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Markets have new been in rally mode the last two days driven by strong corporate earnings.  Apple blew out earnings making a profit of $8.5 billion in the latest quarter on sales of $42.1 billion.   Sales of the new iPhone boosted sales. (The Wrap)

US housing starts and permits rose in September, a signal the market's modest recovery is supporting what appears to be growing strength in the broader economy.  Groundbreaking rose 6.3% to an annual 1.02 million-unit pace.   New housing starts for single-family homes, the largest part of the market, rose 1.1% in September, while the more volatile multi-family homes segment jumped 16.7%.(Reuters)

The number of supertankers sailing toward China’s ports surged to a nine-month high amid speculation an oil-price slump is encouraging the world’s second-biggest crude importer to accelerate purchases.  On Friday there were 80 very large crude carriers, the industry’s biggest ships, sailing toward the Asian country’s ports, according to Bloomberg. That’s the highest since Jan. 3. Average shipments are 2 million barrels.

U.S. consumer sentiment rose in October to the highest in more than seven years, boosted by views on personal finances and the national economy. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary October reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 86.4, the highest since July 2007.

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