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Brent and Sterling keep climbing while stocks level off
00:00, 24 April 2015
Yesterday saw a new high for the NASDAQ and a breakout for Brent Crude oil but so are only one of these markets has seen significant follow through today. Stocks have essentially levelled off with Japan and China heading in opposite directions, European indices moderately higher and US indices trading essentially flat. Even with positive earnings from Microsoft overnight, there are some headwinds that could keep stocks from building on yesterday’s moves. First, US durable goods may have looked good on the headline number but the core figure (ex lumpy transport orders) was terrible. Not only did core orders come in below expectations, they were negative and last month’s decline was revised sharply downward. YUCK!!! Second, there were more meetings about Greece which apparently went really well or really badly depending on who was speaking about it afterward. Greek treasury yields continue to climb indicating growing risk concerns but so far European stocks and EUR have gone sideways instead of down like they did last week. This situation may continue to flare and fade in the coming days and week keeping trading active. Third, we are in the middle of the busiest two weeks of earnings season, so a lot of focus remains on individual stocks and sector action. In addition to another big slate of reports for next week headlined by Apple and Twitter, US economic reports pick up again. The main economic events next week are US GDP and the April US FOMC meeting. With data continuing to pile up suggesting a softening US economy, USD has fallen to the back of the pack today on speculation that the Fed may push off interest rate liftoff to much later in the year. GBP is leading the field today as it continues to rally heading into the UK election. A poll overnight suggesting the Conservatives have opened up a 41%-29% lead on Labour may be supporting Sterling today. Surprisingly, the only major commodity market that has been able to capitalize on USD weakness today is Brent crude oil, which continues to build on yesterday’s breakout, clearing the $65.00 level. WTI is lagging behind today but could be active this afternoon when US drilling activity is reported. Corporate News Google $6.57 vs street $6.61, revenue $13.9B vs street $14.0B MicroSoft $0.61 vs street $0.51, revenue $21.7B vs stret $21.0B Amazon.com ($0.12) vs street ($0.14) American Airlines $1.73 vs street $1.71 Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: US durable goods orders 4.0% vs street 0.6% US durables ex transport (0.2%) vs street 0.3% and previous revised down to (1.3%) from (0.4%) Germany IFO business climate 108.6 vs street 108.4 Germany IFO current assessment 113.9 vs street 112.4 Germany IFO expectations 103.5 vs street 104.5 Singapore industrial production (5.5%) vs street (5.8%) Economic reports due later today include: 1:00 pm EDT US Baker Hughes drill rig count previous 954