Consumer Shares Mostly Higher Amid Strong Auto Sales -- Consumer Roundup

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Consumer-sector shares were mostly higher as the auto industry's hot streak continued in October. Most high-volume car companies posted strong U.S. sales results, setting the stage for a strong finish in 2017.

Ford Motor Co. was the lone Detroit competitor posting an October gain, reporting a 6.4% increase compared with the same month in 2016, selling 199,698 light vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. also recorded year-over-year gains despite having one fewer selling day last month versus the prior October. However, General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reported declines.

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Pitney Bowes shares sank after the shipping-services company said it is looking at strategic alternatives as it struggles to grow amid lower mail volume. The company reported a decline in income in the third quarter, missing analysts' expectations, and Chief Executive Marc Lautenbach said, "We believe now is the time to explore a broad range of strategic alternatives that may have the potential to further unlock shareholder value."

New York Times Co.'s revenue grew 6.1% in the third quarter, powered by growth in subscribers and advertising sales for its digital products. However shares slipped as print advertising tumbled.

Estee Lauder was among the biggest gainers on the day. Shares climbed 9% after the cosmetics maker reported an increase in organic sales and raised its forecast for fiscal year 2018.

-By Amy Pessetto,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 01, 2017 17:25 ET (21:25 GMT)