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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Steve Symington - Nov 1, 2018 at 4:57PM

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On another positive day for the markets, see why Fitbit soared and Allstate slumped.

U.S. stocks climbed for a third straight session on Thursday, this time after President Trump tweeted that he had a "long and very good conversation" with Chinese President Xi Jinping on trade. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.05%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.05%) added a little over 1%.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow 1.06% 264.98
S&P 500 1.06% 28.63

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Bull figurine standing on stock prices with paper charts nearby

Image source: Getty Images.

Industrials led today's gainers, with the Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLI 0.87%) climbing 1.8%. Tech players also continued to rally, with the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK 0.23%) up 1.2%. 

As for individual stocks, earnings news left shares of Fitbit (FIT) and Allstate (ALL 3.13%) traveling in very different directions.

Fitbit's new devices are a hit

Shares of Fitbit skyrocketed 25.8% after the fitness-centric wearable technology company announced stronger-than-expected third-quarter results. 

That's not to say Fitbit's results looked impressive at first glance. Revenue climbed 0.3% year over year to $393.6 million, helped by a 3% increase in average selling prices for the 3.5 million wearable devices Fitbit sold during the quarter. That translated to adjusted (non-GAAP) earnings of $10 million, or $0.04 per share, swinging from a loss of $2.8 million, or $0.01 per share in the same year-ago period. 

In comparison, though, most analysts were expecting a loss of $0.01 per share on lower revenue of $381.2 million. What's more, Fitbit reaffirmed its full-year guidance for revenue of roughly $1.5 billion, with higher selling prices continuing to offset a lower number of devices sold.

Given its return to profitability, its reiterated outlook, and the fact that shares were trading near an all-time low leading up to the report, it's no surprise to see Fitbit stock rebound.

Allstate underwrites an earnings miss

Shares of Allstate fell 6% after the insurance giant delivered a mixed third-quarter report.

Allstate's performance appeared solid with a cursory look. Consolidated revenue grew 5.8% year over year to $10.47 billion, exceeding expectations for $8.72 billion. On the bottom line, however, that resulted in 20.6% growth in adjusted earnings per diluted share to $1.93, which fell well short of estimates for $2.21 per share.

"Allstate's strategy to grow the market share of our personal Property-Liability businesses while expanding other protection products delivered excellent results," said Chairman and CEO Tom Wilson. "These operating results support attractive cash returns to shareholders while investing for long-term growth."

On Wilson's latter point -- and to offer a significant vote of confidence in its future -- Allstate's board approved a new $3 billion share repurchase program to begin after its current $2 billion program is finished.

In the end, regardless of whether the market approves, it's clear that Allstate is more than pleased with its performance. But given its bottom-line shortfall relative to expectations, the stock's decline isn't all that surprising.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Allstate Corporation Stock Quote
The Allstate Corporation
$130.70 (3.13%) $3.97
Fitbit, Inc. Stock Quote
Fitbit, Inc.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$31,097.26 (1.05%) $321.83
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$3,825.33 (1.05%) $39.95
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund
$127.41 (0.23%) $0.29
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund
$88.10 (0.87%) $0.76

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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