Friday Morning Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories Moving Markets
It’s Friday, October 25, and U.S. stock futures couldn’t decide which way was up ahead of the opening bell. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that factory orders for durable goods increased 3.7 percent on the month, well above economist expectations for a 2.7 percent increase. However, most of the gains were led by a tremendous surge in orders for transportation equipment, up 12.3 percent on the month, and within the segment led by non-defense aircraft and parts.
Excluding orders for transportation equipment — which is standard practice, given their typically volatile nature — new orders actually contracted -0.1 percent, missing economist expectations for a gain of 0.5 percent. Overall, new orders for manufactured durable goods have increased in five of the six past months. Reports released Thursday confirmed that the manufacturing sector floundered through the 16-day partial shutdown of the U.S. government.
At about 8:45 a.m., U.S. stock futures were mixed. Dow futures were off 0.07 percent, S&P 500 futures were off 0.07 percent, and Nasdaq futures were off 0.07 percent. Still, despite the wonky economic data, earnings remain in focus. Gains in the Nasdaq on Friday morning were fueled by strong performances by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corp.(NASDAQ:MSFT), which reported earnings on Thursday evening.