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Philly Fed Survey, Jobless Claims & Earnings Data

Zacks Equity Research
The deployment of 1-gigabit wireline networks, wireless/wireline converged networks and an increase in core market share are likely to aid Dycom's (DY) fiscal Q3 results. However, under-absorption of labor and field costs is a cause of concern.

Earnings reports from calendar Q3 are starting to come in heavier, like a storm of numbers raising the levels of investment discourse. Both prior to today’s market open, we see plenty of companies who are leaders in their respective industries putting out new earnings reports today. American Express AXP, Skechers SKX, E*TRADE ETFC and others report after the closing bell. Some of the highlights of those companies already reported are below.

Quickly, however, we see new Initial Jobless Claims for last week this morning, with totals coming down again following two devastating hurricanes in the past two months: 210K new claims last week is down from the slightly upwardly revised 215K the previous week, though still firmly within the ultra-low (historically) range of 200-225K new claims. Continuing Claims fell slightly to 1.64 million from the previous week’s slightly revised 1.653 million. These are also still among long-term historic lows.

The Philly Fed survey for October was up a couple points from consensus to 22.2, not far off September’s read of 22.9. These tend to be volatile numbers month over month, and though today’s headline doesn’t represent gangbuster economic growth in the city of Philadelphia this month, steadiness to the positive is nothing to sneeze at. Steady as she goes for the 6th largest metropolis in the U.S.

Insurance major Travelers Companies TRV posted a solid Q3 earnings beat ahead of today’s opening bell, helping offset a weaker-than-expected Q2 2018. Earnings of $2.54 per share outpaced the Zacks consensus of $2.22, and way ahead of the 91 cents per share reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $7.69 billion also topped estimates. However, although the stock is still down year-to-date, it is only trading even in the pre-market following the earnings report. For more on TRV’s earnings, click here.

Investment banker Blackstone Group BX, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, beat estimates on the bottom line by 3 cents per share to 76 cents, 12% higher than the year-ago quarter. quarterly revenues of $1.92 billion surpassed the $1.82 billion in the Zacks consensus, on both earning and overall assets under management (AUM) roughly +20%. For more on BX’s earnings, click here.

Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell)-rated PPG Group PPG also outperformed expectations, posting earnings of $1.45 per share ahead of estimates by 2 cents, while $3.82 billion in sales outpaced the $3.80 billion analysts had been looking for. Earnings, however, were down 5% year over year. The paints, coating and chemicals major were able to raise prices in the quarter, but costs were also up. For more on PPG’s earnings, click here.

And cigarette giant Philip Morris PM stock is up nearly 3.5% in early trading on the company’s solid beat on both top and bottom lines: $1.44 vs. $1.28 per share on the bottom line, with sales of $7.50 billion beating expectations by 4.6% on the top. Shares are still down year-to-date for the Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) firm, although this morning’s results may change some analysts’ outlooks. For more on PM’s earnings, click here.

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PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
E*TRADE Financial Corporation (ETFC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
American Express Company (AXP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Skechers U.S.A., Inc. (SKX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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