World markets are mostly up small and US stock futures point to a slightly higher open after yesterday’s negative to positive move. On Wednesday night Congress finally passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling and re-open the government, but many believed a deal was fully priced in when we opened lower yesterday. However, buyers stepped in during the session to take the market positive and now we are getting some follow-through this morning.
Nasdaq futures are leading the charge this morning thanks in large part to stellar earnings from Google (GOOG) last night that has the stock up more than 9% and knocking on the door of $1,000. The strong advertising and mobile numbers from GOOG also has other companies who operate in the same segments rallying this morning too.
The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 led to way to new at all-time highs and the S&P is opening above prior highs of 1729 this morning. Let’s see if the index can do some work above that level. There is no reason why this can’t go to our target zone of 1740-1760 from a few months back. The debt ceiling can has been kicked to the beginning of next year and the dovish Janet Yellen has been nominated as the next Fed Chief, so there doesn’t seem to be many obstacles to the market going higher from here. Up seems to be the path of least resistance, but we will, as always, measure the price action at each step of the way and identify relative strength.
Going back to tech, the strength of GOOG earnings is having a major impact on other tech stocks pre-market. Facebook (FB) is among the leaders pre-market, up 3.5% as investors prepare for another potential blockbuster earnings report. Amazon (AMZN) and LinkedIn (LNKD) are up almost 3% as well. Yahoo! (YHOO) is up almost 2% despite already reporting mediocre earnings. And the list goes on of stocks buoyed by GOOG’s report.
GOOG is not the only stock to announce well-received earnings last night. Bank earnings have not been spectacular, but the stocks were trading well off highs and not priced for perfect reports. The earnings have been good enough to allow the group to play some catch-up. Morgan Stanley (MS) is the latest to announce, and the stock is up 3.7% so far this morning in response. With the Fed extending the “easy money” policies many thought would start to be wound down in September, the banks could continue to rally.
Chipotle (CMG) also reported strong numbers and is set to open up nearly 8% at new all-time highs. The stock had a swoon in the second half of 2012 as many thought growth was slowing, but the train kept on moving and the stock is back at highs.
General Electric (GE) also reported strong earnings and is up 2.6% pre-market. Earnings season got off to a tepid start, but things definitely heated up last night. In the absence of any other major catalysts, strong earnings could continue to propel the market to new heights.
Disclosure: Scott Redler is long AMAT, TSLA, USU, BAC, XHB, FB, MOS, TSO, GLUU. Long GOOG calls, hedge half of position after hours with GOOG stock short. Long AAPL call spread. Short SPY, GOOG.
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