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Housing Starts and Permits Remain Mixed

Before the bell halfway through the week, we saw results for September Housing Starts and Permits come in, with mixed results. Seasonally adjusted, annualized housing starts of 1.047 million was the lowest tally in a year and a half, down 9% from the previous month. However, Building Permits — a forward indicator of future housing starts — rose 6.3% to 1.22 million.

We also have a plethora of new Q3 earnings data:

Morgan Stanley MS far surpassed expectations with 81 cents per share (64 cents was the estimate) on $8.9 billion in revenues (as compared to $8.24 billion expected). It’s the fourth straight beat for Morgan Stanley on the bottom line, on record sales in Wealth Management as well as stronger Trading revenues, as we saw with Goldman Sachs’ stellar results yesterday.

Morgan’s earnings shot up 2.3x the year-ago results of 34 cents per share. Stocks for the investment major are up more than 1% in the pre-market.

U.S. Bancorp USB also reported its Q3 earnings this morning, meeting the 84 cents per share expected while topping revenue estimates of $5.34 billion to $5.39 billion, up more than 4 1/2% year over year.

Suburban Chicago-based Abbott Labs ABT beat Q3 earnings estimates by a penny to 58 cents per share, an 8% gain year over year, while bringing sales in-line with $5.3 billion for the quarter.

Halliburton HAL results were mixed, swinging to a profit of 1 cent per share when -$0.07 was expected for the quarter, though $3.84 billion in sales missed the $3.9 billion in the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Even still HAL shares are up more than 1% in early trading; the company is up nearly 40% year to date.

Finally, Seagate Technology STX missed estimates on both top and bottom lines for its Q3. Earnings of 22 cents per share were well below the 38 cents expected, on revenues of $2.595 billion which narrowly missed the $2.603 billion the Zacks consensus had anticipated. Shares are down 1.5% ahead of the opening bell.

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