Weekly Overview (October 2 – 9, 2017): Hurricanes cause negative payroll in US, weaker pound slows down manufacturing in UK

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey combined to break the US’ seven-year streak of positive payroll reports. The two storms resulted in 33k lost jobs in September; however the unemployment rate fell to 4.2% due to a temporary reduction in labour force. Average hourly earnings rose 2.9%, but economists warn that storm-related distortions may be partially responsible for the rise. It is likely to be another month or so before the storms’ impact is reflected in the data. An unexpected positive effect of the hurricanes was a spike in September auto sales, as consumers replaced vehicles damaged by the storms.

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Next Week’s Earnings Report Preview (October 9 – 15, 2017)

This week’s announcements

On Thursday Costco Wholesale Corp (COST) reported net income of $919 m for the the 17-week fourth-quarter. The sum amounts to $2.08 profit per share, narrowly beating analysts’ expectations for $2.02. The company said its revenue was $42.3 bn, which also topped Wall Street forecasts of $41.74 bn. For the year, Costco reported earnings of $2.68 billion, or $6.08 per share. Company shares climbed to $167.07 in the final minutes of trading on Thursday. Costco is up 4% since the beginning of the year. In the same period the S&P 500 index has soared 14%.

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