Strong earnings drove stocks to new highs as Facebook shares soared on much better than forecast earnings. Shares of International Paper (IP), Yahoo (YHOO), and IBM (IBM) were also among market leaders. In spite of the positive earnings momentum and encouraging economic news, which showed jobless claims falling to a 9 year low, markets reversed course in the afternoon to close with small losses. Word that the Obama administration, one of Wall Street’s favorite ever, was working on a plan to close a tax loop hole that allowed companies to move their headquarters overseas and pay lower taxes – so called Corporate Inversion – unnerved some already jittery investors. We talked about the current market environment with MarketWatch Radio’s Chief Correspondent Larry Kofsky this morning – listen to the interview here:
Sectors of the S&P were mixed, with industrials underperforming and consumer staples outperforming.
More earnings and economic news releases are on tap on Friday. Generally speaking, we continue to expect a relatively strong earnings season with continued positive economic news. However, as has been the case in the last few months, we expect markets to take a “two steps forward, one step back” trading pattern. The Durable Goods order report being released at 10:00 AM will be the most meaningful data point ahead of the weekend and next week deluge of economic releases.
Don’t forget to tune into Money Matters with Gary Goldberg this Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 11 AM to hear a great interview with S&P Capital IQ’s Sam Stovall, our latest economic analysis, and a discussion about why markets are trading at all-time highs, in spite of the current geopolitical turmoil in the world. Visit our website www.ggfs.com for details.