Dow Gifted The Newly Weds A 12.8K Ring
Forget quantitative easing or Fibonacci retracement or earnings growth. When it comes to the market, only one set of information is worth trading on: Royal Weddings.
Well, maybe not quite. But as the new Princess Catherine does not promise at Westminster Abbey to obey Wills, and presumably vice-versa, the real question is, will your portfolio obey your command?
The major market indexes continued their relentless climb into multi-year high territory today, even though the bullish momentum was moderate, at best. Traders had a mixed bag of earnings and economic news to consider, with every upbeat report paired with a less impressive data point. Caterpillar (CAT) triumphed in the earnings spotlight, while Microsoft (MSFT) disappointed; meanwhile, the Chicago PMI fell short of expectations, but consumer spending statistics were stronger than anticipated. Stocks found fresh peaks fairly early in the session, but buying power waned as the morning turned to afternoon. Nevertheless, with "sell in May" season just around the corner, the bulls won the day, the week -- and the month of April.
The U.S. unemployment rate is widely expected to stay put at 8.8% when the April labor report is released on Friday. Despite those broad expectations, investors are anxiously anticipating its release.
Economists are predicting the U.S. added just under 200,000 non-farm jobs in April, slightly less than the previous month. Nevertheless, the numbers appear to indicate that labor market continue to strengthen rather than weaken.
“We expect employment growth to ease to 185,000 in April from 216,000 in March. A slight uptick in initial unemployment insurance claims suggests that job creation has slowed slightly. We anticipate private job creation of 200,000, partly offset by a loss of 15,000 government jobs. We expect the unemployment rate to remain steady at 8.8%, after recent sharp declines,” IHS Global Insight economists Patrick Newport and Nigel Gault wrote in a report to clients.
Meanwhile, first-quarter earnings season continues in high gear with reports scheduled to arrive from bellwether companies in virtually every sector of the economy.