Updated: 04-17-2014

The Market at 04:10PM ET
Dow: -16.31… | Nasdaq: +9.29… | S&P: +2.54…
NASDAQ Vol: 1.78 bln… Adv: 1791… Dec: 1042…
NYSE Vol: 818.4 mln… Adv: 1788… Dec: 1276…

Moving the Market
Google (GOOG) and IBM (IBM) pressure the tech sector after reporting below-consensus earnings

Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) boost financial sector following better-than-expected results

Most global equity markets closed tomorrow and European markets will be closed on Monday

Sector Watch
Strong: Consumer Discretionary, Energy, Financials, Industrials, Materials
Weak: Consumer Staples, Technology, Utilities

04:10PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 billion (expected $15.52), while IBM revealed in-line earnings on revenue that was roughly $500 million below expectations.

The results from the two pressured the technology sector (-0.3%), which was down as much as 1.0% during early action. The sector was able to shed the bulk of its losses thanks to strength among chipmakers and other high-beta components. Chipmakers rallied throughout the session after upbeat earnings from SanDisk (SNDK 82.99, +7.14) and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM 20.71, +0.56) underpinned the space. The broader PHLX Semiconductor Index, meanwhile, jumped 1.9%.

Even though Google and IBM pressured the market early on, equity indices were able to rebound with help from several other major listings that reported above-consensus results. General Electric (GE 26.56, +0.44), Goldman Sachs (GS 157.44, +0.22), Morgan Stanley (MS 30.76, +0.87), and PepsiCo (PEP 85.55, +0.78) all beat their estimates.

Also of note, the biotech space remained volatile with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 222.16, -0.57) spending some time on each side of its flat line. Furthermore, the ETF ended just above its 200-day moving average (220.19) after spending the past week near that key level.

Although the Nasdaq and S&P 500 posted modest gains, the Dow Jones (-0.1%) was unable to catch up to its peers as losses in several large components like IBM, American Express (AXP 86.22, -1.18), and UnitedHealth (UNH 75.78, -2.41) acted as a wet blanket on the price-weighted index.

Treasuries retreated steadily throughout the session, causing the benchmark 10-yr yield to add nine basis points to 2.72%. The slide took place amid reports from Geneva indicating representatives from the European Union, United States, Ukraine, and Russia have reached an agreement on steps aimed at de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine. The agreement was announced by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who also said Ukraine needs 'decentralization' and 'more regional powers.'

Trading volume was above average thanks to a boost in activity resulting from options expiration. As a result more than 800 million shares changed hands at the New York Stock Exchange.

Today's data was limited to two releases:
  • The initial claims level increased to 304,000 for the week ending April 12 from an upwardly revised 302,000 for the week ending April 5. The Briefing.com consensus expected the initial claims level to increase to 312,000. The Department of Labor stated that there were no special factors impacting the claims data. However, we remain skeptical of that. Over the past few years, the DOL has had extreme difficulties managing the seasonal adjustment factors around the Easter holiday. With Easter falling on a later date this year, we suspect that the claims are underreporting actual layoff levels. We expect some volatility in the next few weeks before the initial claims level settles back in the 320,000 -- 330,000 range by the beginning of May. 
  • The Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook increased to 16.6 in April from 9.0 in March. The Briefing.com consensus expected the index to fall to 8.6. There was a general strengthening across the board. Shipments spiked to 22.7 in April from 5.7 in March. Most of the gain was the result of a significant strengthening in new orders demand, 14.8 from 5.7. The gains in shipments, however, may not be sustainable. Unfilled orders softened as the related index fell to 2.0 in April from 2.6 in March. Without a steady supply of backlogs, weaker new orders will pull down shipments growth. The employment index increased to 6.9 in April from 1.7 in March. 
Monday's data will be limited to the Leading Indicators report for March, which will be released at 10:00 ET.
  • S&P 500 +0.9% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.0% YTD 
  • Nasdaq Composite -1.9% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 -2.1% YTD 
Week in Review: Stocks Rebound From Recent Pressure

The major averages finished the Monday session on a modestly higher note, but they ended below their best levels of the day after volatility during the last two hours of action forced the indices to test their flat lines. The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, while the Nasdaq added 0.6% after being up as much as 1.3%. The stock market began the session on an upbeat note, casting aside renewed concerns about the situation in Ukraine, where the country's army was called in over the weekend to deal with pro-Russian separatists in several cities in the Southeast. Instead, the market rallied in the morning after Citigroup's (C 48.22, +0.04) above-consensus quarterly results, combined with a better-than-expected March Retail Sales report, invited buyers into the mix. In all likelihood, the early advance was assisted by some short-covering as many areas that displayed weakness in recent sessions, showed relative strength.

On Tuesday, equities ended on a modestly higher note, but not before heavy selling pressure sent the Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%) for a test of its 200-day moving average. The S&P 500, meanwhile, added 0.7% with all ten sectors posting gains. Stocks climbed at the open with the advance built on the relative strength of biotechnology and other momentum names. Despite the solid early gains in those areas, the market began fading from its high as multiple reports pointed to an escalation of tensions in Ukraine. Specifically, a skirmish reportedly took place at the Kramatorsk airbase, but there were inconsistencies with regard to the number of injured. Some reports put the number of casualties between four and 11, while others said there were no casualties. After these reports made the rounds, Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov was quoted by Interfax as saying the airfield has been retaken from pro-Russian militants.

The stock market ended the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains. The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly. Stocks began the trading day with modest gains after the overnight session featured the release of China's Q1 GDP. Although the report could be classified as better-than-feared, it did not necessarily produce a clear-cut signal as the year-over-year reading of 7.4% beat estimates (7.3%), while the quarter-over-quarter growth of 1.4% was just below expectations (1.5%).
Dow: -16.31… | Nasdaq: +9.29… | S&P: +2.54…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1791/1042. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1788/1276.

03:30PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM]
  • June gold slipped deeper into negative territory today as the dollar index erased earlier losses. The yellow metal pulled back from its session high of $1303.20 per ounce set in morning action and fell as low as $1292.80 per ounce. Unable to gain momentum, it settled 0.7% lower at $1294.20 per ounce. 
  • May silver chopped around slightly below the unchanged line after retreating from a session high of $19.69 per ounce set moments after floor trade opened. It brushed a session low of $19.56 per ounce and eventually settled with a 0.2% loss at $19.60 per ounce. 
  • May crude oil traded higher, rising as high as $104.78 per barrel in morning action. It dipped to a session low of $103.85 per barrel but recovered some of the gain in afternoon floor trade. The energy component eventually settled 0.6% higher at $104.31 per barrel. 
  • May natural gas slipped to a session low of $4.48 per MMBtu in morning action but rallied sharply into positive territory following bullish inventory data that showed a build of 24 bcf when a larger build of 34-36 bcf was anticipated.
  • It inched higher for the remainder of the session and settled 4.6% higher at $4.74 per MMBtu, just below its session high of $4.75 per MMbtu.
Dow: +14.44… | Nasdaq: +19.75… | S&P: +6.03…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1739/869. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1879/1163.

03:00PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages hover just below their highs with one hour remaining in the final session of the week.

Tomorrow, most global markets, including the U.S., will be closed for Good Friday, while Japan's Nikkei and China's Shanghai Composite will remain open. On Monday, the New York Stock Exchange will open at its regular time, while markets across Europe and Hong Kong's Hang Seng will remain closed for Easter Monday.
Dow: -2.70… | Nasdaq: +17.71… | S&P: +4.31…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1740/979. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1757/1258.

02:30PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks remain near their best levels of the session as the afternoon wears on. The S&P 500 trades higher by 0.4% with eight sectors showing gains.

The industrial sector (+1.1%) is the leading group with a good portion of the strength due to a 2.2% gain in the shares of General Electric (GE 26.71, +0.59). The largest sector component has held a solid gain throughout the session after beating the Capital IQ consensus estimate by one cent on revenue of $34.18 billion, which was a bit below the $34.43 billion that was expected by the consensus.

After industrials, the energy sector (+1.0%) is the second-best performer with top components Chevron (CVX 123.65, +1.82) and ExxonMobil (XOM 100.82, +0.89) up 1.5% and 0.9%, respectively. The sector has been able to overcome weakness in Schlumberger (SLB 100.00, -0.94), which trades lower by 1.0% after missing revenue estimates.
Dow: +18.01… | Nasdaq: +22.54… | S&P: +6.48…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1764/919. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1774/1232.

02:00PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages hover at their best levels of the session, with the Nasdaq (+0.5%) in the lead. Including today's gain, the Nasdaq is up 2.7% this week, but remains down 1.7% for the month of April. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (+0.3%) has padded its weekly gain to 2.9%, but is still down 0.2% since the start of April. It is worth mentioning the benchmark index remains in the green for the year with a gain of 1.1%.

Looking at individual sectors, the energy space (+0.9%), which is among today's leaders, has extended its April gain to 4.1%, which puts it well ahead of the remaining groups. On the flip side, today's weakest sector-utilities (-1.1%)-follows not far behind energy with a month-to-date gain of 2.3%. Despite today's loss, the countercyclical sector remains atop the 2014 leaderboard with a solid increase of 11.5%.
Dow: +21.74… | Nasdaq: +20.83… | S&P: +6.03…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1730/939. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1727/1255.

01:25PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] It has been some kind of week for the major indices, particularly the Nasdaq Composite.  At its low on Tuesday, the Nasdaq was down 1.3%.  As we write this, the Nasdaq is now UP 2.6% for the week -- and that's with Google (GOOG 539.18, -17.35) down 3.0% today after disappointing with its first quarter results.

The Nasdaq's recovery effort has saved it (so far anyway) from suffering an official correction, which is generally accepted as a 10% pullback from a high.  The Nasdaq came close, slipping 9.7% from its high, but as soon as it sniffed its 200-day moving average at the low on Tuesday, it has been smelling roses ever since as that was like a call to arms for the buy-the-dip crowd.

Now, the fear of correction looks to have been supplanted by a fear of missing out on further gains as buyers have been at the ready on pullbacks.  To wit, the S&P 500 has recouped earlier losses and is now up 10 points from its session low; it is also up 2.8% for the week -- and that's with IBM (IBM 190.38, -6.02) down 3.0% today after its disappointing first quarter report. 
Dow: +12.68… | Nasdaq: +15.65… | S&P: +4.44…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1648/1006. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1660/1291.

12:55PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages hover near their flat lines at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.1%) showing the biggest loss, while the Nasdaq (+0.2%) outperforms. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 trades little changed.

Equities began the trading day on a tentative note after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 534.70, -21.84) and IBM (IBM 189.76, -6.64) contributed to the early weakness. Google missed on earnings and revenue, while IBM reported a revenue miss on in-line earnings.

Despite the weakness observed in the two major tech industry players, equity indices were able to rebound from their early lows thanks to a slew of other results that surpassed estimates. General Electric (GE 26.70, +0.58), Goldman Sachs (GS 157.85, +0.63), Morgan Stanley (MS 30.90, +1.02), PepsiCo (PEP 85.23, +0.46), SanDisk (SNDK 83.86, +8.01), and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM 20.74, +0.60) hold gains across the board after reporting upside surprises.

Even though the major indices have been able to claw back to their flat lines, they have not been able to make a sustained push into the green. The Nasdaq has slipped from its early high, while the biotech group has also retreated from its best level of the session.

Currently, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 222.69, -0.04) hovers just below its flat line as the weeklong duel with its 200-day moving average (220.19) continues. The health care sector, meanwhile, is lower by 0.1%.

On a separate note, the Treasury market has been retreating steadily since this morning, with the 10-yr note notching its session low over the past 30 minutes after reports from Geneva indicated representatives from the European Union, United States, Ukraine, and Russia have reached an agreement on steps aimed at deescalating the crisis in Ukraine. The agreement was announced by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who added Ukraine needs 'decentralization' and more regional powers. In all likelihood, the last portion of Mr. Lavrov's statement will draw scrutiny with regards to the meaning. The 10-yr note is lower by 22 ticks with its yield up eight basis points at 2.71%.

Today's data was limited to two releases:
  • The initial claims level increased to 304,000 for the week ending April 12 from an upwardly revised 302,000 for the week ending April 5. The Briefing.com consensus expected the initial claims level to increase to 312,000. The Department of Labor stated that there were no special factors impacting the claims data. However, we remain skeptical of that. Over the past few years, the DOL has had extreme difficulties managing the seasonal adjustment factors around the Easter holiday. With Easter falling on a later date this year, we suspect that the claims are underreporting actual layoff levels. We expect some volatility in the next few weeks before the initial claims level settles back in the 320,000 -- 330,000 range by the beginning of May. 
  • The Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook increased to 16.6 in April from 9.0 in March. The Briefing.com consensus expected the index to fall to 8.6. There was a general strengthening across the board. Shipments spiked to 22.7 in April from 5.7 in March. Most of the gain was the result of a significant strengthening in new orders demand, 14.8 from 5.7. The gains in shipments, however, may not be sustainable. Unfilled orders softened as the related index fell to 2.0 in April from 2.6 in March. Without a steady supply of backlogs, weaker new orders will pull down shipments growth. The employment index increased to 6.9 in April from 1.7 in March.
Dow: -9.73… | Nasdaq: +8.88… | S&P: +2.17…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1579/1032. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1604/1342.

12:35PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages remain near their flat lines as the final session of the week continues in quiet fashion. Interestingly, even though the key indices have spent the bulk of the trading day near their unchanged levels, the Treasury market has not behaved in the same fashion.  

The 10-yr note currently trades at its lowest level of the session after a steady retreat. The benchmark 10-yr yield is now higher by seven basis points at 2.70%. It is worth mentioning that today's slide comes after Treasuries traded flat during yesterday's session, while equities rallied.

Also of note, recent reports from Geneva indicate representatives from the European Union, United States, Ukraine, and Russia have reached an agreement on steps aimed at deescalating the crisis in Ukraine. The agreement was announced by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who also said Ukraine needs 'decentralization.'
Dow: -19.87… | Nasdaq: -0.12… | S&P: +0.01…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1483/1118. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1559/1392.

11:55AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] There hasn't been much change on the surface over the past 30 minutes, but the Nasdaq has returned to its flat line in a move that coincided with the biotech group surrendering its gain. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 221.98, -0.75) is now lower by 0.3%, while the health care sector sports a slim loss of 0.2%.

Elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) is being kept below its flat line by significant losses in a handful of large components. American Express (AXP 85.49, -1.91), IBM (IBM 189.27, -7.13), and UnitedHealth (UNH 75.22, -2.97) hold losses between 2.1% and 3.8% after reporting earnings. American Express and IBM missed revenue estimates, while UnitedHealth reported a one-cent beat.
Dow: -25.43… | Nasdaq: -2.38… | S&P: -0.73…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1403/1155. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1553/1352.

11:30AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices continue hovering near their flat lines with the Nasdaq (+0.2%) trading a bit ahead of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.1%) and S&P 500 (+0.1%).

In addition to drawing strength from biotechnology, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has received noteworthy support from microchip manufacturers after SanDisk (SNDK 83.65, +7.80) and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM 20.70, +0.55) reported strong quarterly results. The two hold respective gains of 10.4% and 2.8%, while the PHLX Semiconductor Index trades up 1.6%.

With stocks trading near their best levels of the session, participants are not showing much demand for volatility protection as indicated by the 5.1% decline in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 13.46, -0.72).
Dow: -9.64… | Nasdaq: +9.91… | S&P: +1.39…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1594/940. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1602/1279.

10:55AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages have reclaimed their flat lines, but the small-cap Russell 2000 (+0.5%) is showing the most strength at this juncture. Fittingly, high-beta momentum names have played a significant part in improving the overall sentiment among participants.

Biotechnology has been volatile as of late with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 224.39, +1.66) battling with its 200-day moving average (220.20) for the past week. Today, the ETF dipped below that level, before climbing higher. Currently, the ETF is higher by 0.8%, while the health care sector trades up 0.2%.

Outside of health care, the industrial sector (+0.7%) is an area of noteworthy strength due to a one-cent beat reported by General Electric (GE 26.64, +0.52). The largest sector component holds a 2.0% gain at this time.
Dow: -7.93… | Nasdaq: +3.22… | S&P: +0.25…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1560/897. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1592/1252.

10:35AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM]
  • Despite weakness in the dollar index, some commodities such as gold and silver are still trading in the red.
  • Natural gas futures were trading higher overnight, but began to slide lower this morning.
  • Just ahead of the weekly EIA data, nat gas was in the red and near its LoD.
  • Following the data, nat gas spiked about 4% to $4.70/MMBtu. The May contract is now +3.6% at $4.69/MMbtu
  • May crude oil has been climbing higher this morning and just hit a new session high of $104.45/barrel.
  • May crude oil is now +0.6% at $104.42/barrel.
  • Gold and silver remains modestly weak. June gold is now -0.3% at $1299.70/oz, May silver is -0.01% at $19.61 
Dow: -17.66… | Nasdaq: +12.01… | S&P: +0.19…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1545/852. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1596/1239.

10:00AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] After being unable to make a sustained move into the green, the major averages have slumped to fresh lows. The Nasdaq (-0.3%) is the weakest index at this juncture, while the S&P 500 holds a loss of 0.2%.

The industrial sector (+0.4%) continues holding a modest gain, while technology has extended its loss to 1.0%.

Just released, the Philadelphia Fed Survey for April rose to 16.6 from 9.0. Economists polled by Briefing.com had expected that the Survey would slip to 8.6.
Dow: -41.61… | Nasdaq: -12.05… | S&P: -3.91…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 861/1401. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1179/1563.

09:45AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages slumped out of the gate, but were quick to claw their way back to unchanged. The Dow (-0.2%) trails other key indices as IBM (IBM 189.22, -7.18) weighs after reporting in-line earnings on below-consensus revenue.

With IBM on the defensive, the technology sector (-0.8%) is the weakest performer in the early going. Google (GOOG 544.30, -12.24) has also been an early drag on the sector following its below-consensus results. Chipmakers, however, are seeing relative strength thanks to beats from SanDisk (SNDK 82.82, +6.97) and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM 20.67, +0.52). The broader PHLX Semiconductor Index is higher by 1.3%.

Elsewhere, the industrial sector (+0.3%) is the top performer thanks to a one-cent beat from General Electric (GE 26.59, +0.47). The top sector component trades higher by 1.8%.

On a side note, the Philadelphia Fed Survey will be released at 10:00 ET.
Dow: -24.98… | Nasdaq: -5.50… | S&P: -1.82…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 932/1257. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1348/1332.

09:17AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -0.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -11.00. The stock market is on track to begin the final trading day of the holiday-shortened week on a subdued note. The S&P 500 futures trade right in line with fair value, while Nasdaq futures lag (-11 versus fair value) as Google (GOOG 553.64, -10.26) weighs after reporting below-consensus quarterly results.

Google notwithstanding, participants have received a full slate of quarterly earnings between yesterday's close and today's open. IBM (IBM 187.89, -8.51) is also expected to display early weakness after the Dow component reported in-line earnings on revenue that was below estimates.

Even though the two major tech components reported disappointing results last night, earnings from this morning have improved sentiment. For instance, Goldman Sachs (GS 161.49, +4.27), Morgan Stanley (MS 30.74, +0.85), PepsiCo (PEP 86.50, +1.73), and SanDisk (SNDK 81.24, +5.39) all delivered better-than-expected reports.

Also of note, the weekly initial claims count increased to 304,000 from 302,000, but remained below the reading of 312,000 that was expected by the Briefing.com consensus. The report exerted some pressure on Treasuries, but they have since returned to levels seen before the claims number hit the wires. The benchmark 10-yr yield is higher by one basis point at 2.65%.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey for April will be released at 10:00 ET.

08:57AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -0.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -11.30. The S&P 500 futures trade within a point of fair value.

Asian markets ended the quiet session on a mixed note. The overnight news flow was light, but the chief of Japan's pension fund GPIF said the fund is adjusting its portfolio towards greater exposure to equities.

Economic data was limited. Japan's Household Confidence slipped to 37.5 from 38.3 (previous 40.2), while the weekly Foreign Bonds Buying report indicated net purchases in the amount of JPY115.50 billion (prior net sales of JPY378.10 billion). China's Foreign Direct Investment Increased 5.5% (previous 10.4%). Australia's NAB Quarterly Business Confidence slipped to 6 from 8, while New Motor Vehicle Sales decreased 0.3% month-over-month (prior -0.1%). South Korea's PPI was unchanged month-over-month (last 0.1%).
  • Japan's Nikkei ended flat after spending the session in a narrow range. Honda and Olympus both lost near 2.0%, while producers of basic materials outperformed. Nisshin Steel jumped 4.8% and Taiheiyo Cement rose 3.7%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3%, thanks to support from energy names. CNOOC and China Petroleum gained 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively. Consumer names lagged with Belle International falling 1.1%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.3% after spending the bulk of the session in the red as financials weighed. China Vanke lost 1.5%. 
Major European indices hold gains after climbing out of the red. It is worth mentioning that markets across Europe will be closed on Monday.

Economic data was limited to Germany's PPI, which slipped 0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%, prior 0.0%), while the year-over-year reading fell 0.9% (consensus -0.7%, previous -0.9%).
  • Great Britain's FTSE is higher by 0.5% with Barclays in the lead. The stock trades up 4.6% after its peer Morgan Stanley reported above-consensus results. Diageo lags, trading lower by 3.9% after reporting disappointing sales. 
  • France's CAC trades up 0.5%. Advertiser Publicis Groupe outperforms with a gain of 2.2%. Consumer names lag with Danone and Pernod Ricard down 1.8% and 3.1%, respectively. 
  • Germany's DAX holds an advance of 0.7%. Exporters lead with Daimler and BMW up 2.6% and 1.3%, respectively. On the downside, utility provider RWE is the weakest component, down 6.1%.

08:32AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -0.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -11.50. The S&P 500 futures trade less than a point below fair value.

The latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 304,000, which was lower than the 312,000 that had been expected by the Briefing.com consensus. Today's tally was above the revised prior week count of 302,000 (from 300,000). As for continuing claims, they fell to 2.739 million from 2.750 million. n-bo>

08:01AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -3.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -15.50. U.S. equity futures display slim losses amid cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures trade three points below fair value, while Nasdaq futures lag (-16 versus fair value) as Google (GOOG 549.76, -14.14) weighs after reporting disappointing results.

Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.3%, China's Shanghai Composite -0.3%, and Japan's Nikkei settled flat. 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's Household Confidence slipped to 37.5 from 38.3 (previous 40.2), while the weekly Foreign Bonds Buying report indicated net purchases in the amount of JPY115.50 billion (prior net sales of JPY378.10 billion). 
      • China's Foreign Direct Investment Increased 5.5% (previous 10.4%). 
      • Australia's NAB Quarterly Business Confidence slipped to 6 from 8, while New Motor Vehicle Sales decreased 0.3% month-over-month (prior -0.1%). 
      • South Korea's PPI was unchanged month-over-month (last 0.1%). 
    • In news: 
      • The chief of Japan's pension fund GPIF said the fund is adjusting its portfolio towards greater exposure to equities. 
  • Major European indices are little changed. Great Britain's FTSE +0.1%, France's CAC +0.2%, and Germany's DAX is flat. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB -0.4% and Spain's IBEX -0.2%. 
    • Economic data was scarce: 
      • Germany's PPI slipped 0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%, prior 0.0%), while the year-over-year reading fell 0.9% (consensus -0.7%, previous -0.9%). 
    • Among news of note: 
      • The first half of the European session has been very quiet with indices maintaining narrow ranges ahead of the long weekend. It is worth mentioning that markets across Europe will be closed on Monday. 
In U.S. corporate news:
  • Blackstone (BX 31.80, +0.86): +2.8% after reporting better-than-expected results. 
  • General Electric (GE 26.68, +0.56): +2.1% beat the Capital IQ consensus estimate by one cent on revenue that was a little below estimates. 
  • Google (GOOG 549.76, -14.14): -2.5% after missing bottom-line estimates on revenue that was a bit below analyst expectations. 
  • Goldman Sachs (GS 160.50, +3.28): +1.9% following its better-than-expected earnings. 
  • IBM (IBM 188.42, -7.98): -4.1% following its in-line earnings on revenue that missed estimates. 
  • Morgan Stanley (MS 30.70, +0.81): +2.7% after beating on earnings and revenue. 
  • PepsiCo (PEP 86.70, +1.93): +2.3% after beating on earnings and revenue. 
  • SanDisk (SNDK 80.95, +5.10): +6.7% in reaction to above-consensus earnings and revenue. 
  • SAP (SAP 78.80, -2.82): -3.5% after missing on earnings and revenue. 
  • Schlumberger (SLB 100.69, -0.25): -0.3% following its one-cent beat on below-consensus revenue. 
  • Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM 20.68, +0.53): +2.6% after beating earnings estimates and guiding Q2 revenue above consensus. 
Weekly initial claims (Briefing.com consensus 312K) will be reported at 8:30 ET and the Philadelphia Fed Survey for April (consensus 8.6) will be released at 10:00 ET.

06:46AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -7.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -28.00.

06:46AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Nikkei...14417.53...-0.20...0.00.  Hang Seng...227602.24...+64.20...+0.30%.

06:46AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] FTSE...6579.58...-4.60...-0.10%.  DAX...9302.10...-15.70...-0.20%.

04:20PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains.

The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly.

Stocks began the trading day with modest gains after the overnight session featured the release of China's Q1 GDP. Although the report could be classified as better-than-feared, it did not necessarily produce a clear-cut signal as the year-over-year reading of 7.4% beat estimates (7.3%), while the quarter-over-quarter growth of 1.4% was just below expectations (1.5%).

When the opening bell rang at the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow and S&P 500 maintained relatively narrow ranges through the first two hours of action, while the Nasdaq slipped below its flat line due to weakness among chipmakers. The largest industry player, Intel (INTC 26.93, +0.16), reported a slim earnings beat, but other semiconductor names struggled. The broader PHLX Semiconductor Index shed 0.2%.

Even though chipmakers knocked the Nasdaq into the red, the index was able to overcome that weakness due to the relative strength of biotechnology and recently-battered momentum names. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 222.79, +5.18) jumped 2.4%, ending just above its 200-day moving average (219.97) after struggling with that level for the past week.

Interestingly, the broader health care (+0.6%) sector did not follow biotech's lead as several large components weighed. UnitedHealth (UNH 78.19, -1.32) contributed to the underperformance, falling 1.7% after receiving a downgrade from Citigroup ahead of its earnings report, which will be released ahead of tomorrow's opening bell.

Elsewhere among influential sectors, consumer discretionary (+1.4%), energy (+1.2%), and industrials (+1.5%) provided support to the broader market, while financials (+0.9%) lagged. The economically-sensitive sector was pressured by Bank of America (BAC 16.13, -0.26), which lost 1.6% after missing bottom-line estimates. The financial sector will be in focus once again tomorrow with the market digesting quarterly results from American Express (AXP 87.40, +1.36), Goldman Sachs (GS 157.22, +2.30), and Morgan Stanley (MS 29.89, +0.34).

On the countercyclical side, health care (+0.6%) ended at the bottom of the leaderboard, while consumer staples (+0.9%), telecom services (+0.9%), and utilities (+0.8%) had some difficulty keeping up with the broader market.

Treasuries settled modestly lower following a range bound session. The benchmark 10-yr yield ticked up one basis point to 2.64%.

Participation was below average as 661 million shares changed hands at the NYSE.

Reviewing today's data:
  • Housing starts increased 2.4% in March to 946,000 from an upwardly revised 920,000 in February. The Briefing.com consensus expected 955,000 new starts. Overall, the residential construction report was encouraging, but did not provide any evidence that the weakness in January and February was weather related. Starts remained well below 1.00 million, which was the average in the fourth quarter. Had weather factored into the weakness, then there should have been a much stronger bounce from delayed starts. Single-family construction, which languished below 600,000 in January and February, rebounded 6.0% to 635,000. That was more in-line with the trends over the last 12 months. Multifamily starts fell 3.1% to 311,000 in March from 321,000 in February. That was a typical decline from a normally volatile sector. 
  • Industrial production increased 0.7% in March after increasing an upwardly revised 1.2% (from 0.6%) in February. The Briefing.com consensus expected industrial production to increase 0.5%. Manufacturing production increased 0.5% in March, down from an upwardly revised 1.4% (from 0.9%) in February. The March gain was in-line with the ISM production index. Despite a 0.8% decline in motor vehicles and parts production, durable goods manufacturing production increased 0.5%. Nondurable goods manufacturing production increased 0.7%, which was mostly the result of a 3.3% increase in petroleum and coal products production. 
Tomorrow, weekly initial claims (Briefing.com consensus 312K) will be reported at 8:30 ET and the Philadelphia Fed Survey for April (consensus 8.6) will be released at 10:00 ET.
  • S&P 500 +0.8% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.9% YTD 
  • Nasdaq Composite -2.2% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -2.6% YTD
Dow: +162.29… | Nasdaq: +52.06… | S&P: +19.33…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1967/751. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2429/623.

Copyright © 2008 Briefing.com, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sponsor Center
Sponsored Links
Buy a Link Now
Content Partners