Stocks posted their best week in months last week on the back of better than expected earnings reports from some major companies. Earnings season is now in full swing, and a number of big names are set to report in the coming week. So far 41 S&P 500 companies have reported third-quarter results, with 80% of them topping earnings per share expectations.
Sales at retailers rose sharply in September in a sign that Americans are spending enough money to sustain an economic recovery, but they are also paying more because of the highest U.S. inflation in three decades. Retail sales climbed 0.7% last month after after a nearly 1% gain in August.
U.S. consumer sentiment fell unexpectedly in early October to the second-lowest level since 2011, as Americans grew more concerned about both current conditions and the economic outlook. The University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment index fell to 71.4 from 72.8 in September. Consumers expect inflation to rise 4.8% over the next year, the highest since 2008. Buying conditions were seen as less favorable, especially for vehicles.