Wall Street edged higher on Wednesday, spurred by generally solid corporate reports as earnings season rumbles on, paired with positive economic data from China.
Beijing had released a deluge of better-than-expected economic data overnight, including figures which had shown the countries’ gross domestic product (GDP) to have grown +6.4% in the first quarter, exceeding forecasts by economists. Following these reports, equities in Asia traded mostly to the upside, as concerns over the slowdown in the world’s second largest economy eased.
These moves in early morning trading follow suit to yesterday’s session, where US equities ended positive as investors worked through more touchstone numbers from banking stocks.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index advanced +0.07% to end trading, led by gains in Financials (+1.41%), the market’s the best performing sector – with first-quarter results from BlackRock (BLK: +3.25%) and Bank of America (BAC: +0.13%) helping to warm sentiment, after a chillier reception from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
In today’s economic calendar; Export and Import data is set to be released at 8:30am EST, followed by Wholesale Inventories and Crude Oil Inventories for February at 10am and 10:30am EST, respectively.
In corporate news, today’s earnings calendar is host to reports from; Morgan Stanley (MS), PepsiCo (PEP), Alcoa (AA), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), U.S. Bancorp (USB), Bank of New York Mellon (BK), Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and Textron (TXT).
TODAY’S TOP HEADLINES:
China & Economy: China says its first-quarter GDP grew by 6.4 percent, topping expectations. (CNBC)
China on Wednesday released a slew of official economic data that beat expectations, including the widely anticipated gross domestic product figure.
IPOs: Pinterest and Zoom to Test IPO Market After Lyft’s Stumble. (WSJ)
A pair of technology unicorns will launch themselves into the public markets Thursday, hoping the messy recent debut of Lyft Inc. is in the rear view mirror.
Today’s Economical Announcements.
08:30AM – ★★☆ – Exports (Previous: 207.30B)
08:30AM – ★★☆ – Imports (Previous: 258.50B)
08:30AM – ★★☆ – Trade Balance (Feb) (Previous: -51.10B)
10:00AM – ★☆☆ – Wholesale Invent. (MoM) (Feb) (Previous: 1.2%)
10:30AM – ★★★ – Crude Oil Inventories (Previous: 7.029M)
STOCKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Pre-Market Movers & News Related Stocks.
Qualcomm (QCOM), Apple (AAPL): [NEWS] The two companies reached a settlement in their long-standing patent dispute which will result in Apple once again using Qualcomm chips in iPhones.
Morgan Stanley (MS): [EARNINGS] Earned $1.33 per share for the first quarter on an adjusted basis, beating the consensus estimate of $1.17 a share. Revenue beat forecasts. CEO James Gorman said the firm was able to deliver solid earnings despite a slow start to the year that followed a turbulent fourth quarter of 2018.
PepsiCo (PEP): [EARNINGS] Reported adjusted quarterly profit of 97 cents per share, 5 cents a share above estimates. Revenue beat forecasts on higher sales of snacks and lower calorie sodas. Organic sales were up by 5.2 percent, the fastest growth rate in more than three years.
Netflix (NFLX): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of 76 cents per share, beating the consensus estimate of 57 cents a share. Revenue was slightly above Wall Street’s projections. Netflix gave a weaker-than-expected forecast amid worries about increasing competition from Walt Disney and others.
T-Mobile (TMUS), Sprint (S): [NEWS] Both companies have been told by Justice Department staffers that their proposed $26 billion merger is unlikely to be approved in its current form, according to The Wall Street Journal.
IBM (IBM): [EARNINGS] Beat Wall Street forecasts by 3 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of $2.25 a share. Revenue fell slightly short of analysts’ forecasts. IBM also forecast 2019 revenue below expectations, with pressure coming from weaker mainframe computer demand and a stronger dollar.
United Continental (UAL): [EARNINGS] Came in 20 cents a share above estimates, with adjusted quarterly profit of $1.15 per share. Revenue came in below forecasts, however, and United trimmed its planned flight capacity forecast for the year, due in part to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft.
CSX (CSX): [EARNINGS] Reported quarterly profit of $1.02 per share, 11 cents a share above estimates. Revenue was in line with forecasts. Results were helped by higher prices and lower labor and fuel costs.
Boeing (BA): [NEWS] Boeing is being pushed by proxy advisory firms ISS and Glass Lewis to separate the roles of chairman and CEO, following two fatal crashes involving the company’s 737 Max aircraft.
Tiffany (TIF): [RATING] Rated “outperform” in new coverage at Bernstein, which is encouraged by the direction taken by the luxury goods retailer’s new CEO and senior management team.
GAINERS: QCOM, MDR, PGR, OMC, BHVN
DECLINERS: THC, HCA, CI, HUM, SEMG, JBHT, SKT, UHS, MAC, CARS
Brainsway (BWAY) (Price: 11) (Est. Vol: 27.5M)
Palomar Holdings (PLMR) (Price: 15) (Est. Vol: 84.4M)
Turning Point Therapeutics (TPTX) (Price: 18) (Est. Vol: 150.0M)team.