 1,200 new stores next year,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “Seventy to 80 percent of growth will come from outside of North America, mainly Asia.”