Friday, October 16, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - October 16

Industrial Production Rises in September - The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production rose 0.7% in September. Additionally, production jumped at an annual rate of 5.2% for the third quarter which is the fastest growth in four years and the first quarterly increase since late 2007. Output of the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose 0.7% in September after an upwardly revised 1.2% gain in August and a 0.9% increase in July, the Fed said. Manufacturing output rose 0.9% in September. Capacity utilization rose to 70.5% in September from a revised 69.9% in August.

Consumer Sentiment Falls in Early October - Consumer sentiment pulled back in early October, according to media reports on Friday of the Reuters/University of Michigan index. The consumer sentiment index fell to 69.4 from 73.5 in September. Sentiment had jumped by 8 points last month to its highest level since January 2008. Many economists thought the gain was unsustainable given the tough economic climate and some retreat would occur.

Gold Falls on Dollar and Value - Gold fell Friday for a third straight session as the metal was looking at its first weekly loss in three weeks. The downward trend was fueled by a strengthening dollar and worries that gold's recent rally may have been overdone.

Gold has gained in seven out of the past eight weeks, and has rallied 10% in two months. It rose more than $60 in the first six sessions of this month, and topped $1,070 an ounce Wednesday, marking a new intraday high for front-month gold contracts.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the thinly traded October contract lost $6.10, or 0.6%, to $1,043.70 an ounce. The contract is set to end the week down slightly. The most actively traded December contract fell $4.60, or 0.4%, to $1,045.80 an ounce.

IBM's Profits Rise, Sales Decline, But Raises Guidance - IBM reported after the close on Thursday that its 3rd quarter earnings were $3.2 billion ($2.40 a share) with revenue of $23.6 billion versus a year over year profit of $2.8 billion ($2.04) on $25.3 billion in revenue. Additionally, its gross margins as a percentage of revenue were 45.1% up from 43.3% a year ago. In fact, IBM raised its full-year earnings forecast to a profit of at least $9.85 a share from $9.70 a share.

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