With 52 S&P 500 Index companies having reported, beat rates for earnings (82%) and revenue (73%) are excellent so far, with the average company reporting a 5% upside earnings surprise. While the pace of earnings gains is slowing--largely hurricane driven--we are encouraged by the slight increase over recent weeks of S&P 500 consensus earnings estimates and expect re-acceleration in Q4. (LPL Research)
The Dow closed above 23,000 for the first time in history this week. Along the way it was the 51st new all-time high of the year; only one away from the 52 new highs made in 2013. Looking at milestone 1,000 point intervals, the Dow has now cracked 20,000, 21,000, 22,000, and 23,000 so far in 2017. No other year ever made more than two milestones, making the four this year a new record. Of course, as the Dow goes higher the percentage move needed to make new highs gets smaller. (LPL Research)
The Labor Department said initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 222,000 for the week. A level not seen since 1973. It marked the 137th consecutive week that claims remained below the 300,000 level. Continuing claims have been below the 2 million mark for 27 straight weeks, the lowest level since January 1974. (CNBC)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.