Friday, July 18, 2008

Nice Follow Through - Still Watch Earnings

Financials continued to fuel the market today as all three indices moved higher again Thursday in heavy trading.

JP Morgan Chase (JPM) started the day off with better than expected earnings, then the drop in oil and natural gas helped to continue to fuel yesterday's rally. The Dow finished 207 points higher, the NASDAQ closed 27 points higher, and the S&P 500 had another good day at 15 points higher.

IBM (IBM) announced great earnings after the bell, and they raised their profit outlook for the year to $8.75. It was not all great news though as Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), and Merrill Lynch (MER) all missed their earnings when they reported after hours.

This morning Citigroup (C) announced their earnings before the bell. The company beat expectations by 12 cents (-54 cents vs. -66 cents). While they wrote down additional assets, these write downs were less than expected by Wall Street. The stock seemed to buoy the market against Thursday's earnings report by Merrill Lynch (MER). Citigroup shares were trading up in pre-market activity by about 8%.

Looking ahead, on Monday, Bank of America (BAC) will report its earnings for the 2nd Quarter.

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