Global stocks traded largely higher ahead of the US open, fueled by the prospects of upbeat first-quarter filings, following positive reports from US banking titans, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC), paired with positive trade data from China.
With Wall Street’s recently rally in equities struggling for momentum, investors are now looking to company earnings to provide the next catalyst, as reporting season in North America gathers pace. This optimism comes in spite of nearly 75% of S&P 500 companies having issued earnings guidance that lowered market expectations, above the five-year average of 70%.
This uncertainty saw yesterday’s ‘earnings seasons eve’ session end flat, as investors braced for bank stocks to test the waters. Wall Street’s S&P 500 index closed -0.03% lower, buoyed by gains in both Industrial (+0.86%) and Financial (+0.60%) sectors; while Healthcare (-1.23%), Technology (-0.13%) and Real Estate (-0.10%) shares led the declines.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite both also closed in negative territory, down -0.08% and -0.24%, respectively.
Amongst the major companies scheduled to kick-off earnings season today are; JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), PNC Financial Services (PNC) and First Republic Bank (FRC).
While, in today’s economic calendar, Friday includes; Import and Export Prices for March at 8:30am EST, followed by Michigan Consumer Sentiment and Expectations for April at 10am EST.
TODAY’S TOP HEADLINES:
Europe & Trade: European Union Paves Way for US Trade-Pact Talks. (The WSJ) The European Union agreed to launch talks for a trade pact with the US, seeking to preserve a truce with President Trump despite competing demands over agriculture.
China & Economy: China’s March trade surplus soars past expectations. (CNBC) China’s exports for the month of March came in much higher than expected, while its imports came in much lower than expected, according to customs data released on Friday.
ECONOMIC CALENDAR: Today’s Economical Announcements
08:30AM – ★★☆ – Export Price Index (MoM) (Mar) (Previous: 0.6%) 08:30AM – ★★☆ – Import Price Index (MoM) (Mar) (Previous: 0.6%) 10:00AM – ★★☆ – Michigan Consumer Expect. (Apr) (Previous: 88.8) 10:00AM – ★★☆ – Michigan Consumer Sent. (Apr) (Previous: 98.4)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks
JPMorgan Chase (JPM): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of $2.65 per share for the first quarter, 30 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also topped forecasts, helped by particularly strong performances in consumer banking and corporate and investment banking.
Wells Fargo (WFC): Reported quarterly profit of $1.20 per share for the first quarter, 11 cents a share above estimates. The company’s report follows the departure of CEO Tim Sloan on March 28.
Anadarko Petroleum (APC): [BUYOUT] The company was agreed to be acquired by Chevron (CVX) in a cash-and-stock deal worth $33 billion, or $65 per share.
Walt Disney (DIS): Walt Disney said it would launch its Disney+ streaming service in November, at a cost of $6.99 per month. The service would compete with Netflix.
Mosaic (MOS): [NEWS] Said it was suspending production at phosphate mines in Brazil. This comes after Mosaic was unable to obtain a deadline extension to implement new rules on dam stability.
Boeing (BA): [NEWS] CEO Dennis Muilenburg said 96 flights have been made in a test of updated 737 Max software and that so far, it is working as designed.
Tesla (TSLA): [NEWS] Tesla has halted online sales of the $35,000 base version of its Model 3, although it can still be ordered by phone or at stores. The lowest priced Model 3 available online is the $39,500 “Standard Plus,” which includes Tesla’s Autopilot feature.
PNC Financial (PNC): [EARNINGS] Reported profit of $2.61 per share for the first quarter, matching Street forecasts, while the bank’s revenue beat forecasts as it earned more interest income.
Apple (AAPL): [DOWNGRADE] Downgraded to “sell” from “neutral” at New Street Research, which said the Street is too optimistic about iPhone replacement rates among other factors.
Charter Communications (CHTR): [NEWS] Charter has been targeted in a complaint from Big3 Basketball, one of the bidders for regional sports networks being sold by Walt Disney. Big3 Basketball alleged in a letter to the Federal Communication Commission and the Justice Department that Charter is undermining the sale process by threatening to drop those channels.
Redfin (RDFN): [RATING] Rated “outperform” at Wedbush Securities, with a price target of $30 per share for the real estate website operator. Wedbush said Redfin is positioned to capture more market share in a rapidly evolving landscape.
GAINERS: FAST, GDDY, TGNA, FSLR, OKTA DECLINERS: ICPT, MTSI, WTW, UNH, KDP, X
Jumia (JMIA) (Low: 13, High:16) (Est. Vol: $195.8M)