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Morning Market Report

Some 87 companies in the S&P 500 have now reported earnings for the first quarter, and just over 62% have beaten earnings expectations.

The market is up 18 points. The Dow Jones rose on Monday to 16449 after a 16-point fall last Thursday. The market opened lower and was down as much as 142 points. After an early failed spike the market strengthened during the day. The market remained in “holiday mode”, and trading volume was well below average.

The broader based S&P was up 7 points to 1872. It was the fifth consecutive gain in the S&P — the first for 2014. US economic data was in line  —  leading indicators met expectations, rising for the third consecutive month. On Thursday, initial weekly jobless claims were 304,000, better than the 312,000 expected.

US earnings were generally positive —  Halliburton and Hasbro performed well. On Thursday, Google and IBM results disappointed, but General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and PepsiCo all beat their estimates. Some 87 companies in the S&P 500 have now reported earnings for the first quarter, and just over 62% have beaten earnings expectations. This is under the long-term average and lower than the 66% average over the past four quarters.

European markets were closed for Easter. Shares rose on Thursday with the UK FTSE up 0.62%, the French CAC up 0.59% and the German DAX up 0.99%. The Aussie dollar was weaker —  it is currently trading at US93.27c. Gold was US$5.40 lower at US$1288 an ounce. Base metals were mixed —  copper and nickel rose 0.54% and 0.395 respectively, but aluminium fell 0.52% and zinc was 0.21% lower. Iron ore is US$2.90 weaker to US$113.30 a tonne.

STORIES

  • Paladin Energy (PDN) — Quarterly activities report for period ending March 31, 2014.
  • Oil Search (OSH) — First quarter production up 7.7% on year to 1.68m boe. Financial year production at top of guidance range. OSH has guided for financial year output of 13m-16m boe.

Events this week:

  • Wednesday: Newcrest third quarter production report. Australia consumer price index, internet vacancy index; US new home sales; Flash manufacturing for China, US and Europe.
  • Thursday: Atlas Iron March quarter results. US durable goods.
  • Friday: Australia public holiday; US consumer sentiment.

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