Markets Bouncy, Buoyant on Key Econ, Earnings

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Market indexes rode higher off yesterday’s flatness, as a bevy of economic and Q3 earnings reports cranked up the heat on the growing economy — after a month or so of slogging through cooler-than-expected prints. The Dow closed +0.16% on the day, while the S&P 500 came within a hair of a fresh all-time closing high, +0.39% to 4700.90. The Nasdaq took the day, +0.76%, back within striking distance of 16K, and the Russell 2000 registered +0.17%.
Aside from hot Retail Sales and Import/Export numbers for October, we also saw this morning Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization figures, also for October. And the exceptional growth continues, helping keep the markets in the pink as earnings season wanes into its final weeks.
Industrial Production doubled expectations to +1.6% growth last month, following a disappointing -1.3% back in September. Year over year, it may look like the start of a parabolic curve off the previous month’s low +4.6% to +5.1% in October — still a long ways off from the eyebrow-raising +17.9% back in April, when the Great Reopening really took hold. Nevertheless, it’s nicely higher than the +3.9% investors were expecting.
Capacity Utilization not only outperformed expectations, it put up its best monthly number of the past year: 76.4%, from a 75.8% consensus and the 75.2% reported for September. October’s headline even took out the far-and-away leader on the past 12 months previously, July’s 76.3%. It would seem that to whatever extent slowing Cap Utes were part and parcel of the Delta variant hitting factory populations over the late summer/early fall, those are now in the rearview mirror.
Tomorrow we turn back on the Q3 earnings spigot again, with expected releases from Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)-rated retailers Target TGT and The TJX Companies TJX, along with Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)-rated specialty retailer Lowe’s LOW. Both Target and Lowe’s have grown in stock price 50% year to date. After the closing bell tomorrow, we’ll see results from NVIDIA NVDA, a Zacks Rank #2 stock that has grown +130% year to date.
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