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While you were sleeping: Wall St creeps to record highs

Pepsico shares were volatile after the company delivered higher-than-expected quarterly earnings. 

Margreet Dietz
Thu, 05 Oct 2017

Wall Street reached fresh record highs as better-than-expected data on US service industries underpinned optimism on the economic outlook.

An Institute for Supply Management report showed its non-manufacturing index climbed to 59.8 in September, the highest in 12 years and exceeding economists' expectations, up from 55.3 in August.

"The non-manufacturing sector has reflected strong growth in the month of September despite the impact on the supply chain from the recent hurricanes," Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM survey committee, said in a statement, CNBC reported.

Seperately, the ADP employment report showed that US private payrolls increased by 135,000 in September, the lowest gain in 11 months and in line with economists' expectations, following a revised gain of 228,000 in August.

"Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hurt the job market in September," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement, Bloomberg reported. "Looking through the storms the job market remains sturdy and strong." Moody's produces the figures with ADP.

Up next are reports on weekly jobless claims on Thursday and the government's non-farm payrolls on Friday.

In other news, President Donald Trump's advisers have given him a final list of people they're recommending as candidates to lead the Federal Reserve and have ended the search, Bloomberg reported, citing seven people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied reports that he considered resigning, easing concern of further staff turnover in the Trump administration.

"The markets are going to breathe a sigh of relief that Tillerson is staying in office," John Brady, senior vice president at futures brokerage RJ O'Brien & Associates in Chicago, told Reuters. "The markets are going to grind a little bit higher."

Dow rises 20 points
At the close of trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19.97 points, or 0.09%, to 22,661.64, a new closing high. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.04% to 6534.63 and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.12% to 2537.74.

The Dow's sixth successive session of gains was led by Nike and those of Caterpillar, which both rose 1.1%, outweighing declines by General Electric andApple, down 1.3% and 0.8% respectively.

Shares of internet retailers, such as Netflix (up 2.9%), TripAdvisor (up 3.7%) and (up 0.9%), helped nudge the S&P 500 to a record and its seventh straight session of gains

Shares of PepsiCo seesawed after the company posted quarterly earnings that bettered expectations while sales disappointed.

"Overall, our businesses performed well in the third quarter in what continues to be a challenging environment," CEO Indra Nooyi said in a statement.

"Each of our operating sectors delivered results in line with or ahead of our expectations, with the exception of North America Beverages (NAB) where revenues declined following two consecutive years of very strong third-quarter growth.

"Despite the challenges in our NAB business, the PepsiCo portfolio overall generated revenue, operating profit and earnings per share growth. Although we have moderated our full-year organic revenue growth outlook, we are now on track to exceed the full-year earnings per share target we set at the beginning of the year."

The shares closed 0.2% higher at $US109.34 after earlier falling as low as $US106.19 and rising as high as $US110.16.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was down 0.2%. The UK's FTSE 100 Index eased 0.01%, France's CAC 40 Index slipped 0.08% and Germany's DAX Index rose 0.5%.


Margreet Dietz
Thu, 05 Oct 2017
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While you were sleeping: Wall St creeps to record highs