If there were lingering fears that hurricane Sandy would untether the market, those fears are being swept away by a wave of positive sentiment today. Positive macroeconomic data appears to be lifting Mr. Market's mood. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the broader S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) were both up 0.9% at 1:10 p.m. EDT.
The macro view
Speaking of good moods and positive data, the consumer confidence index rose to its highest level since February 2008 last month. Investors will be watching tomorrow's employment data release closely for confirmation of these "green shoots" -- all the more so because today's hiring data from ADP, which showed that the private sector added 158,000 jobs in October, was derived under a new methodology (and is, therefore, a poor basis for comparisons).
Two of the sectors that are performing best today --ÂÂ within the Dow, at least -- are financials and technology, both of which are dependent on the business cycle. On the other hand, two Dow bellwethers are not participating in today's mini-rally.
The micro view
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) reported third-quarter earnings per share of $0.53 (ex-items), matching expectations. However, revenue fell 16% year on year to $14 billion -- $600 million short of analysts' estimates.
Meanwhile, energy supermajor ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) earned $2.09 per share in the third quarter, well ahead of the $1.95 consensus estimate. Exxon's refining business, which more than doubled its earnings, was the standout.