April 18, 2013 at 09:34 AM EDT
Thursday – A Hopeful Trade
Wall StreetThe German Parliament approved the bailout of Cyprus, but the IMF’s Christine Lagarde has a press conference scheduled today that could change the mood in Europe. So far, European shares are recovering lost ground from recent trading shortfall. Asia was lower today, lagging by a day and still trading on yesterday’s news. In the States, a decent Jobless Claims Report and enthusiasm about forthcoming earnings has stocks looking higher. The SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) is aiming higher fractionally in the early going. I’m afraid, though, this is a hopeful trade, because I expect earnings from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and even Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) may disappoint today.

Economic Events

There is just one report due before the market open Thursday. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims is due for report at 8:30. Last week’s report covering the period ending April 6 showed weekly claims fell by 42K, to 346K. The four-week moving average for jobless claims rose 3K to 358K. Economists see claims at about the same level this week.

After stabilizing recently, Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index, a weekly measure of the consumer mood, edged up 0.1 points last week, reaching a mark of -34.0. However, consumers are not in a good mood, as was evidenced by the recent drops seen in the Conference Board and University of Michigan monthly measures.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s Business Outlook Survey measures the regional manufacturing mood. The report for the month of April is expected to show index improvement to a mark of 3.3, up from 2.0 in March.

The Conference Board will publish its monthly Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) Index at 10:00 AM ET. Economists see this forward looking economic measure marking 0.2% improvement in March, which is a slower pace than February’s 0.5% increase.

Look for Fed speak Thursday from representatives Kocherlakota, Lacker and Bloom-Raskin.

Overseas Markets

EURO STOXX 50 +0.8% NIKKEI 225 -1.2%
German DAX +0.4% Hang Seng -0.3%
CAC 40 +0.8% S&P/ASX 200 -1.6%
FTSE 100 +0.4% Korean KOSPI -1.2%
Greek ASE +0.6% BSE India SENSEX +1.5%

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde is holding a press conference Thursday.

Commodity Markets (8:40 AM ET)

WTI Crude +1.3%
Brent Crude +1.3%
RBOB Gasoline +1.5%
NYMEX Natural Gas +0.1%
Gold Spot +1.4%
Silver Spot +0.5%
COMEX Copper -0.2%
CBOT Corn -0.0%
CBOT Wheat +0.8%
CBOT Soybeans +0.7%
ICE Sugar =0.0%
ICE Cocoa +0.0%
ICE Orange Juice Conc. =0.0%
CME Live Cattle +0.2%

The EIA’s Natural Gas Report is due Thursday at 10:30 AM. Last week’s report covering the period ending April 5 showed working gas in storage declined by 14 Bcf. Stocks were 804 Bcf less than last year at this time and 66 Bcf below the five-year average for this time of year.

Corporate Events

The corporate wire has the IPO of SeaWorld Entertainment, which will price 20 million shares between $24 and $27. Bankruptcy Court hosts Revel Resort and Casino, which is seeking a $40 million loan from J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM).

The EPS slate highlights presentations by Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG), Baxter International (NYSE: BAX), PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF), Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB), Amphenol (NYSE: APH), AutoNation (NYSE: AN), BB&T (NYSE: BBT), Blackstone (NYSE: BX), Cepheid (Nasdaq: CPHD), China Ming Yang Wind Power (NYSE: MY), Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), Cytec (NYSE: CYT), Danaher (NYSE: DHR), E*TRADE (Nasdaq: ETFC), Fairchild Semiconductor (NYSE: FCS), Freeport McMoRan (NYSE: FCX), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM), KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Nucor (NYSE: NUE), Omnicom (NYSE: OMC), Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), Penn National Gaming (Nasdaq: PENN), People’s United Financial (Nasdaq: PBCT), Philip Morris (NYSE: PM), Pool Corp. (Nasdaq: POOL), Popular (Nasdaq: BPOP), PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG), Restoration Hardware (NYSE: RH), Seanergy Maritime (Nasdaq: SHIP), Sherwin Williams (NYSE: SHW), Sonoco (NYSE: SON), Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO), Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP), UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and more.

Recent articles authored of interest:
Why Sell Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) on Any EPS Pop

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) Present an Extraordinary Opportunity

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

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