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Friday Market Recap: Earnings Season Edition

|Includes: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), INTC, JNJ, JPM, LUV

Another surprisingly good week for the markets as investors perpetuate the rally that we've been riding for the last month. Part of the reason? It's earnings season! Let's take a look at the chart:

The S&P 500 has been behaving well - relatively. Since its latest bottom on March 9, it's done a good job of pushing upward 26.6%. Since last week's recap the S&P is up a noticeable 4.9%. But the question now is whether the trend will continue...

If you take a look at the chart above, the S&P is rising, but it's curving - meaning that the rate at which it's moving it beginning to taper off. That's somewhat disconcerting for investors who are going long now. What's important to note is the fact that the tapering we've seen over the last week could just be the market consolidating - only one day closed lower than the previous this week, and volume stayed consistent: that's a good sign.

Another good sign is the bounce the market made around the end of March. The S&P hit its 50-day moving average (the graph of its average price over the trailing 50 days), and bounced off - that's a bullish signal that indicates investors aren't willing to part with stocks below that level. For now.

It's Earnings Season

Part of the reason that the market has been up so notably this week is because it's earnings season. As companies start to let investors know how the first quarter of 2009 treated their corporate coffers we're going to be able to get an idea of just how much longer we'll be talking recession. So far, it's been a mixed bag.

Early in the week lower retail sales pushed the market down despite companies like Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs reporting better than expected earnings on Tuesday. And yesterday beleaguered bank JP Morgan delivered record-breaking revenues. Not everyone beat analyst expectations, though - big names like Intel and Southwest Airlines missed their numbers, and their stocks tumbled as a result.

Watch the Rhino Stocks

The Rhino Stock Report's portfolio is doing very well right now. This week, our stop loss on j2 Global Communications (NASDAQ: JCOM) triggered, selling the position off at a 40% gain.

At present three of our remaining open positions – EMCORE (NYSE: EME), Iconix Brand Group (NASDAQ:ICON), and Computer Sciences Corp (NYSE: CSC) are up double digits as of this writing.

Disclosure: EME, ICON, and CSC are long positions in the Rhino Stock Report's portfolio.