U.S. stocks fell on Friday after disappointing results from General Electric Co (GE.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) demonstrated the road to economic recovery will be bumpy.
GE, which sells products from aircraft engines to refrigerators, reported a 20 percent drop in revenue, while Bank of America posted a $1 billion loss as both struggled with still meager business and consumer spending.
“As you came into the third quarter, there was hypersensitivity to the quality of topline growth,” said Michael Feser, president of Zecco Trading in New York.
“Investors are linking that to the economy, trying to determine if these are quality earnings that are being reported and does it spell a solid economic recovery?”
Friday’s results contrasted sharply with those of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Intel Corp (INTC.O) earlier this week, which breezed past Wall Street forecasts and helped the Dow to close above 10,000 for two straight days.
The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) fell 67.03 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 9,995.91. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX) lost 8.88 points, or 0.81 percent, to 1,087.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) gave up 16.49 points, or 0.76 percent, at 2,156.80.
Analysts said investors may have become too optimistic going into the earnings season, in contrast to the second quarter when the bar was set low. The search for revenue growth has been a key theme after the last two quarters were characterised by cost cutting.
Bank of America’s shares fell 4.6 per cent to $17.26, and GE dropped 4.2 per cent to $16.08.
But indexes gained for the second straight week with the S&P 500 up 1.5 per cent, the Dow up 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq up 0.8 per cent. The Dow slipped from its perch at 10,000 after breaking the key barrier for the first time in a year earlier in the week.
Data showing weak consumer sentiment further pressured the market on Friday and overshadowed an earlier report that showed industrial production rose in September.
Google Inc (GOOG.O) provided some cheer after reporting earnings and revenue that beat forecasts and said it was looking for major acquisitions. Its stock closed up 3.8 per cent at $459.85.
But International Business Machines Corp’s (IBM.N) shares fell 5 per cent to $121.64 on a mixed report that failed to satisfy investors whose expectations had risen along with the stock’s advance over the past three months.
The market will continue to feel the push and pull as earnings season revs up next week and investors react to individual corporate results.
“Investors are having a healthy and traditional debate on when the recovery arrives as to what it’s going to look like,” said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist at Delta Global Advisors in Boston.
Major companies reporting next week include Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Texas Instruments Inc (TXN.N), Caterpillar (CAT.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N).
Volume was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1.39 billion shares changing hands, below last year’s estimated daily average of 1.49 billion, while on the Nasdaq, about 2.23 billion shares traded, below last year’s daily average of 2.28 billion.
Multiple Fibre Cuts Bar MTN’s 87m Customers From Calls, Data
MTN Nigeria has blamed the recent network issue experienced by its customers nationwide on multiple fibre cuts.
Recall that MTN customers were unable to make calls or use their data last Wednesday.
According to the company, the problem started at about 1.39 PM on Wednesday.
In its reaction via X, MTN Nigeria blamed the network issue on multiple fibre cuts, even as it assured that its engineers are working assiduously to restore normal services.
The statement reads: “Dear Customer, you have been experiencing challenges connecting to the network due to a major service outage caused by multiple fibre cuts, affecting voice and data services.
“Our engineers are working hard to resolve this with services gradually being restored in some areas.
Alake Confident Nigeria’ll Overcome Economic Hardship
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake has said that Nigeria would soon overcome its current economic hardship.
Alake gave the assurance in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the hardship was because Nigeria was going through a gestation period of economic restructuring and reforms.
He said that President Bola Tinubu was determined to revamp Nigeria’s economy and put on a pedestal for sustainable growth through his Renewed Hope agenda.
According to him, the President has a track record of changing the economic tides of a region, just as he did when he was the governor of Lagos State.
“Going down memory lane to the experience in Lagos state, the then governor Tinubu in 1999, met a state that was almost insolvent, with a monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N600 million.
“ And a wage bill of over N1.1 billion monthly, with little or no resources to cater to infrastructure and other sectors of the economy.
“President Tinubu took similar measures in Lagos as he is taking in Nigeria, to turn the tide and financially re-engineer the state. Today, the state is the fifth largest economy in Africa, bigger than most African countries.
“What we are going through is the gestation period of reforms and policies for economic restructuring and like the President will say, it is like throes of pregnancy, that a pregnant woman goes through.
“After delivery, she heaves a sigh of relief,” he said.
The minister urged Nigerians to be patient with the government as the current economic situation would soon stabilise with positive results from on going reforms.
“For the first time, Nigeria has a president well-versed in public finance. I am confident in this administration’s capacity to diversify the economy, plug leakages, and redirect the economy to a path of sustainable growth.
“ The future of this country is extremely very bright. What we need to do is to exude confidence in our ability and capacity to weather the storm of restructuring, economic and societal restructuring.
“As we restructure our economy, putting in physical infrastructure, we must also restructure our minds and mental capacity to be at par with physical development.
“ So that we can efficiently and judiciously enjoy the benefits of physical development.
“With the cooperation of Nigerians, the tide will turn very soon, and we all will be proud, he
Only Professional Builders’ll Handle Global Centre’s Modern Cities – President
The President/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Centre for Empowerment and Care for Life Challenges (GCECLC), Amb. Vincent Ejikeme Agbo has said that only professionals would be used for the massive global center real estate housing and industrial development in the country.
The CEO who said this in a chat with the media shortly after their press conference in Port Harcourt recently, reiterated that the group will not compromise standard both in the use of standard building materials or professionals in the building sector.
Amb. Agbo noted that the use of quacks builders and building materials are the major causes of building collapse in the country, adding, “the 5,000 housing units that would be built in the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory in the first phase of the GCECLC building project would be the same quality with that of the developed countries”.
He said the building materials would be supplied directly by the main companies, adding, “GCECLC, a non governmental organizations (NGO) has already gotten the license from Dangote group of companies to supply cement at a giveaway price for the building project, seeing the importance of the project to the masses.
“We want to bridge the gap in the Nigerian building sector and this would enable everyone in the country to own a quality building in an environment where the system is working”.
In his contribution, the Vice President of the NGO, Amb. Shittu Isiaka Salami said the group is working with all the building construction agencies to ensure that quality jobs are delivered because, “we have zero tolerance for building collapse”.
Amb Isiaka called on qualified building engineers and contractors to come and do business with the NGO in the project that is aimed at fulfilling United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) 9 & 11.
The Public Relation Personel/ the marketing contact person for the building project, Amb. Larry Goodwill Ajiola advised interested building engineers and contractors to register for the project, adding that non professional contractors would not be given a chance to build.
Amb Ajiola said contractors should give priority attention to the project when money is given to them as, “no excuse would be tolerated in the first and second phases of the building project aimed at decongesting the urban settlement.
Amb. Ajiola who is also the CEO of I Cnntact- Connect Limited, Port Harcourt, said the project is a welcomed development, especially to the less privileged ones that never thought they could own a house of their own.
He noted that the long span of payment between 10- 30 years makes it affordable to all serious minded citizens, adding, “GCECLC has risen to give hope to the hopeless in the country, especially now that Nigerians are passing through hardship.
“It is a welcomed development to Rivers state and the other 36 States. It is contributing to the welfare of the masses. Everyone will benefit since you will pay small small. I have confidence that the project is already a success”.
One of the invitees, Mrs Ifeoma Usoro commended the NGO for moving into this financial intensive area for their love to help the poor masses and requested for the building engineers to be given more time to conclude registration modalities.
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