Equities had a rip-roaring rally yesterday, but flustered investors are giving back some of those gains in the early going today. Treasuries and the dollar are higher in price, while gold and silver are mixed. Crude oil is up a bit.
On the news front...
The title of my closing-day presentation at the MoneyShow/TradersEXPO Las Vegas this week was as follows:
Yesterday, Wall Street seemed to get the memo. Stocks ripped higher, helped along by easing concerns in the banking sector and strong technology earnings.
No, I don’t think we’re in a “risk free” environment. But yes, I think we priced in a lot of earnings and economic worries LAST YEAR. That has set the stage for a better year – particularly in the second half.
Speaking of the economy, personal income rose 0.3% in March while personal spending was flat. Those results were slightly better than expected. A reading of inflation embedded in the data rose only 0.1%, less than most were looking for.
Meanwhile, what better-than-expected profits can giveth, bad news about cloud computing sales growth can taketh away. That was the message coming from earnings at Amazon (AMZN), which reported after the bell yesterday.
The shares initially rallied on the profit numbers, but cautious conference call comments about Amazon’s cash-cow cloud division prompted a downside reversal. Worth noting: The stock was up almost 28% year-to-date heading into the numbers.
“Big Oil” companies like Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) delivered the goods however, with $11.4 billion and $6.6 billion in earnings respectively. Both companies topped analyst expectations, with rising oil and gas production offsetting some of the impact of declining energy prices. XOM was up 10% YTD as of yesterday, while CVX was down 3%.
Finally, Russia unleashed its most severe aerial attack in Ukraine in more than a month. Cruise missile and drone attacks killed at least 18 individuals in cities like Uman and Dnipro.