The strength of earnings reports across different industries should help the market sustain its positive momentum from Wednesday. This morning’s Jobless Claims report, reversing last week’s surprising weakness, also helps the overall positive mood. I am increasingly getting confident that the quality and strength of earnings reports thus far will help move sustainably beyond the February highs.
Apple’s (AAPL) blockbuster results led the earnings parade this morning, which was joined by a host of blue-chip names from different industries. Verizon (VZ), which carried the iPhone for the first time in the quarter, reported inline earnings but modestly higher than expected revenue. General Electric (GE) beat EPS/revenue expectations and raised its quarterly dividend. We also got top and bottom-line beats from DuPont (DD), McDonald’s (MCD), and Morgan Stanley (MS). Schlumberger (SLB) and Weatherford (WFT) came short of expectations.
The Jobless Claims report was modestly negative in that the weekly number stayed above the 400,000 level. But the important thing to focus on, in my view, is the drop in claims and the reversal of last week’s surprising negative trend. But the day’s focus will remain on earnings and there is plenty on that front to keep the market’s spirits high.