Wall Street Shifts Focus to Earnings
Third-quarter earnings are underway this week, and they provide a better look at the economy's underlying fundamentals than the toxic assets that have dominated the headlines and Tasered the markets for the past few weeks.
Yesterday, aluminum giant Alcoa said its third-quarter profit had dropped 52 percent, sending shares of its stock to 13-year lows.
But this morning, IBM offered an early peek at its third-quarter earnings, which beat estimates and may signal good news for the tech sector.
Also, the Labor Department announced this morning that jobless claims last week dropped from seven-year highs, though they still remain at recession levels.
Tomorrow, another U.S. giant and economic bellwether -- General Electric -- is set to release its third-quarter earnings.
Finally, the ban on short-selling ended last night, so we'll see if or how that affects trading today.
As always: hang on.
-- Frank Ahrens
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