Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended lower, but recovered some earlier losses, as a strong earnings report from Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report  was offset by weakness in 3M (MMM) - Get Report , which cut its full-year guidance.
  • Microsoft rose after posting stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings though gains were capped by slowing growth from its Azure cloud business. Microsoft is Real Money's Stock of the Day.
  • Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report surged after the clean energy carmaker posted a surprise third-quarter profit and reaffirmed delivery targets for the full year.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended mixed Thursday, the busiest day of the third-quarter earnings season, as a strong earnings report from Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report was offset by weakness in 3M (MMM) - Get Report , which cut its full-year guidance.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered some of its losses late in the session to end down 28 points, or 0.11%, to 26,805. The S&P 500 was up 0.19%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.81% on strong tech earnings.

Microsoft rose 2% to $139.94, after the world's biggest tech company posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings, although gains were capped by slowing growth from its Azure cloud business. Microsoft is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

Visa (V) - Get Report , which is scheduled to report earnings after the bell, was the Dow's top gainer, rising 3% to $176.41.

3M (MMM) - Get Report , the Dow's biggest loser, fell 4.1% to $161.90 after the Dow component posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Thursday, but lowered its full-year profit guidance amid a "challenging macroeconomic environment."

Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report was leading the Nasdaq, surging 17.7% to $299.68 after the clean energy carmaker posted a surprise third-quarter profit and reaffirmed delivery targets for the full year.

Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report tumbled 20.9% to $30.73 after the social media giant posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings Thursday and forecast softer revenue growth for the final months of the year.

Investor sentiment received a boost from positive news on the U.S.-China trade war front. Bloomberg reported that China plans to buy at least $20 billion of agricultural products in a year if it signs a partial trade deal with the U.S., and would consider boosting purchases further in future rounds of talks.

The $20 billion would take its imports of U.S. farm goods back to around the level in 2017, before the U.S. began imposing tariffs.

In economic news, orders for U.S. durable goods dropped 1.1% in September, the biggest setback since a 2.3% decline in May, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. Economists surveyed had forecast a 0.8% decline. Core capital goods orders fell 0.5%.

"Slowing earnings growth, trade war uncertainty, and the apparent collapse in export orders form a toxic mix, and we expect the trend in core capex orders to fall for some time yet," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. "Shipments are now falling too, with a 0.7% drop in September and a downward revision to August; expect Q3 business capex forecasts to be cut as a result. The last increase in core capex shipments was back in May."

In addition, new home sales declined 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 701,000 units last month, matching expectations. August's sales pace was revised down to 706,000 units from the previously reported 713,000 units. New home sales comprise about 11.5% of housing market sales.

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