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A Little Swagger
It was a solid start to the week on Monday as all the major indices rallied higher:
The big winner was crude oil with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) up $0.96 or 2.0% as Russia and Saudi Arabia are willing to extend the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production cuts. A close above $50.00 could spark a major breakout with a leg higher.
There were several storylines and narratives during the session, including cyber stocks and homebuilders. In a rare occurrence, all the 11 sectors within the S&P 500 traded higher.
Buying Ahead of Earnings Releases
There were other signs of market optimism that matter even more for investors.
Message of the Market: Confidence
With only a few earnings report left in this cycle of releases, Wall Street took a very bullish stance yesterday. Consider the action ahead of releases:
These are major moves on convincing volume that I would say is more about honest number-crunching than guesswork.
Investors entered earnings season with a fair amount of anxiety, and they exited with a little swagger and a little pep in their step.
However, in the fourth quarter of 2014, corporate profits climbed to a record 1.7 trillion and spiraled into a free fall that crumbled to less than $1.4 trillion a year later. With more than 90% of companies reporting for the first quarter in U.S. corporate profits, they are on pace for a new all-time record.
The major indices are set to continue their winning streak. New data on housing starts, out this morning, shows a decline of 2.6% to 1.17 million annual units versus the estimate for 1.26 million due in large part to a 9.2% drop in multi-family construction. Permits were down 2.5% to 1.23 million, but is still 5.7% higher than a year ago.
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