From the Trading Desk

Stocks Extend Gains for Third Straight Day

Early morning rally from European markets albeit on continued economic weakness helped fuel early morning gains in US Futures. China didn’t help matters with a disappointing Flash PMI reading with the Shanghai falling 2.6%. US economic data didn’t surprise to the upside with the Markit US PMI came in at 52.0 with the expectations at 53.9. The Richmond Fed Index fell to -6 reading showing continued weakness in US Economic data. New Home sales did gain more than expected fueling a big rally in equities. Even with a mini-flash crash mid-date due to the AP being hacked the market was able to claw higher with volume expanding. The market continues its choppy ways as more economic data is set to be released tomorrow.

How could we not mention AAPL till the second paragraph? AAPL released earnings at 4:30 pm EST beating estimates for the quarter. Guidance was weak at best with margin compression taking hold. The company raised its dividend by 15% and doubled its stock buyback program by $50 billion! Initially, the stock jumped on the news. However, by the close of the after-hours session the stock fell back below the close of the normal market hours. Weakness is not a trait we want to see in our stocks and with the weakness in AAPL we’ll leave the stock be for now.

Outside of AAPL’s earnings the entire after-hours session was filled with earnings disappointments. EW, CREE, PNRA, and AMGN are just a few stocks having a tough time with earnings. AMGN has been a big winner for the NASDAQ producing decent sized gains for the index. VMW was another earnings loser with the stock tumbling 6% in the after-hours session. Holding through earnings is a dangerous game and if you do not have enough cushion or you are holding in size it is prudent to reduce your position. ARMH was certainly an earnings winner, but this time of action post earnings has been somewhat scarce. Stick with your rules and earnings season will go smoothly.

Tomorrow we’ll get a read on Durable goods with Autos expecting to bring down the figure. Given all the negative economic readings it would be fitting this number will disappoint too. We’ll follow price and ignore the noise.

Stick to your rules and cut your losses!

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