Closing Update: Stocks Overcome Signs of Economic Distress from Government Shutdown, End Earnings-Loaded Week Higher

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Stocks closed higher Friday, finishing both the session and the week with moderate gains, supported a swath of mostly positive earnings results on one of the two busiest days for results each quarter. Microsoft ( MSFT ), Amazon ( AMZN ) and Zynga ( ZNGA ) all posted better-than-expected Q3 results, overcoming any negative sentiment resulting from a drop in consumer confidence for a second month in a row. The Dow and S&P have gained for three straight weeks, and the Nasdaq will post its second straight weekly gain.

Economic data out today continued to point to lasting problems resulting from the two-week partial government shutdown earlier this month, with orders of goods expected to last more than 3 years declining sharply in October. New orders of non-military durable goods other than aircraft fell 1.1% last month, the Commerce Department said today. Including transportation, orders rose 3.7%.

U.S. wholesale inventories rose 0.5% in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Census Bureau said. Inventories were up 2.5% over year-ago levels while wholesale sales also rose, the bureau said, climbing 0.6% from July and 5.6% over last year.

The Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment continued its skid, fell to 73.2 from 77.5 in September - its third consecutive drop since hitting a a six-year high of 85.1 in July.

Commodities were mixed. Crude oil for December delivery settled 74 cents higher at $97.87 per barrel while November natural gas rose 8 cents to $3.71 per 1 million BTU. December gold rose $2.10 to $1352.40 per ounce while December silver fell 18 cents to $22.64 per ounce. December copper was unchanged at $3.27 per pound.

Here's where the markets closed:

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 61 points, or 0.4%, at 15,570

S&P 500 up 7.7 points, or 0.4%, at 1,759

Nasdaq Composite Index up 14.4 points, or 0.4%, at 3,943

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index down 0.60%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 1.45%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.12%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) PFS, Climbs to new 52-week high after reporting Q3 earnings of $0.28 per share, beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.02 per share.

(+) CECO, Sells its European education properties to Apax Partners for around $276.5 mln in cash following certain adjustments prior to closing.

(+) MKTO, Narrows Q3 net loss by $0.02 compared to last year, beating analyst estimates by $0.04. Revenue jumps 65.6% year over year to $25.5 mln, topping Street view by $2.07 mln. Expects wider Q4 loss than analysts but sees revenue beating expectations.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) FET, Energy services company earns $0.44 per share in Q3, topping expectations by $0.02. Revenue rises 12.2% year over year to $390.2 mln but still trails estimates by $16.72 mln. Projected Q4 EPS of $0.42 to $0.06 lags Street by at least $0.03 per share.

(-) QLIK, Q3 revenue rises 20.9% over the same quarter last year to $104.1 mln, trailing Street view by $3.69 mln. EPs of $0.05 beats by $0.02 per share. Guides Q4 EPS, revenue guidance at least $0.14 per share and 4.92 mln under consensus, respectively.

(-) HWAY, Reports Q3 net income and revenue that missed analyst expectations and cutting its Q4 outlook. Also forecasts FY14 revenue trailing analyst analyst expectations by at least $40.67 million.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AMZN , MSFT , ZNGA

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