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Weekly Market Wrap: October 17, 2014
The Online Investor - Fri., Oct. 17, 4:19 PM

A volatile forty-second trading week of 2014 comes to a close with the S&P 500, NASDAQ composite and Dow Jones all significantly higher in early-afternoon trading on Friday.

Most actively traded stocks include Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) up 2.5%, Bank of America (BAC) higher by 0.9%, Apple (AAPL) up 1.7% and General Electric (GE) up 2.5%.

Hi. I'm Kristin Bianco. Welcome to the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for October 17, 2014.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite are all lower this week.

Crude oil futures are sharply lower this week, trading at $83.07 per barrel on Friday afternoon.

And Gold futures are higher this week, trading at $1238.95 an ounce this afternoon.

In economic news, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $442.7 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent from the previous month, but 4.3 percent above September 2013. Total sales for the July through September 2014 period were up 4.5 percent from the same

period a year ago. The July to August 2014 percent change was unrevised from 0.6%.

Retail trade sales were down 0.4 percent from August 2014, but 4.0 percent above last year. Auto and other motor vehicle dealers were up 10.4 percent from September 2013 and food services and drinking places were up 7.1 percent from last year.

The Producer Price Index for final demand decreased 0.1 percent in September, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Final demand prices were unchanged in August and advanced 0.1 percent in July. On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand increased 1.6 percent for the 12 months ended in September.

In September, the 0.1-percent decrease in final demand prices can be traced to the indexes for both goods and services, which moved down 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

Within intermediate demand, prices for processed goods inched up 0.1 percent, the index for unprocessed goods rose 0.6 percent, and prices for services were unchanged.

In the week ending October 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 264,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 287,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since April 15, 2000 when it was 259,000. The 4-week moving average was 283,500, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 287,750. This is the lowest level for this average since June 10, 2000 when it was 283,500.

Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,017,000. This is 6.3 percent above the revised August estimate of 957,000 and is 17.8 percent above the September 2013 rate of 863,000. Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 646,000; this is 1.1 percent above the revised August figure of 639,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 353,000.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,018,000. This is 1.5 percent above the revised August rate of 1,003,000 and is 2.5 percent above the September 2013 estimate of 993,000.

In corporate dividend news, the Goldman Sachs Group increased the firm's quarterly dividend to $0.60 per common share from $0.55 per common share. The dividend will be paid on December 30, 2014 to common shareholders of record on December 2, 2014.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has declared a cash dividend for the fourth quarter of 2014 of $0.70 per share on the company's common stock. The dividend is payable on December 9, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 25, 2014. The ex-dividend date is November 21, 2014.

Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.38 per share payable November 20, 2014 to shareholders of record November 3, 2014.

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) has announced that it has declared a dividend of $0.25 per share. The company's board of directors approved a record date for the quarterly dividend of November 21, 2014, and a payment date of December 12, 2014.

And, Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK) approved a regular fourth quarter cash dividend of $0.52 per common share. The dividend is payable on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Friday, December 5, 2014.

This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Friday, October 17, 2014. Please join us on Monday for the Week Ahead Market Report.

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October 23, 2014    1:48 PM Eastern


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