Market Report: Government Deal Lifts Stocks
COLUMBIA - The end of the government shutdown and the raising of the debt limit lifted all three major indexes this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 162 points this week to 15,399.65 being pushed up by a strong performance from American Express. The NASDAQ had the best percentage gain of the week, up 3.23 percent to 3,914.28, and the S&P 500 hit a record high Friday and closed at 1,744.50, up 2.42 percent.
Another reason for the big gains was companies reporting better than expected earnings for major local employers the news was mixed.
This week, Pepsi Co. reported earnings just barely better than expected, but Frito-Lay, which is under the Pepsi Co. umbrella and employs locally saw 7 percent growth in its Americas Food segment
Meanwhile, IBM, another local employer, saw shares drop almost 7 percent this week after it reported weak revenue overall except for its cloud business, which went up about 70 percent.
Rating agency Standard and Poors is saying the shutdown cost the U.S. $24 billion in decreased output and productivity, which is considered fairly small compared to the $3.5 trillion the government brings in each year. Analysts say the bigger loss is in consumer and business confidence.
As far as the week ahead, on Tuesday we'll finally get that jobs report that was delayed because of the government shutdown. Then Thursday, new home sales will tell us more about how willing people are to spend with current interest rates, and Friday, we'll get the consumer confidence number, which will reflect data from before the debt-ceiling agreement.
A quick bit of news, a company with big local ties, Wal-Mart announced this week it is hiring 55,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, which is 10 percent more than last year and might be reflected in that jobs report.