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Market close: Economic data shines for retailers, manufacturing

By William Hoffman

21:37, 16 November 2021

A woman holding many shopping bags.
Holiday sales set to record new record in 2021 - Photo: Shutterstock

The US economic picture looks brighter on Tuesday following strong consumer retail and manufacturing data prints as well as positive corporate earnings reports.

US retail sales rose by 1.7% month over month in October, beating expectations for a 1.1% rise, according to a report from the US Census Bureau released on Tuesday. Additionally, industrial production and manufacturing output are now both above their pre-Covid levels, increasing at 1.6% and 1.2% in October respectively, above September’s print, according to data released by the US Federal Reserve on Tuesday.

Both data prints sent US stock indices higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.15%, the Nasdaq is up 0.77% and the S&P 500 ended the day 0.54% higher.

Supply chain constraints

The retail numbers point to a strong holiday sales season for major retailers with Black Friday sales just around the corner on 26 November.

Still, supply chain disruptions continue to cause strains in the economy. Evidence of that showed up in Walmart’s earnings today as the company used its size to navigate the supply chain issues, keep prices low and attract more price-sensitive customers. This allowed the company to beat analysts' estimates for the quarter. However, Walmart shares still fell by 2.55% on the day.

Similar strains were evident in manufacturing and industrial production, where Wells Fargo analysts said the supply constraints are an immense frustration to firms looking to put their plants and equipment to profitable use.

“The enduring headwind for output is not from the Hurricane (Ida) but rather from the ongoing supply chain crisis,” Wells Fargo economists wrote today in a report obtained by “With very few signs pointing to improvement, the most succinct observation about manufacturing in particular and industrial production more broadly is that demand continues to outstrip supply.”

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Market movers

Electric car maker Lucid Group was perhaps the biggest winner on the day as its shares shot up by more than 23% after reporting third-quarter earnings a day earlier.

The luxury electric car maker has yet to ship a car but reported that customer reservations rose to 17,000, which sent shares to new highs of $55.52 per share giving Lucid a valuation of $89bn surpassing Ford Motor’s $79bn market cap.  

Qualcomm also gained 7.89% on the day hitting new intraday highs of $183.73 per share. The chipmaker, which has increased its reputation as the largest semiconductor provider for smartphones, announced plans to diversify into self-driving vehicles with BMW as its first customer.

Some of the biggest losses on the day came from Norwegian Cruise Lines (7.33%), Activision Blizzard (6.09%), and Boeing (3.12%).

Global markets

In Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite is 0.33% lower while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.11% on the day.

Meanwhile, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index gained 0.24% on the day. Canada's S&P / TSX Composite ended the day up 0.16%.

Read more: Hot US economy shows surprise retail, manufacturing gains

Markets in this article

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Boeing Co (Extended Hours)
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3.39 +1.550%
Boeing Co (Extended Hours)
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3.39 +1.550%
Lucid Group, Inc.
4.44 USD
0.22 +5.260%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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