The third quarter real GDP data was released this morning before trading hours with more promising results than Wall Street had predicted. Experts believed real GDP would shrink by 0.5% due to lack in both credit and confidence in the market. Actual GDP shrunk by only 0.3%, and will most likely delay the official recession title that experts deem to be inevitable. Many economists believe conditions will have to get worse before they improve. Investors didn't share the same sentiment today, as the Dow [[^DJI]] climbed 189 points, ending at the final level of 9,180. The S&P [[^GSPC]] and the Nasdaq [[^IXIC]] also finished the day with gains of 2.58% and 2.49% respectively.
European markets also moved higher on Thursday because of solid earnings from Alcatel-Lucent, and Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank AG (DB), and because of multi-national interest rate cuts that happened later in the day yesterday. The FTSE index [[^FTSE]] increased 1.16%, while the DAX [[^GDAXI]] and CAC [[^FCHI]] escalated 1.26% and 0.15%. Thursday marked the third consecutive day with positive finishes in Europe.
Markets in Asia jumped today on news that Japan would pump $51 billion into their slowing economy. The Nikkei sky-rocketed 9.96%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index [[^HSI]] closed up 12.82%, and the Shanghai, 2.55%. Earlier today, China cut its base rate 50 Bps from 2% to 1.5%.
Oil prices decreased 2.58% today as the oil hype continues to wane with a rise in value of the dollar during market hours on Thursday. Sweet crude reached trading levels above $70 per barrel but prices fell to $65.80 at the end of trading hours. Gold traded down 2.05% to $737.20 due to the GDP release.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported earnings before the opening bell this morning, setting a record third quarter net income growth of 58%. Net income was $14.83B for the quarter. Earnings per share rose to $2.86, up from last year's $1.70, and analysts expectations of $2.38.
A new change in accounting rules allowed Deutsche Bank to lower writedowns by 845 million euros to 1.2 billion euros. Most analysts were expecting losses and were surprised to see DB post positive earnings. Deutsche Bank wrote down 1.2 billion euros on loans from leveraged buyouts, residential-mortgage backed securities, assets insured by bond securers, and commercial real estate.
The natural gas monster Chesapeake Energy (CHK) missed earnings this quarter by $0.03. Production increased 15% compared to Q3 of 2007, and investors saw $0.85 per share earnings on adjusted net income. When taking into account their hedging positions in derivatives, Chesapeake returned $5.61 earnings per share to stockholders. Their Reserve Replacement rate increased 290% for the first three quarters in 2008. The stock trade up during trading and hours as well as in after hours extended trading.
Mylan Laboratories (MYL) reassured investors with an increase in quarterly earnings today. Diluted earnings per share were recorded at $0.23, 76.9% higher than analysts' expectations. The pharmaceutical company reaffirmed EPS guidance of $0.90-$1.10 in 2009, and $1.50-$1.80 in 2010.
Disclosure: The fund the author is associated with holds long positions in CHK and XOM.