U.S. markets shrugged off some weak economic data out of Asia this morning to kick off November on a positive note. Many of the earnings reports and U.S. economic readings today were good, and healthcare showed a lot of strength to lead the indices higher.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics released an official October PMI at 49.8, unchanged from September, but below expectations for 50.0. But another index, the Caixin PMI, rose from 47.2 in September to 48.3 in October. The Caixin index measures small- to medium-sized companies that are not covered by the official Chinese data.
In economic reports, the October Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing index reading was 50.1, the fourth monthly decline, but a tick above the street’s expectations. Construction spending was up 0.6% in September. The October manufacturing PMI was 54.1, a six-month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.9%, turning positive for the year intra-day, while the S&P 500 finished up 1.2% and the Nasdaq was 1.5% higher. Sectors were higher across the board, with healthcare making a sharp move higher today.
Earnings continue to push many stocks higher, including Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE:CAH), Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL) and Noble Corp plc (NYSE:NE), which put them on the list of today’s best stocks.
Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE:CAH)
Cardinal Health stock was streaking more than 4% higher today after announcing adjusted earnings of $1.38 per share, blowing away the Zacks Consensus estimate of $1.18. Revenue climbed 17% year-over-year to $28.06 billion and easily bested the forecast for $26.95 billion.
CAH also raised it’s outlook for fiscal 2016, saying it expects adjusted earnings to range between $5.15 and $5.35 per share, well ahead of previous guidance for $4.85 to $5.05 per share.
CAH stock also rose above its 200-day moving average today for the first time since August.
Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL)
EL stock also had the sweet smell of profits today after the beauty products manufacturer announced earnings of 82 cents per share on revenue of $2.83 billion. Both figures easily bested the Street’s estimates for 70 cents per share on $2.78 billion.
CEO Fabrizio Freda said his company had achieved strong results by cost saving initiatives, as well as strong sales gains.
EL stock blasted up 8%, and in doing so crossed above the 200-day moving average and took out recent resistance at $85 per share.
Noble Corp plc (NYSE:NE)
NE stock, which has been rising sharply over the past three days, had another big day today, up 5%. On Thursday, Noble announced third-quarter earnings of 72 cents per share, easily besting the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 54 cents. Revenue of $897 million was far ahead of the estimate for $759 million.
On Friday, Noble rose again on higher oil prices and a favorable writeup in Barron’s.com and a higher natural gas rig count report by Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI). When natural gas rig counts rise, that helps oil equipment companies such as Noble Corp.
NE stock also pushed its way up to touch the 200-day moving average at $14.18 today.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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