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Market Commentary

Earnings & Hope Propel Market
By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
4/20/2017 12:55 PM

The market rally on earnings is a positive signs for actual economic growth.  While earnings results from CSX bode well for the industrial sector results, so too do earnings released from Steel Dynamics (STLD).  Sales surged, but it was operating margins that really dazzled.

STLD Financial Results

1Q17

1Q16

Sales

$2.36 billion

$1.74 billion

Steel Operating Margin

20.5%

11.1%

Earnings Per Share

$0.83

$0.26

 

In addition to blowing away Wall Street consensus, guidance was extraordinarily upbeat:

Outlook   

"The company believes that current and anticipated macroeconomic and market conditions are in place to benefit the domestic steel industry in the coming year," said Millett.  "Although domestic automotive production may be coming off record levels, we believe 2017 North American automotive steel consumption will be steady, and that there will be additional growth in the construction sector, especially for larger, public sector infrastructure projects.  Additionally, the energy sector has begun to strengthen. 

These earnings, coupled with other developments, including the Trump Administration looking into using provisions of the Trade Expansion Act for ways to further limit cheap Chinese steel based on US security risks/concerns, are propelling the market. 

Global Consumer Spending

On the consumer side, American Express posted results that underscore greater consumers spending around the world, which in turns highlights the fact the global economy is coming on nicely.  Card expansion quarter over quarter is a good sign (remember year ago the company took big hit when it lost Costco contract), but spending surged both in the United States and Outside the United States.

Amex Cards

Millions

1Q17

4Q16

US

48.2

47.5

OUS

63.0

62.4

 

Amex Spending

Millions

1Q17

4Q16

US

$4,859

$4,249

OUS

$3,283

$3,082

 

Note: there is also hope the GOP might finally have a deal that could garner enough Freedom Caucus votes to repeal Obamacare.

I tweeted out the development before the second leg of the rally began:

Hospital Stocks Lower 'boy who cried wolf?' The street giving credence to @RepTomMacArthur bill bring GOP together on Obamacare replacement

We will keep an eye on this, but don’t want to overlook the hard data of earnings and guidance propelling the market today. 


 

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