12 Reasons Markets Got Hot This Week

Dow 12,505 S&P500 1,337 Nasdaq 2,820 Gold 1,503 Oil 112

Markets gained ground this week as earnings seasons shifted into ‘drive’ and performed much better than expectations. (Don’t Miss Full Coverage of All the Big Earnings Releases that Mattered Last Week.) Commodities continued their bull rallies as Oil (NYSE:USO) is still at two-year highs and Gold (NYSE:GLD) set new highs with Silver (NYSE:SLV).

Now, for the 12 reasons markets moved this week:

Monday

1) Yes, the US really just took a bullet in the armor. Many investors and analysts have been warning of a downgrade to the US credit rating, but it’s another phenomenon to actually see one in the wild. (Check Out: The Shocking S&P Note) Plain and simple: a lot of investors are reducing risk in case the next credit rating headline pierces the armor. But isn’t the US “Too Big to Fail”?

2) Earnings continue to come in mixed. Strangely, solid earnings from Citibank (NYSE:C) and Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) couldn’t drag indexes higher. The biggest miss of the day goes to drug company Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) which fought all day to make up ground on the earnings blunder. Get ready for the rest of the week as earnings just keep pouring in like Passover and Easter guests.

3) Everybody hates tax day. Too bad the Federal government didn’t shutdown. Taxes were due today and 55% of the nation should’ve been sending a check to Uncle Sam. On such a special day, Wall St. Cheat Sheet’s expert contributor Ed Dolan takes a look at whether Tax Reform is Real, or just more political B.S.

Tuesday

1) Housing starts and permits did a 180 from last month. Although housing (NYSE:IYR) is clearly still a major wound in the US economy, housing starts and permits jumped double-digits in March. Home Builders (NYSE:XHB) continued to find investor interest after defying the data yesterday. Check Out “These Home Building Stocks are Up Big in a Down Market“.

2) Earnings brought happiness back to Wall Street. This is our first serious coverage of earnings season here at Wall St. Cheat Sheet, and today was full of many more positive announcements than we would’ve thought. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) started getting over some of the issues plaguing the company, bank stocks such as Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) came in strong, and now after-hours tech (NASDAQ:QQQ) is catching up with beats from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), and IBM (NYSE:IBM). Tomorrow is going to be interesting!

3) Tim Geithner hit the pavement to protect the US Credit Rating. Although talk is meaningless, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner hit Fox Business Network and Bloomberg to send out the word he would not let the US Credit Rating fall. Not to worry, Timmy: investors still haven’t given up on Treasuries as Wall St. Cheat Sheet expert contributor Doug Short shows in these awesome charts.

Wednesday

1) Home sales shockingly increased. Although housing (NYSE:IYR) has been a real drag, Existing Home Sales came in at 5.1 million after yesterday’s solid data for housing starts and permits. Anytime investors get any good news about housing, there’s good reason to be optimistic about the remainder of the market.

2) Earnings brought happiness back to Wall Street. Earnings poured in all day … and bears were caught off guard. Dow 30 (NYSE:DIA) component United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) gave bulls reason to keep pushing on the bears, then they got help from Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX), EMC (NYSE:EMC), and more.

3) Apple Crushed After Hours Earnings. Here’s our coverage “Apple Earnings Cheat Sheet: Revenues ROCKET 82% as iPad Delivers Success“. Seriously, there are simply too many earnings to discuss!

Thursday

1) Economic data tempered earnings. How many parties can bulls throw in a row? We’ll find out next week as we close the holiday-shortened week with another rally. We’ll get the bad news out of the way first. The Philly Fed fell off a cliff and Initial Jobless Claims are still hovering in the 400,000 zone. That had markets in a bad mood despite Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) blowout earnings after the bell yesterday. But then …

2) Earnings turned the frowns upside down. Earnings season is in full gear now. Dow 30 (NYSE:DIA) component DuPont (NYSE:DD) closed the day in the green while Industrial (NYSE:XLI) heavyweight Honeywell (NYSE:HON) was up 3.3%. On the flip side, General Electric (NYSE:GE) and McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) were both down ~2% after failing to add more helium to the earnings balloon. If you love staying in the know during earnings season, join us for our coverage here all day long.

3) Precious Metals (NYSE:DBP) are in another zone. Even the crazy conspiracy theory permabears who love precious metals never saw Silver (NYSE:SLV) hitting $46. And we know a ton of talking heads who shat on Gold (NYSE:GLD) saying it would NEVER reach $1500. Sucks for them. They probably aren’t listening to an expert guide them through the volatile yet rewarding world of Gold & Silver.

Friday

Markets closed for Good Friday holiday.

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