US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Slip as Retail Sales Miss Expectations

Bank of America Beats
David Becker
Digital Stock exchange panel

US stocks flipped flopped between positive and negative territory for most of the trading session. News ahead of the opening bell showed that US Retail Sales came in below expectations putting downward pressure on yields and stock prices. Bank of America reported a one-time charge that pushed earnings below expectations. Revenue was more than expected helping to buoy the financials. Most of the focus of the markets remain on trade. Sectors were mixed, led down by energy and technology shares, cyclical bucked the trend. Following the closing bell, Netflix reported financial results. The company beat on the bottom line and was in line with expectations on the top line. Guidance came out in line with expectations. The stock prices surged initially following the number.

Bank of America Hit by One-time Charge

Bank of America reported Q3 earnings that were hit by a one-time charge. Quarterly profit at the second-largest bank in the U.S. by assets, was $5.78 billion, compared with $7.17 billion a year ago. Per-share, earnings were 56 cents. That beat the 54 cents per share expected. Earnings were hit by a $2.1 billion charge related to the coming dissolution of the bank’s payment-processing partnership with First Data Corp. Q3 revenue was $22.81 billion, up from $22.72 billion a year ago. That also beat analysts’ expectations for $22.58 billion.

US Retail Sales Come in Softer than Expected

US retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September, declining more than expected according to the Commerce Department. US retail sales dropped 0.3% last month as households slashed spending and pulled back their purchases of automobiles. The decline was the first since February. Data for August was revised up to show retail sales gaining 0.6% instead of 0.4% as previously reported. Expectations had been for retail sales to rise by 0.3% in September. Compared with September of last year, retail sales increased by 4.1%.

Mortgage Applications Rise

Mortgage application volumes edged higher rising 0.5% for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances increased to 3.92% from 3.90%. Despite the slight rate increase, applications to refinance a home loan rose 4% from the previous week.

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