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Jul 21, 2015
via Morning Bid with David Gaffen

A Fistful of Apples

The big Megillah of the market is out after the close, so naturally there will be a ton of scrutiny – and a ton of trading – surrounding Apple after the consumer electronics giant reports results and gives people an idea of how its signature iPhone and newcomer iWatch products are doing.

The iWatch of course is in the midst of its rollout and introduction to the world, so there’s probably still some room for columnists and others to declare that the product is doomed, which of course it probably is not. Still, comments on its relative strength in the early going are catnip for anyone diving into the stock at this time; the expectation is that the company will report earnings around $1.80 a share, with the SmartEstimate at $1.83, and if recent quarters are any guide, it should surpass those figures without a problem. And in four of the last five quarters, Apple has, within the next seven days, increased expectations for the quarter that has followed, so it has piled on to the already-strong momentum the stock has garnered.

Jul 21, 2015
via Morning Bid with David Gaffen

A Fistful of Apples

The big Megillah of the market is out after the close, so naturally there will be a ton of scrutiny – and a ton of trading – surrounding Apple after the consumer electronics giant reports results and gives people an idea of how its signature iPhone and newcomer iWatch products are doing.

The iWatch of course is in the midst of its rollout and introduction to the world, so there’s probably still some room for columnists and others to declare that the product is doomed, which of course it probably is not. Still, comments on its relative strength in the early going are catnip for anyone diving into the stock at this time; the expectation is that the company will report earnings around $1.80 a share, with the SmartEstimate at $1.83, and if recent quarters are any guide, it should surpass those figures without a problem. And in four of the last five quarters, Apple has, within the next seven days, increased expectations for the quarter that has followed, so it has piled on to the already-strong momentum the stock has garnered.

Jul 20, 2015

Gold slumps to five-year low, dollar at highest in months

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Gold prices plunged to their lowest in more than five years on Monday, at one point dropping by 4 percent, as the U.S. dollar hit a three-month high against a basket of major currencies on expectations U.S. interest rates are set to rise.

The U.S. equity market was flat in early trading, while European bourses posted modest gains.

Jul 20, 2015
via Morning Bid with David Gaffen

Little Blue

IBM, long-time stalwart of the Dow industrials, reports quarterly results after the close, the first of several major technology bellwethers to release its earnings figures. The stock has been a laggard compared with the benchmark S&P 500 over the last year or so, with the S&P’s greater-than-10-percent return easily dwarfing the losses from IBM in that time.

The results should help clarify whether the company is starting to see some traction in the cloud area that has been its bugaboo; it has been critiqued for having invested in and moved on that area later than the rest of the market, part of what has hurt the stock in the last couple of years.

Jul 20, 2015
via Morning Bid with David Gaffen

Little Blue

IBM, long-time stalwart of the Dow industrials, reports quarterly results after the close, the first of several major technology bellwethers to release its earnings figures. The stock has been a laggard compared with the benchmark S&P 500 over the last year or so, with the S&P’s greater-than-10-percent return easily dwarfing the losses from IBM in that time.

The results should help clarify whether the company is starting to see some traction in the cloud area that has been its bugaboo; it has been critiqued for having invested in and moved on that area later than the rest of the market, part of what has hurt the stock in the last couple of years.

Jul 16, 2015
via Morning Bid with David Gaffen

Google, Interrupted

The next bellwether on the earnings docket is Google, with the hope that it should exceed expectations, but the stock has been in a steadily declining pattern of lower highs and lower lows since it hit its peak in early 2014.

Such a pattern could be on the verge of being interrupted, though, and the latest activity in the options market suggests some people think there’s enough going on that’s bullish that could propel shares through the $600 mark. This won’t necessarily be easy, though.

Jul 16, 2015
via Morning Bid with David Gaffen

Google, Interrupted

The next bellwether on the earnings docket is Google, with the hope that it should exceed expectations, but the stock has been in a steadily declining pattern of lower highs and lower lows since it hit its peak in early 2014.

Such a pattern could be on the verge of being interrupted, though, and the latest activity in the options market suggests some people think there’s enough going on that’s bullish that could propel shares through the $600 mark. This won’t necessarily be easy, though.

Jul 15, 2015
via Morning Bid with David Gaffen

Binge-watching earnings and the Fed

The Federal Reserve is the early concern on the part of investors – Janet Yellen’s testimony is out in the morning when she appears before the combative House of Representatives, though her speech on Friday highlighting her concerns about ongoing slack in the labor market and the possibility that international issues may undermine the Fed’s plans fed the bearish case when it comes to rate increases.

And while many had expected September to be the moment for rate hikes, the consensus is shifting, however slowly, toward December. The testimony should be pretty straightforward, and we’re already aware of the expectations for the trajectory of monetary policy. So it’ll be mostly notable for fireworks, should they occur, and more than likely they will, though Yellen is getting good at brushing off the disrespect accorded her by the House.

Jul 15, 2015
via Morning Bid with David Gaffen

Binge-watching earnings and the Fed

The Federal Reserve is the early concern on the part of investors – Janet Yellen’s testimony is out in the morning when she appears before the combative House of Representatives, though her speech on Friday highlighting her concerns about ongoing slack in the labor market and the possibility that international issues may undermine the Fed’s plans fed the bearish case when it comes to rate increases.

And while many had expected September to be the moment for rate hikes, the consensus is shifting, however slowly, toward December. The testimony should be pretty straightforward, and we’re already aware of the expectations for the trajectory of monetary policy. So it’ll be mostly notable for fireworks, should they occur, and more than likely they will, though Yellen is getting good at brushing off the disrespect accorded her by the House.

Jul 14, 2015
via Morning Bid with David Gaffen

Kick the Can

If history repeats itself, first as tragedy, next as farce, the third time is probably “Greece.” The austerity measures to be implemented and the staggering bailout sum together mark another exhibit in the long history of evidence supporting the line about insanity being the thing someone does over and over while expecting a different result. In its most ruthless terms, though, the markets liked it on Monday, the stock market was higher, the Treasury market sold off, and we’re in a kick-the-can scenario that David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors a few weeks ago said would be viewed well because markets like can-kicking. It’s possible it gives investment managers the hope that they’ve found the fountain of youth or something.

But never mind that now. Greece’s effect on U.S. markets was always thought to be limited, and besides, we’re being flung headlong into earnings season now, with a number of the major banks all out and firing reports ahead of some notable others in the next 36 hours – Blackrock, Yum Brands, Netflix, a load of regional banks, that sort of thing.

    • About David

      "David Gaffen oversees the U.S. markets team, having joined Reuters in May 2009. He spent four years at the Wall Street Journal, where he was the original writer of the web site's MarketBeat blog. He is a frequent guest on Reuters TV, and has appeared on CNN International, Fox Business, NPR, and assorted other media and is the author of the book "Never Buy Another Stock Again.""
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