April 30th 2014 – Dow Closes Out a New Record High

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Market View:

The Fed statement and latest taper had little effect on the market.  It was of course highly expected.  The was no dissent amongst the Fed and Janet Yellen was again confident in her analysis on strong forward guidance in the coming quarters with a long cold winter being blamed for weak economic numbers in Q1.  The Dow Jones just hit as new record and I think the S&P 500 will be above its record soon.  The Nasdaq has closed out 2 months down, so good riddance to March and April and bring on a positive May.

Market News:

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting its first record close of the year, as Wall Street welcomed a further reduction in the Federal Reserve’s monthly bond purchases while looking past data showing the economy slowed more than expected in the first quarter.

In its statement, the central bank said the economy has gained traction recently after a sharp slowdown. It trimmed its monthly asset purchases to $45 billion, making its fourth consecutive $10 billion cut.

Equities had fluctuated ahead of the Fed move while weighing reports that had growth stalling in the first quarter and employers adding more workers than projected to their payrolls in April.

The government’s estimate that the U.S. economy grew 0.1 percent in the first quarter, versus a 1.2 percent estimate, drew a muted reaction from stock futures ahead of Wall Street’s open

After spending most of the session in the red, the Nasdaq advanced, gaining 11.01 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,114.56, leaving it down 2 percent for April, its second monthly decline.

Another report on Wednesday had private employers adding 220,000 workers in April, with the prior month’s job additions revised up to 209,000 from 191,000.

And, the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer expanded more than expected in April, jumping to its highest level since October 2013.

Thursday:

Light vehicle sales

Earnings: ExxonMobil, MasterCard, ConocoPhillips, Cardinal Health, Mylan Las, Domino’s Pizza, Iron Mountain, Beazer Homes, Generac,Expedia, American Tower, Cigna, CME Group, Goldcorp,Clorox, Calpine, Marathon Petroleum, Kraft, LinkedIn, Vertex Pharma, Akamai, Teva Pharma, Kellogg, Agnico Eagle Mines, Open Table

8:30 a.m.: Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks to the Independent Community Bankers of America

8:30 a.m.: Initial claims

8:30 a.m.: Personal income

8:58 a.m.: Manufacturing PMI

10:00 a.m.: ISM manufacturing

10:00 a.m.: Construction spending

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


April 29th 2014 – Dow Closes in on Record High

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Market View:

Perhaps the market is tiring of news from Ukraine and has priced in the worst in term of how the sanctions will affect the world economy.  Today was a very positive day and seems to me to be pointing to a new trend in the Nasdaq which has been trending down for almost 8 weeks.  Numbers from retailer Coach were less than impressive, so it remains to be seen if retail and tech stocks can gain some foothold in the coming weeks, but signs for me are positive from a technical standpoint.

Market News:

Stocks closed up today, with the Dow approaching a record high, as investors cheered a round of better-than-expected quarterly earnings from companies including Merck.

Twitter and Ebay are among major companies slated to post earnings after the closing bell. Shares of both companies were higher.

The Dow is less than 100 points from hitting its all-time high of 16,631.63.

The Federal Open Market Committee kicked off its two-day meeting in Washington. Policy makers are expected to announce a fourth cut in the Federal Reserve’s monthly bond purchases on Wednesday.

Investors largely shrugged off news from Ukraine. Earlier, the United States and European Union imposed more sanctions on Russia for its role in backing the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine.

On the economic front, consumer confidence came in just below expectations in April. Separately, the S&P Case-Shiller home price index was slightly better than expected in February.

And, while the April 82.3 read on consumer sentiment was slightly below the 83.2 estimate, it’s still the second best read since January ’08.

Wednesday:

Earnings: Time Warner, Daimler, GlaxoSmithKline, Thomson Reuters, Pitney Bowes, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, AllianceBernstein, Shutterfly,Weight Watchers, Yelp, JDS Uniphase, Tesoro, International Rectifier, Whiting Petroleum, Actavis, MetLife, Flextronics, Boston Beer, Automatic Data, Hess, Hyatt, International Paper, Embraer, Philips 66, Flextronics, Level 3, Southern Co, WellPoint Health, Wisconsin Energy

8:15 a.m.: ADP employment

8:30 a.m.: Q1 GDP (adv)

8:30 a.m.: Employment cost index (Q1)

9:45 a.m.: PMI

2:00 p.m.: Fed statement

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


April 28th 2014 – Large Intraday Swings in Nervous Market

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Market View:

Seems that the market was not finished with its swing low.  I think we go higher from here.  The Nasdaq has had a considerable drop over the last 6-8 weeks and that downtrend is about to end in my opinion.  The wild card here, as it has been for a few weeks now, is the Ukraine and what happens there.  More sanctions have been placed and it remains to be seen what will happen, at least there are elections there in May, so the people will get their chance to vote and hopefully end the fighting.

Market News:

U.S. stocks climbed on Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite rebounding from a more than 1 percent drop, as enthusiasm that came with increased deal activity offset the ongoing sell-off in social media and other new technology companies.

The National Association of Realtors released its index of pending home sales, with had buyers signing more contracts to buy existing homes in March.

Developments related to Ukraine on Monday had the United States and European Union imposing addition sanctions on Russian companies and people tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tuesday:

Fed meeting begins

Earnings: Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Twitter, eBay, Seagate, Aflac,DreamWorks Animation, Panera Bread, Sanofi, Archer Daniels Midland,Coach, Cummins, Forest Labs, Deutsche Bank, MGM, 3-D Systems, Boston Scientific, Martin Marietta Materials, Valero Energy, Nokia, HCA, Eaton, CIT Group, Noodles and Co, Trulia, MGM Mirage

9:00 a.m.: S&P/Case Shiller HPI

10:00 a.m.: Consumer confidence

10:00 a.m.: Housing vacancies

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


April 25th 2014 – Stocks Knocked By Ukraine Tensions

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Market View:

So the data is good, the earnings are good, but the market is down.  As long as there are conflicts that threaten the economy they will always trump any good news.  Fortunately this conflict between Russia and the West will end soon as all others have.  Simply because it has too.  I don’t want to get political, so I’ll stop here…let’s assume that assuming Mr. Putin will help ease tensions with a calming statement or two over the weekend.

Market News:

U.S. stocks declined today, with equities sliding into the loss column for the week, as investors tracked escalating tension in Ukraine, with the geopolitical strife overshadowing upbeat results from Microsoft.

Ford Motor fell after the auto manufacturer reported earnings below expectations; Amazon.com declined after forecasting a loss in the current quarter; Starbucks gained after its full-year outlook topped estimates, and Microsoft rose after tallying a quarterly profit that beat estimates.

Ukrainian forces reportedly killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels as Russian troops resumed military drills along that nation’s border with Ukraine.

Russian stocks were slammed, including software company Yandex, down 17 percent.

President Barack Obama on Friday was expected to call European leaders to talk about sanctions, a day U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned the Russian economy would be targeted so long as tensions in Ukraine continued.

Stocks offered little reaction after the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index hit 84.1 in April, better than estimated.

Separately, financial data firm Markit’s gauge of the services sector showed expansion slowed in April from the prior month.

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


April 24nd 2014 – Ukraine Curbs Broader Market gains

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Market View:

Well, the market got exactly what it wanted last night and today in terms of earnings news from Apple, Facebook and Caterpillar as well a good report on Durable Goods.  However, it seems that the shadow of uncertainty in Ukraine and the intentions of Mr. Putin clouded what should have been a big rally in Tech stocks at least.  Markets don’t like uncertainty especially around potential conflicts.   Hopefully the situation can calm in the coming days and weeks and the sooner the better.

Market News:

U.S. stocks fluctuated between gains and falls on Thursday as Apple’s earnings and a better-than-expected durable-goods number were offset by concerns about escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine.

The technology sector was also lifted by earnings from Facebook and Texas Instruments.

Worries about Ukraine hit Germany’s DAX equity index, which turned negative after reports quoting Russia’s defense minister as saying Russian troops had begun military drills near the Ukrainian border.

In a related development, the International Monetary Fund on Thursday said Ukraine had met conditions for a financial aid package, which will be reviewed on April 30 when the IMF board meets.

Thursday’s economic reports had orders for durable goods rising 2.6 percent in March, ahead of a 2 percent estimate.

Another report had more Americans than projected filing for jobless benefits last week.

Friday

Earnings: Ford, Colgate-Palmolive, Goodyear Tire, Honda Motors,Moody’s, Covidien, VF Corp, Weyerhaeuser, Dana Holding, Tyco, WPP Group, State Street, AON, American Electric Power

8:58 a.m.: Services PMI

9:55 a.m.: Consumer sentiment


April 23nd 2014 – Stocks Slip on Disappointing Home Sales and Profit Taking

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Market View:

As I had mentioned yesterday, it was pretty obvious that some sort of profit taking was going to come today.  Still, the broader market held up well, with only the Nasdaq feeling more heat as has been the case for most of this year so far.  More upside around the corner I think.  We now may see a recovery in the Nasdaq tomorrow, but that may depend on what Facebook has to offer in terms of earnings after the bell!

Market News:

U.S. stocks declined on Wednesday, with Wall Street retreating after a sixth day of gains for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, after data had new home sales declining in March and companies including Boeing and AT&T reported quarterly results.

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 posted minor losses while the Nasdaq was solidly in the red amid more biotech struggles.

The Nasdaq is still negative for the year and the month of April as investors have soured on tech stocks.

Wall Street lost more ground after the government said new home sales tumbled 14.5% in March to the slowest pace since July. However, median prices of new homes sold rose to a record high of $290,000.

The weaker-than-expected housing numbers led investors to sell shares of home builders such as Lennar (LEN) and KB Home (KBH), which lost 2% and 4%, respectively. Stocks related to home construction also took a hit, including Home Depot (HD, Fortune 500) and Owens Corning (OC, Fortune 500), which makes insulation products and roofing shingles.

Also on the economic front, research firm Markit said the speed of U.S. manufacturing expansion slowed slightly in April. The data is preliminary until the end of the month.

Asian markets closed with mixed results after the latest survey of manufacturing activity showed China’s factories continued to struggle in April.

But there was a silver lining in the PMI report, according to analysis from Capital Economics, which said “while conditions in the manufacturing sector continue to weaken, they are no longer deteriorating as rapidly as before. It adds to growing evidence that, with infrastructure investment picking up, the recent slowdown in economic activity has begun to moderate.”

Both of the main stock markets in China were lower, while the benchmark Nikkei in Tokyo jumped by 1.1%

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


April 22nd 2014 – Stocks Rise On M&A Activity and Earnings

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Market View:

As strong as this bounce seems to be, there will likely be some profit taking in the next couple of days.  After 5 days of upside I expected some weakness today in what would have set up a classic inverted head and shoulders pattern in the S&P 500.  But it wasn’t to be and stocks climbed higher.  I think after a small dip we will see the market higher soon.

Market News:

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 extending its longest winning run since October, as investors considered earnings from companies including McDonald’s and Netflix along with a roughly $45 billion offer for Allergan.

Stocks advanced further after data had existing home sales hitting 4.59 million in March, versus a 4.55 million estimate.

The Dow Transports rose to an intraday record, with GATX and Alaska Air Group among the year’s top gainers.

The S&P 500 advanced 12.49 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,884.38, with health care the best performing of its sectors and energy falling the most.

The Nasdaq rose 48.45 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,169.10.

For every share falling, roughly three gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where 339 million shares traded as of 1:50 p.m. Eastern. Composite volume neared 1.9 billion.

Wednesday

Earnings: Boeing, Procter and Gamble, Facebook, Ericsson, Northrop Grumman, Norfolk Southern, Dow Chemical, Owens Corning, TD Ameritrade, Ryder Systems, Tupperware, WR Grace, Omnicare, LPL Financial, Johnson Controls, Ingersoll-Rand, EMC, F5 Networks, ETrade, Zynga, Xilinx, Texas Instruments, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Delta Airlines, Air Products, Biogen Idec, Raymond James, Morningstar, Safeway, Stryker,Qualcomm

8:50 a.m.: Manufacturing PMI

10:00 a.m.: New home sales

1:00 p.m.: $35 billion 5-year Treasury auction

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


April 21st 2014 – S&P 500 Nets Five-Day Winning Streak

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Market View:

Not much to write home about today in terms of news, but earnings are in full swing now and there is a whole host of companies reporting this week.  After a turbulent 6 weeks, the market could be getting set to break higher at last.

Market News:

U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with the S&P 500 netting its first five-day winning streak since October, as investors looked to a slew of quarterly earnings reports from companies including online film service Netflix.

After a 51-point climb and a 6-point fall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 40.71 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,449.25, with Pfizer leading blue-chip gains that included 17 of its 30 components after Britian’s Sunday Times cited senior investment bankers and industry sources in reporting the pharmaceutical giant was weighing a $101 billion offer for British rival AstraZeneca

The S&P 500 added 7.04 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,871.89, with health care performing best and utilities the biggest laggard among its 10 industry groups.

The Nasdaq gained 26.03 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,121.55.

For every three stocks falling, roughly four rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 603 million shares exchanged hands. Composite volume cleared 2.6 billion.

The CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty, fell 0.3 percent to 13.31.

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money


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April 16th 2014 – US stocks close at session highs

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My Market View:

I think after this 3 day bounce we will see little movement tomorrow.  It was better news out of China for what was expected to be a lower growth estimate for the first quarter of the year.  Janet Yellen again commented about her willingness the recovery and the Fed’s beige book report showed moderate growth in the economy.  Positive signs of a more significant bounce to come.

U.S. stocks on Wednesday climbed for a third session after U.S. industrial production rose more than projected, Yahoo’s earnings topped estimates and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated the central bank would keep up its backing of the recovery.

Stocks held most of their gains as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen addressed the Economic Club of New York Wednesday afternoon and after the release of the Fed’s Beige Book, which found the U.S. economy bounced back from weather-related declines in recent weeks, with modest or moderate economic activity in eight of the Fed’s districts.

In her speech, Yellen reiterated her intention to support the recovery even as the labour market improves, with the 6.7 percent unemployment rate in March still a percentage point higher than the central bank’s projection of full employment.

Economic data had U.S. manufacturing output rising for a second straight month in March, with factory production up 0.5 percent last month and overall industrial production climbing 0.7 percent, beating expectations.

Another report from the Commerce Department had the pace of U.S. home construction bouncing back less than expected last month, with the data coming after a report Tuesday that showed homebuilder confidence rising less than projected in April.

Data from China had the world’s second-largest economy expanding by 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014, slowing from a 7.7 percent increase in the final quarter of last year.

Thursday:

Earnings: General Electric, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, DuPont, Union Pacific, Pepsico, Chipotle, Baker Hughes, Sherwin-Williams, Fifth Third, AutoNation, Sonoco Products, Snap-on Mattel, Cypress Semiconductor, Baxter, Taiwan Semiconductor, Rockwell Collins

8:30 a.m.: Jobless claims

10:00 a.m.: Philadelphia Fed survey

News Sources:  CNBC and CNN Money