Jobless Claims Fall and Intel Names a New CEO: Market Recap

Strong earnings mixed with positive economic indicators to bright Mr. Market’s day on Thursday.

DJIA: +0.89% to 14,831.60 S&P 500: +0.94% to 1,597.59 NASDAQ: +1.26% to 3,340.62
Gold: +$21.40 to $1,467.60 per ounce Oil: +$3.01 to $94.04 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: -0.004 points to 1.626%

Ongoing Economic Downturn Forces the ECB’s Hand: As expected, the European Central Bank announced on Thursday that it will lower the interest rateon both the marginal lending facility and main refinancing operations within the Eurosystem. Effective May 8, the rate on the marginal lending facility will be decreased by 50 basis points to 1.0 percent, and the rate on main refinancing operations will be decreased by 25 basis points to 0.50 percent. The interest rate on the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.0 percent… (Read more.)

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Are Employers Shaking Off Tough Economic Headwinds? Amidst increasing concerns that tough fiscal headwinds are slowing job growth, the Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 324,000 last week — the lowest level reported in the past five years. While payroll processor ADP’s National Employment Report showed Wednesday that employers added a disappointing number of new jobs to their payrolls in April, last week’s claims data signaled fewer workers were laid off… (Read more.)

Weak Imports and Soft Demand Narrows U.S. Trade Gap: The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, reported that the U.S. trade deficit shrank 11 percent sequentially in March to $38.8 billion. Total exports were $184.3 billion, down 0.9 percent on the month, while total imports were $223.1 billion, down 2.8 percent. Economists were expecting the deficit to shrink marginally to $42.4 billion… (Read more.)

General Motors (NYSE:GM) stock closed the day up 3.25 percent after posting relatively strong first quarter results. Revenue declined 2.27 percent on the year to $36.9 billion, but beat the average estimate of $36.6 billion. Earnings fell 27.96 percent on the year to $0.67 per share, beating the mean estimate of $0.54 per share… (Read more.)

MetLife (NYSE:MET) closed the day up 4.09 percent after reporting solid earnings. Revenue climbed 6.81 percent on the year to $17 billion, missing the average estimate of $17.32 billion. Adjusted earnings climbed 8.03 percent to $1.48 per share, beating the average estimate of $1.30 per share… (Read more.)

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Yelp (NYSE:YELP) closed the day up 27.35 percent after reporting its earnings. Revenue increased 68.42 percent to $46.13 million, beating the average estimate of $44.57 million. Adjusted earnings climbed from -$0.31 per share to -$0.08 per share, missing the average estimate of -$0.06 per share… (Read more.)

Visa (NYSE:V) closed the day up 5.65 percent after reporting strong results after the bell on Wednesday. Revenue rose 14.74 percent on the year to $2.96 billion, beating the average estimate of $2.85 billion. Adjusted earnings increased 20 percent to $1.92 per share, beating the average estimate of $1.81 per share… (Read more.)

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) climbed as much as 1.7 percent in pre-market trading. The world’s largest social network released first-quarter results after the bell on Wednesday that elicited mixed reactions from investors, but showed overall growth and stability in the company’s core advertising business. Revenue of $1.45 billion edged out the average analyst estimates of $1.44 billion, while non-GAAP earnings of $0.12 per share missed estimates by $0.01. Mobile advertising revenue climbed from 23 percent of total ad revenue in the fourth quarter to 30 percent in the first quarter… (Read more.)

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) announced today that the board of directors has unanimously elected Brian Krzanich as its next chief executive officer, succeeding Paul Otellini. Krzanich will assume his new role at the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on May 16.

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