On The Fly: Stocks end week higher with earnings at full steam
Stocks ended the week higher following the busiest week in earnings so far this year and as the Trump administration introduced new tax guidelines. MACRO NEWS: In the U.S., GDP growth rose only 0.7% in the first quarter. First quarter employment costs posted a 0.8% growth pace. The Chicago Fed National Activity index edged up to 0.08 in March. The Dallas Fed manufacturing index dipped 0.1 point to 16.8 in April. The Richmond Fed manufacturing index dipped to 20 in April. The Case-Shiller 20-City home price index rose 0.42% to 193.5 for February. The FHFA home price index rose 0.8% in February to 244.8. Consumer sentiment slid 4.6 points to 120.3 in the preliminary April. New home sales jumped 5.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units last month. Initial jobless claims rose 14,000 to 257,000 in the week ended April 22. The trade deficit in goods widened slightly to $64.8B. Durable goods orders rose 0.7% in March. An index of pending home sales fell 0.8% to 111.4 in March. The Chicago PMI increased 0.6 points to 58.3 in April... In Asia, the Bank of Japan raised its economic forecasts, but kept policy steady. Japan's core consumer price index rose 0.2% in March, the unemployment rate for March was 2.8%, industrial production fell 2.1% in March from the previous month, and retail sales climbed 2.1% from a year ago... In Europe, France's presidential election took place last Sunday, with pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron taking first place and anti-immigrant and anti-EU Marine Le Pen the second. Both candidates will now go through to a runoff on May 7. The European Central Bank decided to keep interest rates unchanged. COMPANY NEWS: Alphabet (GOOG; GOOGL) reported better than expected quarterly earnings and revenue. The company saw higher ad sales, helped by mobile search and ongoing strength in YouTube... Amazon.com (AMZN) also reported stronger than expected first quarter results as its retail and cloud-computing sales rose for the quarter. Responding to the results, a large number of Wall Street research firms raised their price targets on the stock... Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT) announced lower than expected revenue, partially due to lighter volumes for its Surface products... Among other companies that announced quarterly results this week, Hasbro (HAS), McDonald's (MCD), Caterpillar (CAT), Du Pont (DD), 3M (MMM), Rite Aid (RAD), Twitter (TWTR), AT&T (T), United Technologies (UTX), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), UPS (UPS), PayPal (PYPL), Under Armour (UAA; UA), Comcast (CMCSA; CMCSK), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), and Western Digital (WDC) advanced following their reports, while Halliburton (HAL), Coca-Cola (KO), Eli Lilly (LLY), Express Scripts (ESRX), Lockheed Martin (LMT), PepsiCo (PEP), Boeing (BA), Procter & Gamble (PG), U.S. Steel (X), Cree (CREE), Southwest Airlines (LUV), American Airlines (AAL), Ford (F), Dow Chemical (DOW), F5 Networks (FFIV), Intel (INTC), and GoPro (GPRO) declined... QUALCOMM (QCOM) lowered its third quarter earnings per share view after being informed by Apple (AAPL) that the latter is withholding payments to its contract manufacturers for the royalties those contract manufacturers owe under their licenses with Qualcomm for sales... United Continental (UAL) reached a settlement deal with David Dao, the passenger who was recorded being dragged off a United flight earlier this month, according to media reports... Activist investor Dan Loeb's Third Point is pushing for Honeywell (HON) to spin off its aerospace unit... Time Inc. (TIME) announced that it is pursuing "a number of strategic initiatives" and not pursuing a sale of the company. This comes after Meredith (MDP) was unable to line up its lending agreements to acquire Time, CNBC's David Faber said... In M&A news, Becton Dickinson (BDX) agreed to acquire C.R. Bard (BCR) for $317 per common share in cash and stock, for a total consideration of $24B. PPG Industries (PPG) announced that it has submitted a revised proposal for a combination with AkzoNobel (AKZOY). Including the assumption of net debt and minority interests, the proposed transaction is now valued at just about $29B. Straight Path Communications (STRP) disclosed that an unsolicited offer made by an unnamed "multi-national telecommunications company" is considered superior to AT&T's $95.63 per share bid. Media reported later that Verizon (VZ) submitted the $1.8B counter-bid for Straight Path. Tyson Foods (TSN) is acquiring AdvancePierre Foods (APFH) in a deal with a value of approximately $4.2B, including $3.2B in equity value and $1.1B in assumption of AdvancePierre debt. INDEXES: For the week, the Dow rose 1.88% to 20,940.51, the Nasdaq advanced 2.31% to 6,047.61, and the S&P 500 gained 1.5% to 2,384.20.