Week in Review
A look back at the week that was...
The "Four Sisters" were able to continue their advance toward the February highs this week as the market now resides at an important inflection point represented by 1450 on the SPX. Wednesday's release of the Fed minutes put an end to the eldest sister's winning streak of eight sessions by reaffirming the tightening bias is still present. Once investors realized this was no "new" news coupled with benign inflation data on Friday at the wholesale level, stocks resumed their march higher. The question remains now if the markets can break-out as earnings season begins. History would say no, but if a confirmed move higher does occur, that would be a testament to the confidence the corporate bond market has in sustained earnings growth for quarters to come.
Oil markets initially sold off early in the week after a peaceful resolution to the U.K. hostage situation but quickly retraced their losses after Wednesday's supply data was lower than expected. Higher oil later in the week and a lower than expected consumer confidence reading helped gold reach a six week high amid dollar weakness. $690 is the level of interest for gold and a follow through from this level will increase the probabilities of the yellow fellow making a run toward last year's highs.
The "Four Sisters" Performance
Merck's (MRK) stock jumped after releasing a promising outlook on earnings for its current quarter and outlook for 2007, along with its class action lawsuit being dropped (4/13).
Apple's (APPL) shares slipped as it announced it will delay its next system upgrade from June until October (4/12).
Citigroup (C) is poised to cut 17,000 jobs in an effort to save $2.1 bln and improve margins (4/11).
Producer Price Index (PPI) reports should help to ease inflation concerns as core remained unchanged, but the overall reading climbed 1% amid higher food and energy costs (4/13).
Dow Chemicals (DOW) fired two senior execs for improper conduct discussing the feasibility of selling the company in a leveraged buyout worth in excess of $52 bln (4/13).
In spite of the March same store sales beating expectations 6% vs. 4.9% cons. Consumer spending is likely to slowdown with an unstable housing market and rising debt (4/13).
The dollar traded higher after the Fed minutes were released this week as the meeting showed promise for future rate hikes among uncertainty regarding growth and inflation (4/11).
Kicking off earnings season, Alcoa (AA) pushed its earnings growth to 9% on demand from jet makers and global construction markets alongside spiking metal prices (4/10).
Despite sales being "essentially flat" first quarter profit rose 68% against the same period a year ago for Genentech (DNA) as they cut administrative expenses (4/11). Shares slipped on the disappointing top-line figure.
Research in Motion (RIMM) watched as its shares slipped 8% on Thursday (4/12) as it issued a first quarter forecast that fell short of lofty Wall Street expectations (4/12).
General Electric (GE) announced a slight rise in net profit as they revealed mixed results seeing success in its infrastructure and commercial finance and struggles with its plastics unit (4/13).
Market Movers: Winners and Sinners
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