Tuesday started badly for the bulls with the earnings results from Alcoa (NYSE:AA) which fell short of consensus revenue forecasts. Alcoa (AA) is viewed, by many market traders, as the bench mark for future company earnings reports. Therefore, the major market indexes spent much of the day in the red. However, rescue, of sorts, came in the form of some well-received economic data as follows:-
· The Commerce Department noted that the U.S. trade deficit expanded by 7.4% to $39.7 billion in February, exceeding analysts' expectations.
· A 3.1% increase in imports of consumer goods during the month, suggesting that consumer demand and spending are on the rise.
These reports and news items helped bring the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) back into the black in afternoon trading, however the S&P 500 Index (SPX) spent most of the day just below the breakeven line and finally, before closing, managed to gain positive ground.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 11,019.42) had a small gain of 13.5 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,197.30) made up 0.8 point, or 0.07%. whilst the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,465.99) finished the day with a gain of 8.1 points, or 0.3%.
Note of Interest….
· The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) had a new annual-high of 2,467.94.
· The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) managed to hold onto its perch above 11,000.
· The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) also had a new annual high of 11,038.92 in late-afternoon trading.
· Crude futures marked their fifth consecutive session of losses. By the close, crude oil for May delivery was $84.05 per barrel.
Stocks to Watch
Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE:TXN)
Option activity, for the April series for Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN), has been popular as of Monday, due to analysts at Credit Suisse, raising their rating for Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN) from "neutral" to "outperform." Also since hitting a short-term bottom around $22 in mid-January, TXN has since trended steadily upward, and in the last 20 sessions, they have outperformed the broader market by 3.2%.
XL Capital Ltd. (NYSE:XL)
Unsubstantiated takeover talk has caused an incredible amount of option call volume for XL Capital Ltd. (XL), 18 times its predicted daily call activity.
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Disclosure: no positions held in stocks mentioned