The stock markets in the United States gained driven by the rally of equities in the energy sector due to the increase in crude oil prices. The positive performance of energy companies offsets the disappointing quarterly revenues of Alcoa and Bed Bath & Beyond.

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Yesterday, the minutes of the meeting of the Federal Reserve showed that policy makers are divided on the timing of raising the interest rates, which pushed the markets higher.

Commenting on the market trends, Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management told Bloomberg that investors are “just waiting on earnings.”

Paulsen added, “In the meantime, there are deals and buyouts pushing us around a little. People are getting ready for earnings season, which won’t really kick in until next week. You had Alcoa, which wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t great. It didn’t push you to one side or the other.”

[drizzle]Analysts reduced their corporate earnings estimates and projected a decline until September. They estimated that earnings declined by 5.8% in the first quarter. In January, the analysts forecasted earnings growth.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor reported that the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits increased 14,000 to 281,000 for the week ended April 4.  Analysts polled by Bloomberg have a median estimate of 283,000.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,958.73 (+0.31%)
  • S&P 500- 2,091.18 (+0.48%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,974.57 (+0.83%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,259.03 (-0.29%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,781.79 (+1.05%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 7,015.36 (+1.12%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 12,166.44 (+1.08%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 19,937.72 (+0.75%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 26,944.39 (+2.70%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 4,262.14 (-0.74%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Alcoa declined 3.37% to $13.21 per share after reporting a quarterly revenue that missed the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts. The aluminum giant posted $5.82 billion in revenue for the first quarter, lower than the $5.94 billion expected by analysts.

Anadarko Petroleum gained 3.23% to $88.90 per share. Analysts at Credit Suisse reiterated their Outperform rating for the company due several catalysts including the successful appraisals of Shenandoah and Paon as well as the commercialization of the Delaware Basin Wolfcamp play, among others. The analysts believe that the company’s capital allocation process will result to value creation despite a low-price environment.

The shares of General Electric Company climbed 2.88% to $25.73 per share due to the report that it is close to reaching a deal to sell its real estate portfolio to Blackstone Group and Wells Fargo & Co.

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