Nov. 1 - Summary of business headlines: Economic data fuels stock rally; Earnings reports mixed; GM and Chrysler post strong October sales; Fuel shortage leads to testy NY and NJ drivers. Jeanne Yurman reports.
THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL Day two after the U.S. markets reopened following Sandy's aftermath...better spirits among New Yorkers and in stocks thanks to a healthy list of upbeat economic data. Private employers added a surprise 158,000 jobs in October according to payroll processing firm, ADP. And the number of Americans seeking first-time unemployment benefits continued to fall. Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy surged last month to the best reading in four years, according to the Conference Board. October retail sales came in stronger-than-forecast. And U.S. manufacturing expanded faster than expected as orders picked up in October. Earnings reports, some of which were postponed due to the storm, came back full force Thursday. Profits at Exxon Mobil, the world's biggest publicly traded oil company, slid in the third quarter on lower oil and gas output. Pfizer's bottom line took a 14% hit due to generic competition. And after the bell, Starbucks beat the Street in the third quarter on strong sales as did professional networking site LinkedIn. Meanwhile GM and Chrysler reported their best U.S. sales for October since the financial crisis. Though Sandy caused the auto sector to miss sales forecasts. And in a newly outlined succession plan Ford's CEO, Alan Mulally is staying in charge through 2014 - a year longer than expected. At the close U.S. equities posted roughly one percent gains across the board. European indices were also higher. Only miles outside of Wall Street, however, thoughts were far from the markets, as anxiety soars for New York and New Jersey drivers desperate for shrinking fuel supplies in the wake of the storm.