Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stocks rise on strong retail sales data – C, NOK, CLWR, AMED, LLY

Wall Street got a boost on Monday after strong U.S. retail sales for the month of September held out hopes of a return in consumer confidence and optimism about revival in the economy.

Consumer spending drives about two-thirds of the U.S. economy.

Shares of banks also rose after Citigroup reported earnings that were better than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 95.38 points to close at 13,424.23, its biggest gain since September 13.The S&P 500(INDEXSP:.INX) was up 11.54 points at 1,440.13 and the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose 20.07 points to 3,064.18.

Data on retail sales, released by the U.S. Commerce Department showed that Americans had spent more on buying cars and gasoline while sales of building materials also showed an uptick.

These three together make up core retail sales and are a good indicator of consumer spending in the economy. Core retail sales rose 0.9 percent in the month, compared to an overall growth of 1.1 percent. It surpassed the forecasts made by economists.

Companies that rely on consumer spending, like Lowe's, TJX Cos. and Yum Brands rose after the data was released.

Citigroup Inc.(NYSE:C) shares also rose 5.5 percent to $36.66 after it reported earnings that beat analyst estimates.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) rose 3.5 percent, while JPMorgan Chase rose 1.8 percent.

A fall in China's inflation rate to 1.9 percent in September from2 percent in August also held out hopes that the world's second largest economy will announce some measures to further stimulate growth.

Clearwire Corporation(NASDAQ:CLWR) was the notable winner and soared 16% to $2.69 after Sprint was agreed to be acquired by Japanese cell phone company Softbank Corp.

Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK) saw a sudden pop up and surged 4.70% to $2.68 ahead of the company critical quarterly earnings on Thursday. Investors would like to see the company’s cash position as analysts are expecting the company’s available cash to play an important role going forward. In terms of earnings revenue, analysts continued to believe that the company will report loss and lower revenue due heavy competition from Apple and Google’s android. So, keep your eyes on NOK this week.

Eli Lilly & Co.(NYSE:LLY) resumed uptrend and rose 4.12% to $52.53 after the company said results from a late-stage study of its metastatic gastric cancer treatment were positive. ISI Group sees $600 million annual sales from the drug's use in gastric cancer alone, while noting it's also being tested in other tumor types, too, which could boost sales if trials are positive.

Amedisys Inc(NASDAQ:AMED) was the notable loser and fell 9.40% after the company  it reached a new agreement with health insurer HumHumana Inc.(NYSE:HUM) that will keep the companies' relationship going, but will also bring in less revenue. 

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