Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve seem to have successfully walked the line on Wednesday, delivering their third insurance cut of the year while signaling that may be it. It was all very much as expected, and the markets took it in stride. The message that policy makers are in no rush to tighten policy was a minor flourish that sent stocks to another record and gave Treasuries a little boost. (Bloomberg)
Apple offered sceptics some proof on Wednesday that it can thrive in a future already saturated with iPhones by posting strong sales of accessories such as watches and headphones and offering bullish guidance for the holiday season. The California tech group reported $64bn in revenue for the three months to September 30, up 2 per cent from a year ago, even as smartphone and Mac sales both declined. That was ahead of the median Wall Street estimate for $62.9bn, driven by 54 per cent growth in the group’s increasingly prized Wearables division — comprising watches, headphones and other accessories — to $6.5bn. Net income, however, fell 3 per cent to $13.7bn as operating costs rose from $8bn to $8.7bn. (FT)
Shares in Facebook rose as much as 6 per cent on Wednesday after the social media group topped third-quarter earnings forecasts, in a sign that advertisers and users continue to flock to the platform in spite of recent scandals and heightened regulatory scrutiny. Despite all the negative press lately, the underlying business remained buoyant in the third quarter. Facebook’s earnings in the three months to the end of September stood at $2.12 a share, up 20 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2018, and well above consensus analyst forecasts of $1.91. Meanwhile, revenues rose 29 per cent year-on-year to $17.7bn. (FirstFT)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.