Stocks continued to reach new record highs on Friday, as better-than-expected quarterly revenue growth (despite earnings misses) from some key companies followed Thursday afternoon’s report by The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Hilsenrath entitled, “Fed Unlikely to Trim Bond Buying in October”. As a result, Friday was definitely a “risk on” trading day.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) gave the entire Nasdaq a boost, as its share price rose above $1,000 for the first time, to close with a 13.80 percent leap to $1,013. Google beat earnings estimates of $10.34 per share on revenue of $14.79 billion, by reporting earnings per share of $10.78 on revenue of $10.89 billion. General Electric (NYSEARCA:GE) managed to jump 3.53 percent despite falling a penny short of earnings estimates of 37 cents per share. Investors were apparently enthused by the idea that GE would have another excuse to avoid paying any income taxes (again). Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSEARCA:CMG) saw its share price skyrocket 16.10 percent, despite missing earnings estimates of $2.78 per share by 12 cents. Its third-quarter revenue of $826.9 million beat expectations of $820.28 million.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) picked up 28 points to finish Friday’s trading session at 15,399 for a 0.18 percent advance. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) surged 0.65 percent to a record-high close at 1,744.50 after hitting a new record intraday high of 1,745.31.
The Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) jumped 1.59 percent to finish at 3,353. The Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) soared 1.13 percent to reach a new record-high close at 1,114.77 after hitting a record intraday high of 1,115.04.
On London’s ICE Futures Europe Exchange, December futures for Brent crude oil advanced 98 cents (0.90 percent) to $110.09/bbl. (NYSEARCA:BNO).
December gold futures declined $7.10 (0.54 percent) to $1,315.90 per ounce (NYSEARCA:GLD).
Transports climbed all the way to the International Space Station on Friday, with the Dow Jones Transportation Average (NYSEARCA:IYT) soaring 1.20 percent.
In Japan, the exchange rate for the yen continued to be the dominant factor in stock market activity. Stocks made a slight retreat as the yen gained unwanted strength against the dollar. A stronger yen causes Japanese exports to be less competitively priced in foreign markets. The dollar weakened following reports that the “Octaper” is off the table. The yen strengthened to 98.01 per dollar during the last half-hour of trading in Tokyo on Friday (NYSEARCA:FXY). The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.17 percent to 14,561 (NYSEARCA:EWJ). M
In China, stocks advanced after the Bureau of National Statistics reported that the country’s GDP expanded at an annual rate of 7.8 percent during the third quarter, compared with 7.5 percent expansion during the second quarter. For the first three quarters of 2013, the economy has grown at an annual rate of 7.7 percent, putting the nation ahead of its 7.5 percent growth target – so far. China’s industrial production increased by 10.2 percent in September, as expected by economists. The nation’s retail sales rose 13.3 percent during the month. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.24 percent to close at 2,193 (NYSEARCA:FXI). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.06 percent to end the day at 23,340 (NYSEARCA:EWH).
In Europe, earnings reporting season has brought mixed results. Nevertheless, European investors were willing to embrace risk as a result of the strong economic data from China, as well as the expectations that America’s quantitative easing program will continue, unabated, for the foreseeable future. The Euro STOXX 50 Index finished Friday’s session with a 0.76 percent surge to 3,033 – climbing further above its 50-day moving average of 2,871. Its Relative Strength Index is 72.52. Because most investors consider an RSI above 70 as an “overbought” signal, we could see a pullback (NYSEARCA:FEZ).