The computers here at MarketSnacks headquarters are GoogleAlert prepped for two things: Stocks….And Batman. The awesome reviews of The Dark Knight Rises may describe it as pretty dark, but over on Wall Street, it was a mostly bright week of green on our screens, with 3 positive market days in a row. Although the Dow dropped over 100 points on Friday, it was the blue chip stock index’s first triple-digit fall in 2 weeks.
What kept investors happy? The 2nd quarter corporate earnings season continues to top estimates, even though analysts’ expectations are very low. Goldman Sachs, Intel and eBay all had higher profits than estimated, while IBM‘s absurd $3.9B in profits last quarter lifted the entire tech sector on its back like Wayne Industries. The Federal Reserve also released its “Beige Book” (the 8-times-a-year summary of the US economy) and Chairman Ben Bernanke spent 2 days explaining its contents to Congress (“the current fiscal situation is unsustainable and the central bank is prepared to act if it gets worse”) – investors wanted more specifics on stimulus, but are still hopeful that the Fed will rise to the occasion.
Aside from a poor government bond auction in Spain at the end of the week as investors expressed concern over the country’s debt, no major news from the rest of the world washed ashore to rock the US markets’ boat. There was also the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) grim report that highlighted a slowdown in emerging countries and cut global economic growth forecasts for ’13.
And investors were so focused on Bernanke and earnings that they ignored negative US econ data – retail sales dropped for the 3rd straight month, existing home sales fell to their lowest level in 8 months and the number of Americans filing for unemployment (“weekly jobless claims”) jumped by a disturbing 34,000, erasing last week’s improvement.
In this week’s scandal news, London-based HSBC (Europe’s largest bank) faced allegations that it gave terrorists, criminals and drug cartels access to the US financial system by failing to prevent money-laundering – Harvey Dent would’ve been on this like white on rice (may Gotham’s DA rest in peace). Now get ready for US GDP numbers, more housing data, a consumer confidence poll and more earnings than you know what to do with next week…
The Dow Jones Industrial Average nudged up 0.04% for the 2nd week in a row and is up 4.7% this year while the S&P 500 managed a 0.5% gain this week and 8.4% this year.
Links Worth Snacking On:
CNBC – Let’s say you found a debt certificate from the 1562 – it would probably be worth a lot. Well someone owes this German town trillions then. Seriously.
The Wall Street Journal – Comparing what Bernanke said 5 years ago to Congress and what he testified last week
Bloomberg BusinessWeek – Young people and jobs (to our University of Vermont MarketSnacks fans, enjoy the UVM shoutout in the 1st paragraph)
Fortunate 50 – He walked in with 50 cent and walked out with 50 mil (Congrats Floyd) – here’s Sports Illustrated‘s top earning athletes
Economist’s View – Housing data has been in your daily MarketSnacks a lot recently. So has it “bottomed out?”
The Economist – Permission to sleep late and work from home (why Londoners might just enjoy this year’s traffic-packed Olympic Games)
The Telegraph – Some taxes go to public schools, some go to roads. In New Zealand, they repair stop signs broken by strippers practicing on the poles
Video – John Stewart takes a solid bite into the LIBOR scandal
Charts – Ahead of Apple‘s earnings this coming week, enjoy a pretty graphic on what their fancy glass retail stores are capable of…
- Monday – Earnings: McDonald’s, Hasbro, Texas Instruments (the official maker of all student calculators everywhere)
- Tuesday – May Housing Prices, Earnings: Apple, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, UPS
- Wednesday – June New Home Sales, Earnings: Delta, Boeing, Whole Foods, JetBlue, US Airways
- Thursday – Weekly Jobless Claims, June Durable Goods Orders, June Pending Home Sales, Earnings: Facebook, Amazon, 3M, NY Times
- Friday – Second Quarter Real GDP, Reuters/University of Michigan July Consumer Confidence Poll, Earnings: Chevron
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