“1:30 pm : Stocks are testing session highs, but broad market gains remain relatively modest. The effort to add to gains comes as all 10 major sectors start to lift, although Financials and Energy remain in the red with fractional losses.
There is no headline to account for the recent bout of buying, but it has coincided with a downturn by the dollar, which is now at a session low against competing currencies. DJ30 +44.13 NASDAQ +20.47 SP500 +4.63 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1380/980 mln/1005 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1745/315 mln/1150
1:00 pm : News of another downgrade of Spain’s debt and lighter-than-expected first quarter GDP growth of 2.2% haven’t kept the broad market from mustering a modest gain. Although overall gains aren’t great, the effort comes without help from Tech, Financials, or Energy, which have all traded quietly this week.
Consumer Discretionary stocks are strong today. The sector’s 1.5% gain comes in conjunction with a blowout quarter by Amazon.com (AMZN 227.64, +31.65). The surge in shares of the internet-based retailer has also helped the Nasdaq move ahead of its counterparts. The response to earnings from Procter & Gamble (PG 64.51, -2.36), Chevron (CVX 106.00), Merck (MRK 38.41, -0.06), Ford (F 11.68. -0.19), and Starbucks(SBUX 57.36, -3.30) has been less supportive.
The modest gains made during today’s trade have helped put the S&P 500 on pace for its best weekly performance in six weeks. The effort has the broad market measure narrowly above the 1400 line to trade at its best level since earlier this month. DJ30 +28.27 NASDAQ +17.23 SP500 +2.96 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1340/905 mln/1020 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1715/295 mln/1170
12:30 pm : Broad market gains remain modest, but the dollar continues to trade with relatively marked weakness.
Strength in the euro has the currency up 0.5% to about $1.33, despite another downgrade of Spain’s debt. Meanwhile, Britain’s sterling pound has pushed up 0.4% to $1.62. Japan’s yen has also made a strong move, such that its exchange rate has fallen 0.8% to 80.43 yen per dollar. DJ30 +33.57 NASDAQ +15.32 SP500 +2.70 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1330/830 mln/1040 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1700/270 mln/1160
12:00 pm : Tech recently cut its loss with a move up to the neutral line, but it has been unable to extend its push. That has left it to trail the broad market by a narrow margin.
Financials and Energy are also lagging. Those two sectors are down 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively. Quiet action among Financials, Energy, and Tech has been a recurring theme this week. That’s somewhat striking since the stock market is actually on pace for its best weekly showing in six weeks. DJ30 +29.48 NASDAQ +13.65 SP500 +2.01 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1305/755 mln/1045 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1645/240 mln/1200
11:30 am : Both the Dow and S&P 500 continue to chop along with a slight gain as blue chips like Procter & Gamble (PG 64.70, -2.17) andChevron (CVX 105.84, -0.38) trade in the red following their latest quarterly reports. However, but the Nasdaq has managed to put together a relatively strong gain with help from Amazon.com (AMZN 224.83, +28.84), which has benefited from a handful of analyst upgrades after the company posted earnings that far exceeded what Wall Street had expected.DJ30 +30.43 NASDAQ +12.52 SP500 +2.29 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1245/660 mln/1080 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1575/210 mln/1240
11:00 am : Although the major equity averages have turned modest losses into modest gains, stocks continue to seek direction.
Tech hampered action in the early going, but its move up to the neutral line has provided support to the broad market. Consumer discretionary stocks continue to shine as the sector sports a 0.9% gain that is largely owed to strength in Amazon.com (AMZN 221.55, +25.56) after the internet-based retailer posted blowout earnings. DJ30 +24.37 NASDAQ +9.12 SP500 +1.65 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1085/515 mln/1180 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1430/165 mln/1350
10:30 am : Crude oil prices have slipped into negative territory to trade with a 0.3% loss at $104.25 per ounce, but natural gas has added to its gain so that the energy component is now priced at $2.27 per MMBtu, which makes for a 1.5% gain.
Precious metals have maintained the modest gains that they mustered earlier this morning. As such, gold prices are sitting at $1665 per ounce, which makes for a 0.3% gain. Meanwhile, silver is sitting at $31.23 per ounce, which makes for a fractional gain. DJ30 +5.91 NASDAQ -0.39 SP500 -0.75 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 815/365 mln/1405 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1115/125 mln/1620
10:00 am : Released only minutes ago, the final reading on consumer sentiment for April from the University of Michigan improved to 76.4 from the preliminary reading of 75.7, which is where the Survey had been expected to remain.
However, the Survey hasn’t done much to diminish the pressure that has gradually forced stocks lower since the open. Although the broad market is only now at the neutral line, there isn’t really any legitimate source of leadership at this point. That could portend weak price action, especially if market participants are feeling compelled to take profits after watching stocks put together impressive gains over the course of the past two sessions — gains that have positioned the S&P 500 for its best week in six weeks of trade. DJ30 -2.30 NASDAQ -3.23 SP500 -1.09 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1050/150 mln/1000 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1585/60 mln/1020
09:45 am : Stocks are pulling back after opening trade with a modest gain. Tech — the largest sector by market weight — is an early drag as it drifts down to a 0.3% loss. Despite earnings that far exceeded what had been expected and strong guidance, Western Digital (WDC 38.09, -6.01) has been a source of considerable weakness. The company’s shares have plummeted in response to some disappointing commentary during the company’s conference call last evening.
Due in just a few minutes — 9:55 AM ET to be exact — is the final reading on April consumer sentiment. DJ30 +19.45 NASDAQ +2.40 SP500 +1.63 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec NA/NA/NA NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec NA/NA/NA”