The stock markets in the United States gained as investors monitor the earnings seasons and look for signs of strength of corporate profits. Yesterday, the markets benefited from the increase in crude oil prices, which energy equities higher.

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For the first time in two months, the S&P 500 experienced a back-to-back weekly rebound. The index ended the trading session up by 0.52% to 2,102.06 points today.

Commenting on the market trends, Marck Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Capital Management told Bloomberg, “I’m surprised the market is moving with this level of enthusiasm.”

According to Russ Koesterick, global chief strategist at BlackRock commented that the bull market will not end until sometime between 2016 and 2017.

The recent minutes the meeting of the Federal Reserve showed that policymakers are divided regarding the timing of raising the interest rates. Based on data compiled by Sundial Capital Research, investors are becoming more concerned because of a series of weak economic figures, an indication that the central bank has reasons to delay an interest rate hike after the summer.

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said the weak economic data are probably temporary, and he remained in favor of implementing the first interest rate increase in June.

Lacker said, “Readings on some indicators have been unexpectedly weak in recent weeks, some of which may be attributable to unseasonably adverse weather.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 18,057.65 (+0.55%)
  • S&P 500- 2,091.18 (+0.48%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,995.98 (+0.43%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,264.48 (+0.43%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,816.76 (+0.92%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 7,089.77 (+1.06%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 12,274.73 (+1.71%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 19,907.63 (-0.15%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 27,272.39 (+1.22%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 4,344.42 (+1.93%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of General Electric increased almost 11% to $28.51 per share. The multinational conglomerate announced that it is selling most of its GE Capital assets to create a more valuable and simple company.

The board of directors of the company also approved a new stock buyback program worth $50 billion and expected to distribute around $35 billion in dividends to shareholders. GE said there was a potential to return more than $90 billion to in dividends, buybacks, and the Synchrony exchange until 2018.

FireEye rose 5.31% to $43.24 per share. The shares of the security company traded between $24.81 and $55.66 per share over the past 52 weeks. FireEye gained more than 36% year-to-date.

The shares of Netflix gained 3.43% to $454.57 per share. Citibank analyst Mark May upgraded his stock rating to Buy and raised his price target to $525 per share. He said the recent pullback in the shares of Netflix offered a long-term buying opportunity.

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