Updated: 04-25-2017

The Market at 04:20PM ET
Dow: +232.23… | Nasdaq: +41.67… | S&P: +14.46…
NASDAQ Vol: 1.72 bln… Adv: 1940… Dec: 895…
NYSE Vol: 1.09 bln… Adv: 1996… Dec: 944…

Moving the Market

Reports that President Trump will wait on barrier along U.S./Mexico border to avoid government shutdown.

Upbeat batch of earnings reports from names like Caterpillar (CAT), McDonald's (MCD), DuPont (DD), and 3M (MMM), among others.

March New Home Sales better than expected (621,000 actual vs 590,000 consensus).

Sector Watch
Strong: Financials, Materials
Weak: Utilities, Real Estate, Telecom Services, Consumer Staples

04:20PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Bullish catalysts were ripe for the picking on Tuesday as buyers advanced the S&P 500 (+0.6%) for the second time in a row, increasing the benchmark index's week-to-date gain to 1.7%. The Nasdaq (+0.7%) settled a tick higher than the S&P 500 while the Dow blew its peers away, adding 1.1%. 

The positive sentiment surrounding the first round the French presidential election continued to linger on Tuesday, but investors turned their attention back to the home front where they were met with a slew of earnings reports. The results were largely favorable with Dow components like Caterpillar (CAT 10442, +7.61), McDonald's (MCD 141.70, +7.47), and DuPont (DD 82.21, +2.84) giving the price-weighted average a clear advantage. CAT shares spiked 7.9% in reaction to a big, upside earnings surprise, better than expected revenues, and upbeat guidance. MCD and DD also settled solidly higher, adding 5.6% and 3.6%, respectively, after beating top and bottom line estimates. 

However, not all Dow components rallied around their latest earnings reports. 3M (MMM 195.13, +0.90) added only 0.5% despite beating top and bottom line estimates and issuing upbeat guidance. Coca-Cola (KO 43.11, -0.17) finished lower by 0.4% after a miss on earnings outweighed better than expected revenues.

Sector standings were largely determined by the day's earnings. For instance, MCD's positive performance helped the consumer discretionary sector (+0.8%) outperform while DuPont influenced the materials sector (+1.6%) to the top of the day's leaderboard. In the industrial space (+0.5%), Caterpillar did all it could to give the sector an edge, but Lockheed Martin's (LMT 270.02, -6.19) worse than expected revenues and disappointing guidance weighed, leaving the industrial group just behind the benchmark index.

Biogen (BIIB 286.89, +10.03) rallied the biotech industry, jumping 3.6%, after the company beat top and bottom line estimates. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 295.55, +3.81) settled higher by 1.3%, however, the health care sector (+0.5%) was held back by big losses from Eli Lilly (LLY 81.20, -2.22) and Express Scripts (ESRX 60.01, -7.24). ESRX plunged 10.8% after disclosing that its contract with Anthem (ANTM 172.46, +4.05) is unlikely to be extended.

With the uncertainty regarding the French presidential election largely in the rear-view mirror, the financial sector (+0.8%) benefited from some belated buying as investors tried to make up for last week's muted response to a host of better than expected earnings reports from top financial components. 

Summarizing the sector standings, nine of eleven sectors finished in positive territory. The materials group closed at the top of the standings by a wide margin while the utilities (-0.1%) and telecom services (-0.3%) spaces finished in negative territory at the bottom. The real estate (+0.2%) and consumer staples (+0.3%) sectors underperformed, and the remaining sectors--financials, consumer discretionary, industrials, energy, technology, and health care--settled with gains between 0.5% and 0.8%.

However, it is important to note that while a swath of earnings was the most obvious catalyst behind today's advance, politics certainly played a supporting role. Namely, investors cheered the renewed push for tax reform (with, or without, health care reform), a sense that Congress will avoid a government shutdown this week, and China's diplomatic emphasis on quieting tensions over North Korea.

The resulting risk-on sentiment was felt throughout the bond market with Treasuries closing lower across the board. The 10-yr yield settled six basis points higher at 2.33%, which is notable given the recent resistance the benchmark yield has encountered around the 2.30% mark.

On the data front, investors received several economic reports on Tuesday, including March New Home Sales, April Consumer Confidence, the February Case-Shiller Home Price Index, and the February FHFA Housing Price Index:

  • New Home Sales in March hit an annualized rate of 621,000, which was above the revised February rate of 587,000 (from 592,000), and more than the 590,000 that was expected by the Briefing.com consensus.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that demand for new homes was strong, notwithstanding higher price points from the same period a year ago.
  • The consumer confidence reading for April fell to 120.3 from the prior month's revised reading of 124.9 (from 125.6). The Briefing.com consensus expected the survey to hit 122.3.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that confidence remains at high levels and indicative of an expectation that the economy will continue to expand in the months ahead.
  • The February Case-Shiller 20-city Index hit 5.9% to follow last month's unrevised 5.7% increase. The Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 5.8%.
  • The FHFA Housing Price Index for February increased 0.8%, which followed a revised uptick of 0.2% (from 0.0%) in January.

Tomorrow, investors will receive only one economic report--the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index--at 7:00 ET.

  • Nasdaq Composite +11.9% YTD
  • S&P 500 +6.7% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +6.2% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +4.0% YTD
Dow: +232.23… | Nasdaq: +41.67… | S&P: +14.46…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1940/895. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1996/944.

03:45PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM]
  • WTI crude oil futures recovered some today, moving back above $49/barrel
  • By the end of today's floor trading session, June crude oil closed +$0.32 (or +0.7%) at $49.55/barrel
  • June natural gas finished flat at $3.16/MMBtu
  • Moving over to metals, gold and silver are still near today's lows
  • In floor trading today, June gold ended -$10.50 (or -0.8%) at $1266.90/oz, while May silver closed -$0.27 (or -1.5%) at $17.58/oz
  • May copper gained $0.03 to $2.58/lb
Dow: +243.78… | Nasdaq: +46.65… | S&P: +15.90…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2027/827. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2046/902.

03:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The Dow (+1.2%) has maintained a sizable advantage over the S&P 500 (+0.7%) throughout Tuesday's session as a handful of Dow components have put the price-weighted average within 100 points of its record high.

Earnings season has been good to the likes of Caterpillar (CAT 104.15, +7.33), McDonald's (MCD 141.12, +6.89), and DuPont (DD 82.05, +2.68) with all three Dow heavyweights reporting better than expected earnings and revenues in their latest quarterly results. MCD and DD both hover at a fresh all-time high after adding 5.2% and 3.4%, respectively, in today's session. 

Looking ahead, AT&T (T 39.83, -0.19) and Texas Instruments (TXN 82.03, +0.95) will headline tonight's earnings action while Procter & Gamble (PG 90.10, +0.56), PepsiCo (PEP 114.39, +0.07), and Boeing (BA 183.55, +1.49) are the most notable blue chips on tomorrow morning's docket. 

At this point in the earnings season, nearly 27.0% of S&P 500 components have reported their quarterly results.

Dow: +241.80… | Nasdaq: +45.09… | S&P: +15.48…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2020/835. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2069/876.

02:30PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages hover at their best levels of the day with the Dow trading higher by 1.2%.

Crude oil is making a bullish run late this afternoon, jumping from its session low ($48.88/bbl) to its new session high ($49.57/bbl). The swing in momentum puts the commodity on track to break its six-session losing streak, a stretch in which WTI crude lost 7.4%. As one might expect, the energy sector (+0.8%) has climbed alongside crude oil and currently trades at its best mark of the day.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) will release its weekly U.S. crude inventory report after today's close at 16:30 ET. Then, tomorrow morning, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) will either confirm or deny the API reading with its weekly U.S. stock count. The EIA report will cross the wires at 10:30 ET.

Dow: +251.65… | Nasdaq: +44.79… | S&P: +15.74…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2042/787. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2086/843.

02:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices hover near their best marks of the day with the S&P 500 sporting a gain of 0.7%.

The lightly-weighted materials sector (+1.5%) holds the top spot in today's sector standings while the financials (+1.1%) and consumer discretionary (+0.8%) groups also outperform the broader market. The consumer discretionary space's upbeat performance is rather impressive given the fact that its top component by market cap, Amazon (AMZN 906.75, -0.66), trades in negative territory and retailers lag. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 42.23, +0.08) shows a slim gain of 0.2%.

Conversely, at the opposite end of the leaderboard, the utilities (-0.4%) and telecom services (-0.5%) groups trade in negative territory. The remaining sectors hold gains between 0.1% (real estate) and 0.7% (energy).

Dow: +247.92… | Nasdaq: +42.42… | S&P: +15.12…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2021/793. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2084/840.

01:35PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages sit near their best levels of the session with the S&P 500 up 0.6%.

With two days of solid gains, the benchmark index has returned near its record high (2400.98) that was registered on March 1. Similarly, the Dow (+1.2%) is also trading in the neighborhood of its record level from the start of March while the Nasdaq (+0.8%) spiked to a new record yesterday, and has built on that move today.

The Nasdaq has been a stand-out so far in 2017, having spiked nearly 12.0% since the end of 2016. Large cap tech names have been the driver of the strength, evidenced by the 14.2% year-to-date gain in the top-weighted technology sector. Biotech names also make up a fair share of the Nasdaq, and the industry group has been on a good run, sending the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 295.97, +4.23) higher by 11.5% since the end of 2016.

Dow: +250.32… | Nasdaq: +43.38… | S&P: +14.86…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2033/773. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2053/844.

01:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The latest batch of earnings reports has stirred up the bulls in the first half of Tuesday's session, leaving the major averages comfortably higher at midday. The S&P 500 currently sports a gain of 0.6% while the Dow (+1.1%) outperforms.

Upbeat earnings reports from Dow components like Caterpillar (CAT 103.83, +7.04), McDonald's (MCD 141.20, +6.99), and DuPont (DD 81.52, +2.17) have prompted the price-weighted average to nearly double the S&P 500's gain. CAT shares have spiked 7.2% in reaction to a big, upside earnings surprise, better than expected revenues, and upbeat guidance. MCD and DD also trade solidly higher, up 5.2% and 2.8%, respectively, after beating top and bottom line estimates. 

3M (MMM 194.77, +0.56) also reported better than expected earnings and revenues, but it hasn't resulted in much of a gain for the company (+0.3%). Coca-Cola (KO 43.19, -0.09) was the last Dow component to report its quarterly results this morning, but the company has slipped 0.2% after missing earnings estimates. 

Numerous other large-cap companies reported their quarterly results between yesterday's close and today's open with largely favorable outcomes. Biogen's (BIIB 287.24, +10.38) upbeat earnings and revenues are worth noting in light of its positive influence on the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 295.92, +4.31), which trades higher by 1.5%. 

Eight of eleven sectors trade in positive territory with the utilities (-0.4%), telecom services (-0.6%), and real estate (-0.1%) groups being the three laggards. The materials sector (+1.3%) has held the top spot on today's leaderboard since the start of the session, sometimes sharing the accolade with the financial sector (+0.9%). The remaining groups hold gains between 0.4% (consumer staples) and 0.8% (consumer discretionary).

Moving away from the earnings front, reports that President Trump is willing to put his promised barrier along the U.S./Mexico border on hold in order to avoid a government shutdown have aided the bullish sentiment. In addition, investors have their eyes on President Trump's tax reform plan, an outline of which is expected to be released tomorrow. Reports indicate that the president will seek to lower the corporate tax rate to 15.0%.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries trade lower across the board, leaving the benchmark 10-yr yield higher by four basis points at 2.31%. Investors will keep an eye on the 10-yr yield to see if it can close above the 2.30% mark, which has acted as a level of resistance as of late. 

On the data front, investors received several economic reports on Tuesday, including March New Home Sales, April Consumer Confidence, the February Case-Shiller Home Price Index, and the February FHFA Housing Price Index:

  • New Home Sales in March hit an annualized rate of 621,000, which was above the revised February rate of 587,000 (from 592,000), and more than the 590,000 that was expected by the Briefing.com consensus.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that demand for new homes was strong, notwithstanding higher price points from the same period a year ago.
  • The consumer confidence reading for April fell to 120.3 from the prior month's revised reading of 124.9 (from 125.6). The Briefing.com consensus expected the survey to hit 122.3.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that confidence remains at high levels and indicative of an expectation that the economy will continue to expand in the months ahead.
  • The February Case-Shiller 20-city Index hit 5.9% to follow last month's unrevised 5.7% increase. The Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 5.8%.
  • The FHFA Housing Price Index for February increased 0.8%, which followed a revised uptick of 0.2% (from 0.0%) in January.
Dow: +232.32… | Nasdaq: +39.24… | S&P: +13.03…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2015/774. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2024/850.

12:30PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Range-bound action continues early this afternoon with the S&P 500 staying true to a two-point range for the last hour.

In Europe, the major European bourses settled Tuesday just a tick above their flat lines, suggesting that today's bullish sentiment in the U.S. is more than just a continuation of yesterday's rally. On Monday, investors around the globe cheered Emmanuel Macron's victory in the first round of the French presidential election as it put to rest the possibility of a final round match-up between anti-EU candidates Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon. The French people will choose between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in the final round of voting on May 7. According to the latest polls, Mr. Macron has around a 20-point lead on Ms. Le Pen. 

In the currency market, the euro (1.0945) has added 0.7% against the dollar in today's session, which places the EUR/USD pair at its highest level since the U.S. presidential election on November 8.

Dow: +245.98… | Nasdaq: +42.75… | S&P: +14.80…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2051/731. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2085/802.

12:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages have not moved since the last update; the S&P 500 remains higher by 0.6%.

While the major U.S. averages hover comfortably higher, the Dow Jones Transportation Average (-0.1%) struggles to stay above water as Ryder System (R 70.44, -8.84) weighs. The company has plummeted 11.2% after reporting below-consensus earnings/revenues and issuing downbeat guidance. Airlines like United Continental (UAL 70.79, -0.21) and Alaska Air (ALK 90.74, +0.06) have also made things difficult for the DJTA; UAL is lower by 0.2% while ALK trades just a tick above its unchanged mark.

To a lesser extent, the industrial sector (+0.4%) also lags the benchmark index. On one hand, Caterpillar (CAT 103.34, +6.56) has spiked 6.8% in reaction to a big, upside earnings surprise, better than expected revenues, and upbeat guidance. However, on the other hand, Lockheed Martin (LMT 268.83, -7.32) has dropped 2.6% in reaction to lower than expected revenues and disappointing guidance. 

Dow: +238.27… | Nasdaq: +40.32… | S&P: +14.42…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2038/704. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2052/802.

11:30AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages have ticked up slightly in recent action with the S&P 500 now sporting a gain of 0.6%.

Biotech names have exhibited relative strength today, evidenced by the 1.5% increase in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 296.13, +4.39), after Biogen (BIIB 289.74, +12.84) reported better than expected earnings and revenues earlier this morning. BIIB shares have jumped 4.8% higher, which places the company at its best level in over a month. Amgen (AMGN 164.60, +1.46) is the next biotech heavyweight up to bat on the earnings front, delivering its quarterly report following tomorrow's close.

However, losses from large-cap names like Eli Lilly (LLY 80.72, -2.68) and Express Scripts (ESRX 59.44, -7.81) have somewhat mitigated the biotechnology industry's positive performance, leaving the health care sector (+0.6%) in line with the broader market. The two names are down 3.1% and 11.5%, respectively.

ESRX shares trade at their lowest level in over four years after the company disclosed that its contract with Anthem (ANTM 172.14, +3.73) is unlikely to be extended.

Dow: +232.98… | Nasdaq: +36.37… | S&P: +13.60…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2026/697. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2017/809.

11:00AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices have been trending sideways for the last hour of action with the S&P 500 (+0.5%) trading within a four-point range.

The lightly-weighted materials sector (+1.4%) is pacing today's advance after Dow component DuPont (DD 81.85, +2.48) beat top and bottom line estimates in its latest earnings report. DD shares have jumped 3.1% in today's session and hover just below their all-time high, which was posted back on March 29. In addition, buyers have rallied around Freeport-McMoRan (FCX 13.25, +1.02) this morning, pushing FCX shares higher by 8.4%. 

The financial sector sits just behind the materials group this morning, jumping 1.2% to extend its week-to-date gain to 3.4%. Influential components like Wells Fargo (WFC 54.89, +1.25) and Bank of America (BAC 24.19, +0.57) lead the way with gains of 2.4% apiece.

Dow: +224.04… | Nasdaq: +31.34… | S&P: +12.88…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1953/715. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1989/811.

10:40AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM]
  • Commodities are flat in morning trade
    • Overall, commodities, as measured by the Bloomberg Commodity Index, are currently -0.01% at 83.7068
  • Dollar index is currently -0.2% at 98.85
  • Looking at energy...
    • June WTI crude oil futures are now -$0.12 (or -0.2%) at $49.11/barrel
    • In other energy, May natural gas is -$0.02 at $3.05/MMBtu
  • Moving on to metals...
    • June gold is currently -$8.50 (or -0.7%) at $1269.00/oz, while May silver is -$0.19 (or -1.1%) at $17.67/oz
    • May copper is now +$0.03 (or +1.1%) at $2.58/lb
Dow: +236.95… | Nasdaq: +35.18… | S&P: +14.15…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1983/655. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2032/754.

10:00AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The Dow holds a gain of 1.0% in the early going while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq trade higher by 0.5% apiece.

Just in, New Home Sales in March hit an annualized rate of 621,000, which was above the revised February rate of 587,000 (from 592,000), and more than the 590,000 that was expected by the Briefing.com consensus.

Separately, the consumer confidence reading for April fell to 120.3 from the prior month's revised reading of 124.9 (from 125.6). The Briefing.com consensus expected the survey to hit 122.3.

Dow: +204.20… | Nasdaq: +28.88… | S&P: +12.70…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1951/558. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2021/690.

09:45AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The Dow (+0.9%) opens Tuesday's session way out in front of the S&P 500 (+0.4%) as Dow components Caterpillar (CAT 102.10, +5.58), McDonald's (MCD 137.59, +3.36), and DuPont (DD 81.23, +1.86) trade solidly higher after all three companies beat top and bottom line estimates.

A few sectors like utilities (-0.2%), telecom services (unch), and real estate (unch) have lagged in the early going, but most other groups trade in positive territory. The financial (+1.1%) and materials (+1.1%) spaces hover at the top of the day's leaderboard, extending their week-to-date gains to 3.3% and 2.3%, respectively. However, most other sectors show modest gains of 0.5% or less.

U.S. Treasuries trade modestly lower, leaving the benchmark 10-yr yield three basis points higher at 2.30%. Meanwhile, gold ($1,268.91/ozt) shows a loss of 0.7%, further strengthening today's risk-on tone.

Dow: +203.97… | Nasdaq: +27.49… | S&P: +12.15…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1906/493. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1947/706.

09:20AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +7.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +20.00.

A batch of mostly positive earnings reports has given the bulls an early edge on Tuesday. The S&P 500 futures trade eight points, or 0.3%, above fair value.

Dow components Caterpillar (CAT 102.72, +5.89), McDonald's (MCD 138.09, +3.86), DuPont (DD 80.75, +1.38), 3M (MMM 193.35, -0.88), and Coca-Cola (KO 43.02, -0.26) delivered their latest earnings reports this morning. The results were largely positive with CAT, MCD, DD, and MMM beating both top and bottom line estimates. KO reported better than expected revenues but missed earnings expectations.

Outside of Dow components, Biogen (BIIB 289.00, +12.14) trades higher by 4.4% after reporting better than expected earnings and revenues. Conversely, Express Scripts (ESRX 58.14, -9.11) has plunged 13.6% after disclosing that its contract with Anthem (ANTM 169.65, +1.24) is unlikely to be extended. Also of note, the company beat bottom-line estimates and issued positive guidance, but missed the mark on revenues.

Moving away from the earnings front, reports that President Trump is willing to put his promised barrier along the U.S./Mexico border on hold in order to avoid a government shutdown have aided the bullish sentiment. In addition, investors have their eyes on President Trump's tax reform plan, an outline of which is expected to be released tomorrow. Reports indicate that the president will seek to lower the corporate tax rate to 15.0%.

U.S. Treasuries trade lower across the board, leaving the benchmark 10-yr yield three basis points higher at 2.31%. Meanwhile, crude oil is down 0.4% at $49.04/bbl. 

Released not long ago, the February Case-Shiller 20-city Index hit 5.9% to follow last month's unrevised 5.7% increase. The Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 5.8%.

Separately, the FHFA Housing Price Index for February increased 0.8%, which followed a revised uptick of 0.2% (from 0.0%) in January.

Investors will also receive March New Home Sales (Briefing.com consensus 590,000) and April Consumer Confidence (Briefing.com consensus 122.3). Both reports will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.


08:50AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +5.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +14.90.

The S&P 500 futures trade six points, or 0.2%, above fair value.

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Tuesday on a higher note with Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.3%) showing relative strength. Elsewhere, the former chief of China's National Bureau of Statistics was indicted on bribery charges. Markets in Australia and New Zealand were closed for ANZAC Day.

  • In economic data:
    • Japan's Corporate Services Price Index 0.8% year-over-year, as expected (last 0.8%)
    • Hong Kong's March trade deficit narrowed to HKD42.30 billion from HKD56.30 billion. March Imports +13.0% month-over-month (last 25.4%) and March Exports +16.9% month-over-month
    • South Korea's April Consumer Confidence 101 (last 97)

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.1% with help from most components. Showa Denko led the way, surging 9.2%, after agreeing to produce aluminum cans as part of a joint venture with Carbao Group. Komatsu, SUMCO, Alps Electric, Hitachi Construction, Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Hino Motors, and Okuma posted gains between 3.0% and 4.4%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.3% with financials ending among the leaders. Bank of East Asia, ICBC, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, Ping An Insurance, and HSBC rose between 1.3% and 2.8%. On the downside, Want Want China was the weakest performer, falling 0.9%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite added 0.2%. Chongqing Brewery, Dalian Thermal Power, Shandong Pharmaceutical, and China CSSC Holdings posted gains between 5.1% and 7.6%.
  • India's Sensex advanced 1.0%. AXIS Bank and Mahindra&Mahindra led, climbing 3.4% apiece. Hero MotoCorp, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, and SBI posted gains between 0.2% and 2.9%.

Major European indices trade in the neighborhood of their flat lines while the euro is up 0.3% against the dollar to 1.0894. Market participants are setting their sights on Thursday's European Central Bank policy meeting with little expectations for a hawkish surprise, given the elevated uncertainty in the region.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • UK's March Public Sector Net Borrowing GBP4.36 billion (expected GBP1.50 billion; last GBP660 million)
    • France's April Business Survey 108 (expected 104; last 105)
    • Spain's PPI +6.0% year-over-year (last 7.4%)

---Equity Markets---

  • Germany's DAX shows a slim gain of 0.1%. Merck leads with a gain of 3.2% while heavyweights Daimler, Volkswagen, and Adidas are up between 0.5% and 1.1%. SAP has added 0.8% despite missing bottom-line expectations. On the downside, Continental, Commerzbank, and BASF hold losses between 0.5% and 2.0%.
  • UK's FTSE has added 0.2% with drug makers contributing to the strength. Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Shire, AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline hold gains between 0.6% and 2.0%. Restaurant operator Whitbread is the weakest performer, falling 7.5%, in reaction to cautious guidance.
  • France's CAC is higher by 0.3%. Louis Vuitton has jumped 4.1% after agreeing to acquire Christian Dior's fashion subsidiary. Other consumer names like Kering, Carrefour, and Danone are up between 0.3% and 1.1%. On the downside, Peugeot and Valeo hold respective losses of 1.1% and 0.9%.

08:32AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +6.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +17.40.

Equity futures point to a slightly higher open for the stock market this morning with the S&P 500 futures trading seven points above fair value.

From the Korean Peninsula, North Korea decided to celebrate the 85th anniversary of its army by conducting a large-scale artillery drill. Meanwhile, a U.S. submarine made a port call in South Korea earlier on Tuesday in what some U.S. officials have deemed a show of force, according to CNN. If nothing else, these reports highlight the fact that the tension between the U.S. and North Korea is ever-present and the ongoing narrative will continue to play in the back of investors' minds. 

Elsewhere, in the commodities market, crude oil has slipped into negative territory as of late with the energy component now trading lower by 0.2% at $49.13/bbl. Gold hovers near its overnight low, down 0.6% at $1,269.59/ozt.


08:02AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +3.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +9.50.

Wall Street opened the week with some vigor as investors cheered Emmanuel Macron's victory in the first round of the French presidential election. Remnants of that positive sentiment have given the bulls a slight edge this morning with the S&P 500 futures trading three points above fair value.

President Trump is expected to announce his tax plan, or at least a broad outline, on Wednesday with reports claiming that he will seek to lower the corporate tax rate to 15.0%. In addition, the president signaled that, in order to avoid a government shutdown, he may temporarily tone down his push to secure funding for his promised barrier along the U.S./Mexico border. The two developments certainly haven't hurt the bulls' cause this morning.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries show losses across the board, leaving the benchmark 10-yr yield three basis points higher at 2.30%. The 2.30% mark has been a key technical level for the 10-yr yield, first acting as a support, but now posing as a level of resistance. 

Crude oil is looking to break its streak of six consecutive losses today. The energy component is currently hovering near its flat line at $49.26/bbl. 

Investors will receive several economic reports today. The February Case-Shiller Home Price Index (Briefing.com consensus 5.8%) and the February FHFA Housing Price Index will both be released at 9:00 ET, while March New Home Sales (Briefing.com consensus 590,000) and April Consumer Confidence (Briefing.com consensus 122.3) will both cross the wires at 10:00 ET.

In U.S. corporate news:

  • Caterpillar (CAT 101.80, +4.99): +5.2% after beating top and bottom line estimates and issuing positive guidance.
  • DuPont (DD 80.68, +1.31): +1.7% after beating top and bottom line estimates.
  • 3M (MMM 197.75, +3.52): +1.8% after reporting better than expected earnings and revenues in addition to providing upbeat guidance.
  • Biogen (BIIB 289.50, +12.64): +4.6% after beating on the top and bottom lines. 
  • Express Scripts (ESRX 59.80, -7.35): -10.9% after disclosing that its contract with Anthem (ANTM 168.41, 0.00) is unlikely to be extended. Also of note, the company beat bottom-line estimates and issued positive guidance, but missed the mark on revenues.

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Tuesday on a higher note. Japan's Nikkei +1.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +1.3%, China's Shanghai Composite +0.2%, India's Sensex +1.0%.
    • In economic data:
      • Japan's Corporate Services Price Index 0.8% year-over-year, as expected (last 0.8%)
      • Hong Kong's March trade deficit narrowed to HKD42.30 billion from HKD56.30 billion. March Imports +13.0% month-over-month (last 25.4%) and March Exports +16.9% month-over-month
      • South Korea's April Consumer Confidence 101 (last 97)
    • In news:
      • The former chief of China's National Bureau of Statistics was indicted on bribery charges.
      • Markets in Australia and New Zealand were closed for ANZAC Day.
  • Major European indices trade in the neighborhood of their flat lines while the euro is also little changed, having added 0.1% against the dollar to 1.0879. Germany's DAX unch, UK's FTSE +0.3%, France's CAC +0.4%.
    • Economic data was limited:
      • UK's March Public Sector Net Borrowing GBP4.36 billion (expected GBP1.50 billion; last GBP660 million)
      • France's April Business Survey 108 (expected 104; last 105)
      • Spain's PPI +6.0% year-over-year (last 7.4%)
    • In news:
      • Market participants are setting their sights on Thursday's European Central Bank policy meeting with little expectations for a hawkish surprise, given the elevated uncertainty in the region.

05:54AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +1.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +3.90.

05:54AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Nikkei...19079...+203.50...+1.10%.  Hang Seng...24456...+316.50...+1.30%.

05:54AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] FTSE...7274.79...+10.10...+0.10%.  DAX...12452.09...-2.90...0.00%.

04:15PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Bulls achieved global dominance on Monday as investors cheered yesterday's first round of the French presidential election. The major U.S. averages opened the week solidly higher with the benchmark S&P 500 adding 1.1% while the Nasdaq and the Dow settled with respective gains of 1.2% and 1.1%.

The French people narrowed their presidential race to two candidates yesterday--Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen--with the run-off scheduled for May 7. Mr. Macron is described as a centrist while Ms. Le Pen's policies are seen as more radical, often deviating to the far-right of the political spectrum. For investors, the main difference between the two candidates is their stance on France's membership in the European Union; Mr. Macron defends the single market while Ms. Le Pen would like to conduct a referendum on eurozone membership. Current polls give Emmanuel Macron a 20 point lead over Ms. Le Pen, leading investors to believe that the EU has dodged a populist bullet.

Equities finished higher around the globe following the French vote with France's CAC (+4.1%) leading the charge, settling at its highest mark in nearly a decade. Likewise, U.S. equities jolted higher at the start of Monday's session, however, they had a difficult time adding much to the early gain. Several factors can be attributed to capping the bullish sentiment, but the leading culprit was the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown.

Congress will return from its spring recess tomorrow, giving legislators just four days to pass a new spending bill and keep the government afloat. The deadline was expected to be a non-event as it's in no party's interest to force a closure, however, reports indicate that President Trump may attempt to leverage the situation to fund his promised barrier along the U.S./Mexico border. The aggressive tactic could definitely complicate matters.

Furthermore, a failure to pass a fairly routine spending bill will likely send a jolt of fear throughout the market as faith in the new administration's ability to push through more difficult promises, like tax reform, is already dwindling. It is worth noting that President Trump is aiming to lower the corporate tax rate to 15.0%, according to today's report from The Wall Street Journal.

This cautious sentiment was most obviously exhibited in the bond market. Treasuries finished lower across the board, as would be expected amid today's risk-on sentiment. However, they reclaimed much of their early losses to finish at the upper end of the day's trading range. Most notably, benchmark 10-yr yield (2.27%) dipped below the technically important 2.30% mark after hovering above it for the first time in nearly two weeks.

For sector standings, the financial group (2.2%) went unchallenged from start to finish at the top of the day's leaderboard. As one would expect, cyclical sectors generally outperformed their countercyclical peers with the technology (+1.3%), industrials (+1.3%), and materials (1.2%) groups showing relative strength. The technology sector received some help from chipmakers, evidenced by the 1.5% increase in the PHLX Semiconductor Index.

On the flip side, the lightly-weighted real estate (-0.9%) and telecom services (unch) groups where the only sectors to finish in negative territory. The energy sector also underperformed amid crude oil's poor performance. The energy component settled 0.8% lower at $49.23/bbl.

Investors did not receive any economic data on Monday. However, on Tuesday, participants will receive several economic reports, including the February Case-Shiller Home Price Index (Briefing.com consensus 5.8%) at 9:00 ET, February FHFA Housing Price Index at 9:00 ET, March New Home Sales (Briefing.com consensus 590,000) at 10:00 ET, and April Consumer Confidence (Briefing.com consensus 122.3) at 10:00 ET.

  • Nasdaq Composite +11.2% YTD
  • S&P 500 +6.0% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +5.1% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +3.0% YTD
Dow: +216.13… | Nasdaq: +73.30… | S&P: +25.46…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 2057/790. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2101/850.

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