US equities are up a small amount on a relatively slow day for the market. Perhaps Americans are going home early to celebrate Halloween, but there hasn't been a lot of action in the broad markets today. Regarding economic data, jobless claims dropped by 10,000 from the prior week - a good sign after a worse than expected ADP jobs number yesterday. The biggest surprise came from the Chicago Manufacturing Index, which jumped from 55.7 to 65.9 - the highest increase since March 2011. The results seem odd given most other manufacturing data has been worse than expected lately. It could just be a random blip this month due for significant mean reversion - or perhaps it's a signal of things to come. The increase was supposedly driven by automobile orders, but only time will tell if this is the start of an upswing.
I'm an investments analyst for a US-based independent investment research firm. My focus is on economics, options, and all types of stocks, but especially tech, Internet, and renewable energy companies. I have experience as a options market...
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