On Friday, the much anticipated earnings season began with JP Morgan reporting earnings 5% above expectations; positive commentary by management on the strong demand for credit by consumers and businesses helped propel the Financials sector higher. The Nasdaq led all indices for the week (0.57%) followed by the S&P 500® (0.51%) and the Russell 2000® Index (0.14%); the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.05%. The S&P 500® reached an important milestone on Friday when the Index crossed 2900 for the first time since last October. Walt Disney provided momentum (+11.5% on Friday) for the Index when the company unveiled a video streaming platform; the November launch will offer an extensive library of films including the Star Wars series. In other corporate news, Chevron announced the acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum at a 39% premium over recent prices; the deal signals longer-term confidence in oil prices. Further consolidation in oil and gas exploration is expected as major oil companies look to boost fracking production. The upcoming price for Uber’s IPO will likely range between $48 to $55 per share; the range reflects the recent 17% post-IPO price decline for competitor Lyft.
This week, the European Union voted to extend Brexit “only as long as necessary” and “no longer than October 31st.” On May 23rd, the UK must hold elections to the European Parliament; if the UK fails to do so, it will leave the EU on June 1st without a Brexit deal. This extension provides Prime Minister May with more time to gain support for her Brexit Agreement or gain support from the Labor party for a revised plan. Elsewhere, details remain sketchy on U.S. and China trade negotiations; the parties seem to be moving closer on enforcement provisions, a key to a final trade agreement.
The positive start to earnings season may bode well for corporate commentaries on expectations for the remainder of 2019. The markets’ positive momentum seems poised to continue as concerns about monetary policy, trade and the oil price recovery recede.
Source: Pacific Global Investment Management Company
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.
Last Week's Headlines: 4/15/2019
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