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US Stocks Open for Trading After Two-Day Halt


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

The first day of trading after US stock trading was halted for two days due to Hurricane Sandy started off briskly as mutual funds and asset managers finalized their books for the end of October, which is year-end for many hedge funds and mutual funds. Opening action was weak after a large rally overnight, but the end result was about unchanged on the day. Monday and Tuesday's global trading in equity futures told the same story, and the overall action since Friday's close is unchanged. Throughout the day, rental, construction, and generator companies' stocks outperformed the market by a large margin.

This morning's economic data showed a smaller rise in manufacturing data than expected. The Chicago Fed's manufacturing index showed a small rise to 49.9 from last month's 49.7, but it was short of economist estimates of 51.0. Globally, German retail sales outpaced expectations, rising 1.5% from last month's gain of 0.1%.

Netflix (NFLX) spiked up over 15% intraday on news that activist investor Carl Icahn held a 10% stake in the company. Icahn noted increased value from online subscription-based media models and the company's ability to take advantage of increased tablet usage. Similarly, Barnes & Noble (BKS) rose more than 12% after the company announced a TV and movie deal for its Nook tablet business.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

While Friday's jobs number is expected to be released as usual by the Labor Department, the advance ADP private payrolls release will give us a better idea of what we can expect for Friday. Economists are expecting a decline from last month's 162,000 to 135,000 this month. Similarly, the weekly initial jobless claims report could be distorted as a result of Hurricane Sandy, but that is largely unknown. Also, the ISM will release manufacturing data in the morning. Economists are expecting a slight decline from last month's 51.5 to 51.1.

Globally, China will report manufacturing data overnight and the UK will report manufacturing data in the morning.

In earnings, key reports will include Ocwen Financial (OCN), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Starbucks (SBUX), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), LinkedIn (LNKD), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), (PCLN), and Yelp (YELP).

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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