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The stock market today (Friday) is showing signs of retreating over Ebola virus fears, and a bad earnings report from biggest online retailer in the world Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Stock market futures indicate a market open 43 points lower than yesterday's close.
The most important number to watch today is the 10 a.m. report on new home sales in September. In August, new home sales jumped more than 18% to hit a higher-than-expected annual rate of 504,000. This was the largest monthly increase since January 1992. Consensus expectations are for the annual figure to retreat into the range of 460,000. However, continued growth in new home sales would likely lead to a surge in housing stocks this afternoon.
Here are the top stories affecting the stock market today:
- Fear in New York: Public health officials are telling citizens of New York not to panic after a local doctor contracted the Ebola virus following his trip to Africa. The 33-year-old man contracted the disease while treating patients in West Africa as a member of Doctors Without Borders. He has been quarantined after showing symptoms Thursday.
- Bad Beat: Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) stock slipped more than 11% in post-market hours after a reporting an earnings and revenue miss. But EPS and revenue aren't the numbers investors should be glued to. In fact, AMZN's key earnings number may surprise you…
- Microsoft Soars: Shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) jumped more than 3% after hours yesterday. The software giant reported per-share earnings of $0.54, besting Wall Street expectations of $0.49. The company said that it continues to see sales growth in both cloud services and mobile, the two areas of expertise that led to the appointment of Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella. Microsoft stock is up more than 33% on the year. Here's the full story on yesterday's MSFT earnings…