Economic Indicators, Strong Oct. Sales Numbers, and Sirius XM Earnings: Market Recap

Markets closed up Thursday on Wall Street:

S&P 500: +1.09%Nasdaq: +1.44%Dow: +1.04%Oil: +0.79%Gold: -0.25%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed to $86.92 per barrel. Precious metals were down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,714.70 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) falling to $32.26 per ounce a few minutes after the bell.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Thursday’s top stock stories: 

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income fell to $74.5 million (1 cent per share) vs. $104.2 million (2 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 28.5% from the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 13.7% to $867.4 million from the year-earlier quarter. Read our Sirius XM Radio earnings Cheat Sheet.

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Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) closes up 14.18 percent on news that the company hired Blackstone to investigate a possible sell.

Consumer confidence is on the rise again. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose from 68.4 in September to 72.2 in October, its highest level this year. Chasing the good news, retailers across the board announced fairly strong October sales numbers.

Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) closes up 3.21 percent after posting a 3.3 percent increase in same-store sales, and a 4.6 percent increase in total sales for October.

Macy’s (NYSE:M) closes 6.46 percent higher after posting a 4.1 percent increase in same-store sales, and a 3.6 percent increase in total sales for the month.

It was a busy day for the auto industry, as Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Honda (NYSE:HMC), and Toyota (NYSE:TM) released their October sales numbers.

The U.S. Treasury warned that it was still on schedule to reach its debt limit close to the end of the year, even though it was taking measures that would allow it to continue borrowing funds through early 2013. It also plans to sell $72 billion in notes and bonds in next week’s refunding exercise. The Treasury was $235 billion below the $16.4 trillion debt limit as of Monday.

For the month of October, employment statistics were mixed. While the ADP National Employment Report revealed that new job creation increased throughout the month, record layoffs were reported for the same period.

Employers announced 47,724 planned layoffs last month, an increase of more than 40 percent over September’s 33,816 job cuts. The outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that layoffs were at the highest level since May. However, most of the planned cuts will take place in Europe. For example, Ford will be laying off 10,900 workers at plants in the United Kingdom and Belgium.

In comparison, the ADP National Employment Report showed that new job creation topped economists’ forecasts. According to the report, the United States labor market gained 158,000 jobs in October, far above the estimated 135,000.

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