Stocks sold off initially today as earnings season heated up,
but progress on the Ukraine crisis drove a relief rally.
(INDEXSP:.INX) initially fell as low as 1856.72 in early trading
but turned higher to finish up 0.1% at 1864.84.
Officials from Russia, Ukraine, EU, and US made an agreement that
delayed economic sanctions, which implies clear progress toward a
And while the US stock reaction was positive, Russian stocks really
put on a show, with the
Market Vector Russia ETF Trust
(NYSEARCA:RSX) up 6.1%. Eastern European stocks were also stellar
We saw quite a few major earnings reports yesterday afternoon and
Flash memory producer
) was up a whopping 9.4% after delivering a substantial earnings
beat Thursday after the close.
) reported revenues that were slightly below consensus but earnings
that were better than expected, which lead traders to send the
stock 1.7% higher.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
) delivered a disappointing earnings number, but its revenues were
well ahead of expectations and guidance was strong. However, the
company announced on its conference call that it would raise its
prices to combat high beef costs, an shares plummeted, finishing
) were also standouts, each exceeding consensus estimates by wide
margins. Both stocks rallied today. We also saw solid beats from
On the downside,
(GOOG), which reported after the close Thursday, sold off 3.7% as
it missed Wall Street's top- and bottom-line estimates.
(IBM) also traded lower as investors were unimpressed with its
revenues despite better-than-expected full-year guidance.
Overall, US market activity was constructive, with a healthy
intraday rebound in the small-cap
(INDEXRUSSELL:RUT) and the biotech sector and a downward move in
utilities stocks -- a combination indicating risk-friendliness on
the part of traders. On the negative side, housing stocks were
In economics news, initial jobless claims for last week were
304,000, coming under the 315,000 consensus forecast. Continuing
claims were 2.74 million vs. Wall Street's forecast of 2.78
The April Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook was 16.6, which was
ahead of the 10.0 reading expected, as well as last month's 9.0
Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
We'll be in the heart of earnings season next week, and Monday will
be a busy day with reports from the likes of
In US economics, March Chicago Fed National Activity Index will be
reported at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by March Leading Economic
Indicators at 10:00 a.m.