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This Week: GDP & Goldman Key
This Week should be keyed by two important events, the Congressional hearings involving Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) on Tuesday, and the first quarter GDP report on Friday. As you'll see below, corporate earnings should also play a significant role in moving markets, since a slew of reports are due for release this week. The Fed is also due to publish its latest monetary policy statement this week.
There were no economic reports released Monday. The Milken Institute kicked off its global conference in Los Angeles. Citigroup's (NYSE: C) CEO Vikram Pandit keyed a financial forum in New York run by Chatham House. Meanwhile, news broke that the US might start selling off its Citi stake.
Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic Party effort to begin debate on financial regulatory reform legislation this week. The GOP hopes to draw up a bipartisan rule of law that will satisfy its constituents while not insulting the two-thirds of the American population that wants strict regulation forced down Wall Street's throat.
Democrats reportedly killed a provision from a derivatives bill that might force Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A, BRK-B) to set aside $8 billion in new reserves (collateral against securities).
This week's EPS schedule started with news from A.M. Castle (NYSE: CAS), Aaron's (NYSE: AAN), Advanced Analogic (Nasdaq: AATI), Albermarle (NYSE: ALB), Alberto Culver (NYSE: ACV), Alcon (NYSE: ACL), Alliance Holdings (Nasdaq: AHGP), Alliance Resource (Nasdaq: ARLP), American Capital Agency (Nasdaq: AGNC), Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), Anadigics (Nasdaq: ANAD), Arch Capital (Nasdaq: ACGL), Associated Estates Realty (NYSE: AEC), AVX Corp. (NYSE: AVX), Axis Capital (NYSE: AXS), BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), Boardwalk Pipeline (NYSE: BWP), Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX), Britton & Koontz (Nasdaq: BKBK), Cadence Financial (Nasdaq: CADE), Canadian National Railway (NYSE: CNI), Canon (NYSE: CAJ), Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Cavium Networks (Nasdaq: CAVM), Celadon Group (NYSE: CGI), Cemex (NYSE: CX), Ceragon Networks (Nasdaq: CRNT), Changyou.com (Nasdaq: CYOU), Charles River Labs (NYSE: CRL), Check Point Software (Nasdaq: CHKP), China Bak Battery (Nasdaq: CBAK), China Security & Surveillance (NYSE: CSR), China Southern Airlines (NYSE: ZNH), Choice Hotels Int'l (NYSE: CHH), City Holding (Nasdaq: CHCO), Community Bank System (NYSE: CBU), Data I/O (Nasdaq: DAIO), Homex Development (NYSE: HXM), Eagle Materials (NYSE: EXP), Ecopetrol (NYSE: EC), Empresas ICA (NYSE: ICA), Emulex (NYSE: ELX), Ennis Inc. (NYSE: EBF), Extreme Networks (Nasdaq: EXTR), F.N.B. Corp. (NYSE: FNB), First Community Bancshares (Nasdaq: FCBC), First Financial Service (Nasdaq: FFKY), First Niagara Financial (Nasdaq: FNFG), First State Bancorp (Nasdaq: FSNM), FirstBank Corp. Michigan (Nasdaq: FBMI), Fomento Economico Mexico (NYSE: FMX), Grupo Radio Centro (NYSE: RC), Hanger Orthopedic (NYSE: HGR), Health Management Associates (NYSE: HMA), HealthStream (Nasdaq: HSTM), Heartland Financial (Nasdaq: HTLF), Hertz (NYSE: HTZ), Hexcel (NYSE: HXL), HF Financial (Nasdaq: HFFC), HickoryTech (Nasdaq: HTCO), Humana (NYSE: HUM), Industrias Bachoco (NYSE: IBA), Insituform Technologies (Nasdaq: INSU), Iowa Telecommunications (NYSE: IWA), IPC, The Hospitalist (Nasdaq: IPCM), Lakeland Fin'l (Nasdaq: LKFN), Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LRY), Lorillard (NYSE: LO), Magic Software (Nasdaq: MGIC), Masco (NYSE: MAS), MB Financial (Nasdaq: MBFI), Metals USA (Nasdaq: MUSA), Mindspeed (Nasdaq: MSPD), Nara Bancorp (Nasdaq: NARA), National Instruments (Nasdaq: NATI), NBT Bancorp (Nasdaq: NBTB), Nidec (NYSE: NJ), NV Energy (NYSE: NVE), Old National Bancorp (NYSE: ONB), Olin (NYSE: OLN), Omnicell (Nasdaq: OMCL), Oritani Financial (Nasdaq: ORIT), OSI Systems (Nasdaq: OSIS), Owens & Minor (NYSE: OMI), Parke Bancorp (Nasdaq: PKBK), Pharmaceutical Product Development (Nasdaq: PPDI), Plum Creek Timber (NYSE: PCL), PLX Technology (Nasdaq: PLXT), PrePaid Legal (NYSE: PPD), PrivateBancorp (Nasdaq: PVTB), Radcom (Nasdaq: RDCM), RadioShack (NYSE: RSH), Reinsurance Group of America (NYSE: RGA), Rent-A-Center (Nasdaq: RCII), Roper Industries (NYSE: ROP), Sanmina-SCI (Nasdaq: SANM), Silicom (Nasdaq: SILC), SL Green Realty (NYSE: SLG), SOHU.com (Nasdaq: SOHU), SolarWinds (Nasdaq: SWI), Solutia (NYSE: SOA), SonoSite (Nasdaq: SONO), SuperGen (Nasdaq: SUPG), Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), The Bancorp (Nasdaq: TBBK), The Carphone Warehouse (NYSE: CPW), Titan Int'l (NYSE: TWI), Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO), Tuesday Morning (Nasdaq: TUES), Ultra Clean Holdings (Nasdaq: UCTT), United Bankshares (Nasdaq: UBSI), United Fire (Nasdaq: UFCS), Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS), VCA Antech (Nasdaq: WOOF), Veeco Instruments (Nasdaq: VECO), Virtual Radiologic (Nasdaq: VRAD), Volterra Semiconductor (Nasdaq: VLTR), W.R. Berkley (NYSE: WRB), Wausau Paper (NYSE: WPP), West Coast Bancorp (Nasdaq: WCBO), Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR), WMS Industries (NYSE: WMS), Yanzhou Coal Mining (NYSE: YZC) and Zoran (Nasdaq: ZRAN).
This week's activity picks up on Tuesday in a big way when Goldman Sachs' (NYSE: GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein and SEC-charged VP Fabrice Tourre appear before a Senate panel. Goldman has taken a strong stance against the SEC's fraud charge, so the line of questioning from Democrats seeking to draw more popular opinion in for its financial regulatory reform legislation should have all of Wall Street's attention.
Meanwhile, in a separate grouping, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will address the President's debt-reduction commission on the subject of fiscal sustainability. Finishing up with the Hill, a Senate committee will examine federal mine-safety laws in the wake of the recent tragedy.
Four economic reports color Tuesday, two of which are due in the pre-market. The ICSC Weekly Same-Store Sales data should continue to show strong year-over-year comparisons, due to the pitiful prior year data. Last week's year-to-year change reached 4.6%. On a week-over-week view, the changes have proven lackadaisical, with the last reading marking just a 0.2% increase.
One of those infamous credit rating agencies (of MBS fame), S&P, produces its joint S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index at 9:00 AM. We have not been a fan of the index, as it offers outdated information. I prefer the current price data available from Existing Home Sales. In any event, we'll get February's Home Price Index Tuesday. January's report showed an adjusted (for seasonality) 10-City Index gain of 0.4%, while the 20-City measure produced a 0.3% adjusted price increase. More importantly, according to the Existing Home Sales data, the median price of a home gained 0.4% in March.
The second set of the day's economic reports present themselves at 10:00 AM. Despite the mid-April decrease in the Reuters/Michigan Sentiment metric, economists see a modest gain in the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, to 53.5, from 52.5 for March. There is an important contrast between the two measures that bears watching here. The Expectations portion of the Michigan measure dropped sharply at last check, and so we'll be watching to see if there is consistency in this data point. Consumer sentiment is trailing the recovery in retail sales, but that's because absolute sales levels are still well below par while marking growth.
State Street (NYSE: STT) will report on Investor Confidence today. Its March reading showed a gain of 5.4 points in global confidence levels, to an index mark of 108. North American Confidence gained modestly, adding 0.3 to 110.4. Confidence was lifted by Asia-Pacific region gain, as it rose 4.1 points and overwhelmed European decline of 2.5 points. Europe might not be much better off in this latest reading, depending on where the reading fell in the time line of the Greek saga.
The corporate events schedule highlights Research in Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM) wireless enterprise symposium. Macy's (NYSE: M) has an analysts' day scheduled in New York that should play positively. Look for earnings news from Aflac (NYSE: AFL), 3M (NYSE: MMM), United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS), Ford Motor (NYSE: F), Nortfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC), Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM), Automatic Data Processing (NYSE: ADP), DuPont (NYSE: DD), Nomura (NYSE: NMR), Sands (NYSE: LVS), Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), Visa (NYSE: V).
The EPS report schedule also includes news from 3M (NYSE: MMM), Acadia Realty Trust (NYSE: AKR), Advantest (NYSE: ATE), Aetrium (Nasdaq: ATRM), Affiliated Managers (NYSE: AMG), Aflac (NYSE: AFL), AGCO (Nasdaq: AGCO), AGL Resources (NYSE: AGL), AMAG Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMAG), Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED), America Service Group (Nasdaq: ASGR), American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC), American Safety Insurance (NYSE: ASI), Amerigon (Nasdaq: ARGN), AMETEK (NYSE: AME), Amkor Tech (Nasdaq: AMKR), Anadys Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ANDS), Anixter Int'l (NYSE: AXE), Arris Group (Nasdaq: ARRS), Ashland (NYSE: ASH), ATC Tech (Nasdaq: ATAC), Autoliv (NYSE: ALV), Automatic Data Processing (NYSE: ADP), Avery Dennison (NYSE: AVY), Aware (Nasdaq: AWRE), B&G Foods (NYSE: BGS), BankFinancial (Nasdaq: BFIN), Barrett Business Services (Nasdaq: BBSI), Basic Energy Services (NYSE: BAS), BE Aerospace (Nasdaq: BEAV), Blackbaud (Nasdaq: BLKB), BOK Financial (Nasdaq: BOKF), Bolt Tech (Nasdaq: BOLT), Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP), BP plc (NYSE: BP), Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM), Buckeye Tech (NYSE: BKI), Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq: BWLD), Capella Education (Nasdaq: CPLA), Capital Bank (Nasdaq: CBKN), Carlisle Cos. (NYSE: CSL), Carpenter Tech (NYSE: CRS), CE Franklin (Nasdaq: CFK), Celanese (NYSE: CE), Centene (NYSE: CNC), Century Aluminum (Nasdaq: CENX), Ceradyne (Nasdaq: CRDN), Charles & Colvard (Nasdaq: CTHR), Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE: CBI), Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS), CIT Group (NYSE: CIT), Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE: CCE), Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP), Compugen (Nasdaq: CGEN), Computer Task Group (Nasdaq: CTGX), Concurrent Computer (Nasdaq: CCUR), Conexant Systems (Nasdaq: CNXT), Convergys (NYSE: CVG), Corn Products (NYSE: CPO), CSG Systems (Nasdaq: CSGS), CTS Corp. (NYSE: CTS), Cummins (NYSE: CMI), Daimler (NYSE: DAI), DaVita (NYSE: DVA), Delphi Financial (NYSE: DFG), Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB), Diebold (NYSE: DBD), Dorman Products (Nasdaq: DORM), DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA), DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), Duncan Energy (NYSE: DEP), DuPont (NYSE: DD), Dynex Capital (NYSE: DX), EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK), EastWest Bancorp (Nasdaq: EWBC), Ecolab (NYSE: ECL), Encore Capital (Nasdaq: ECPG), Endwave (Nasdaq: ENWV), Energizer (NYSE: ENR), Entegris (Nasdaq: ENTG), Enterprise Products (NYSE: EPD), EPIQ Systems (Nasdaq: EPIQ), Exactech (Nasdaq: EXAC), Fidelity National Info (NYSE: FIS), First Fin'l Holdings (Nasdaq: FFCH), First Industrial Realty Trust (NYSE: FR), First Place Financial (Nasdaq: FPFC), Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE: FBC), Flextronics (Nasdaq: FLEX), Ford Motor (NYSE: F), FormFactor (Nasdaq: FORM), FPL Group (NYSE: FPL), G&K Services (Nasdaq: GKSR), Group 1 Automotive (NYSE: GPI), GulfMark Offshore (NYSE: GLF), Harleysville Group (Nasdaq: HGIC), Hatteras Fin'l (NYSE: HTS), HCP (NYSE: HCP), Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII), Hospira (NYSE: HSP), Hutchinson Tech (Nasdaq: HTCH), ICON (Nasdaq: ICLR), Iconix Brand (Nasdaq: ICON), II-VI (Nasdaq: IIVI), Imation (NYSE: IMN), IntegraMed America (Nasdaq: INMD), Integrated Silicon Solution (Nasdaq: ISSI), Interactive Intelligence (Nasdaq: ININ), JDA Software (Nasdaq: JDAS), Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL), Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), Key Tronic (Nasdaq: KTCC), Kinetic Concepts (NYSE: KCI), Kona Grill (Nasdaq: KONA), Kyocera (NYSE: KYO), LAN Airlines (NYSE: LFL), Landauer (NYSE: LDR), Lazard (NYSE: LAZ), LCA-Vision (Nasdaq: LCAV), LeCroy Corp. (Nasdaq: LCRY), Lennox Int'l (NYSE: LII), Lexmark Int'l (NYSE: LXK), Life Technologies (Nasdaq: LIFE), Lincoln Electric (Nasdaq: LECO), Lithia Motors (NYSE: LAD), Manitowoc (NYSE: MTW), Market-Leader (Nasdaq: LEDR), Mercury Computer (Nasdaq: MRCY), MiMedx (Nasdaq: MDXG), MIPS Technologies (Nasdaq: MIPS), Molex (Nasdaq: MOLX), Montpelier Re (NYSE: MRH), Nalco Holding (NYSE: NLC), National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV), NBTY (NYSE: NTY), NewAlliance Bancshares (NYSE: NAL), Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM), Nexen (NYSE: NXY), Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC), Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO), Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), optionsXpress (Nasdaq: OXPS), Panera Bread (Nasdaq: PNRA), Par Technology (NYSE: PTC), Parametric Technology (Nasdaq: PMTC), Parexel (Nasdaq: PRXL), Pentair (NYSE: PNR), Phase Forward (Nasdaq: PFWD), Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE: PNK), Planar (Nasdaq: PLNR), Portfolio Recovery (Nasdaq: PRAA), Potlatch (NYSE: PCH), Quaker Chemical (NYSE: KWR), Questar (NYSE: STR), RadiSys (Nasdaq: RSYS), Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust (NYSE: RPT), Range Resources (NYSE: RRC), RenaissanceRe (NYSE: RNR), RF Micro Devices (Nasdaq: RFMD), Robert Half Int'l (NYSE: RHI), Rock-Tenn (NYSE: RKT), SeaBright Insurance (NYSE: SBX), Seattle Genetics (Nasdaq: SGEN), Signature Bank of New York (Nasdaq: SBNY), Silicon Image (Nasdaq: SIMG), Socket Mobile (Nasdaq: SCKT), Sonic Automotive (NYSE: SAH), Spartan Motors (Nasdaq: SPAR), Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL), Strattec Security (Nasdaq: STRT), Sturm Ruger (NYSE: RGR), Sun Bancorp (Nasdaq: SNBC), Sunoco Logistics (NYSE: SXL), Super Micro Computer (Nasdaq: SMCI), Switch & Data (Nasdaq: SDXC), Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM), Tanger Factory Outlet (NYSE: SKT), Teleflex (NYSE: TFX), Telefonos de Mexico (NYSE: TMX), Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB), The Estee Lauder Cos. (NYSE: EL), The McGraw-Hill Cos. (NYSE: MHP), Thermadyne (Nasdaq: THMD), TomoTherapy (Nasdaq: TOMO), Torchmark (NYSE: TMK), Transalta (NYSE: TAC), Trustmark (Nasdaq: TRMK), Tyco Int'l (NYSE: TYC), UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA), Ultimate Software (Nasdaq: ULTI), Under Armour (NYSE: UA), Unisys (NYSE: UIS), UPS (NYSE: UPS), US Steel (NYSE: X), Unitil (NYSE: UTL), Urologix (Nasdaq: ULGX), US Airways (NYSE: LCC), US Ecology (Nasdaq: ECOL), USANA Health (Nasdaq: USNA), Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO), VASCO Data Security (Nasdaq: VDSI), VIST Fin'l (Nasdaq: VIST), Vitran (Nasdaq: VTNC), Wabtec (NYSE: WAB), Waddell & Reed (NYSE: WDR), Waste Services (Nasdaq: WSII), Waters Corp. (NYSE: WAT), Websense (Nasdaq: WBSN), Western Union (NYSE: WU), Whitney Holding (Nasdaq: WTNY), Wright Express (NYSE: WXS), Yahoo Japan (OTC: YAHOF.PK) and Zix Corp. (Nasdaq: ZIXI).
Wednesday is Fed Day, with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) due to make its latest policy statement at 2:15 PM. The Fed is widely expected to keep rates at their historically low range of 0 to 0.25%. Thomas Hoenig has been a leading indicator for the FOMC, as his dissenting vote with regard to the language of the statement tells us the Fed is thinking about altering its "extended period" phrase. The whole of the market is looking for the Fed to begin speaking in nearer terms as far as future rate hikes are concerned. Such a change may not be yet forthcoming, due to housing doldrums, though Hoenig's dissension makes a good case for the change. If the change were to take place now, it would likely act against stocks in a significant way; and it seems investor enthusiasm is primed for a letdown based on hedge fund equity positions and advisor favor.
Overseas, Brazil's central bank might raise its key rate by as much as 0.75%, according to Barron's and Brown Brothers Harriman. Brazil's economy is blazing, according to last week's economic forecast published by the IMF. The forecast predicts 5.5% growth for Brazil in 2010.
The day's two regular reports finish off the schedule Wednesday. In the pre-market, look for more gains in the MBA's Weekly Mortgage Activity release. For the week ended April 16, the Market Composite Index of mortgage volume activity gained 13.6%, on Purchase Index rise of 10.1% and Refinance Index increase of 15.8%. Contracted fixed rates for 30-year and 15-year duration mortgages softened to 5.04% (from 5.17%) and 4.34% (4.45%), respectively.
The EIA will report Petroleum Status at 10:30 AM. For the week ended April 16, crude oil stocks increased by 1.9 million barrels. Gasoline stores increased by 3.6 million barrels. Both commodities stood above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.
Barclay's (NYSE: BCS) Retail & Restaurant Conference kicks off in New York City. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) has its annual stockholders meeting scheduled.
Also see EPS results from 1-800-Flowers.com (Nasdaq: FLWS), ACCO Brands (NYSE: ABD), ACE Limited (NYSE: ACE), Adept Technology (Nasdaq: ADEP), Adolor Corp. (Nasdaq: ADLR), Advance America, Cash Advance Centers (NYSE: AEA), Advent Software (Nasdaq: ADVS), Akamai Tech (Nasdaq: AKAM), Allegheny Tech (NYSE: ATI), Alliance Healthcare (NYSE: AIQ), Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM), American Commercial Lines (Nasdaq: ACLI), American Railcar (Nasdaq: ARII), AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU), AOL, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), Aspen Insurance (NYSE: AHL), Assurant (NYSE: AIZ), ATS Corp. (Nasdaq: ATSC), AudioCodes (Nasdaq: AUDC), Avalonbay Communites (NYSE: AVB), AXT, Inc. (Nasdaq: AXTI), Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), Baldor Electric (NYSE: BEZ), Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (Nasdaq: BBVA), Banco Bradesco (NYSE: BBD), Bank of the Ozarks (Nasdaq: OZRK), Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX), Beckman Coulter (NYSE: BEC), Berry Petroleum (NYSE: BRY), BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BCRX), Boston Private Fin'l (Nasdaq: BPFH), Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE: BDN), Brink's Home Security (NYSE: CFL), Cabot (NYSE: CBT), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE: COG), CACI Int'l (Nasdaq: CACI), Cadence Design Systems (Nasdaq: CDNS), Cal Dive Int'l (NYSE: DVR), California Water Service (NYSE: CWT), Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE: CP), Capstead Mortgage (NYSE: CMO), Cardiac Science (Nasdaq: CSCX), CardioNet (Nasdaq: BEAT), Carter's (NYSE: CRI), Cascade (Nasdaq: CASC), Cascade Fin'l (Nasdaq: CASB), Cathay General (Nasdaq: CATY), CB Richard Ellis (NYSE: CBG), CBL & Associates (NYSE: CBL), CDC Software (Nasdaq: CDCS), Celera (NYSE: CRA), Cell Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CTIC), Cerner (Nasdaq: CERN), CGI Group (NYSE: GIB), China Telecom (NYSE: CHA), Cincinnati Fin'l (Nasdaq: CINF), ClickSoftware (Nasdaq: CKSW), Cliff's Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF), CNOOC (NYSE: CEO), Compellent Tech (NYSE: CML), comScore (Nasdaq: SCOR), Core Laboratories (NYSE: CLB), Corning (NYSE: GLW), Corporate Office Properties (NYSE: OFC), Covance (NYSE: CVD), Covenant Transport (Nasdaq: CVTI), Crown Castle Int'l (NYSE: CCI), CryoLife (NYSE: CRY), Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE: CFR), DDi Corp. (Nasdaq: DDIC), Dice Holdings (NYSE: DHX), Dime Community Bancshares (Nasdaq: DCOM), DIVX, Inc. (Nasdaq: DIVX), Dollar Thrifty (NYSE: DTG), DSP Group (Nasdaq: DSPG), Dyax Corp. (Nasdaq: DYAX), Dynamics Research (Nasdaq: DRCO), EastGroup Properties (NYSE: EGP), Enbridge Energy (NYSE: EEP), Encore Wire (Nasdaq: WIRE), Entropic Communications (Nasdaq: ENTR), Epicor Software (Nasdaq: EPIC), EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT), Equifax (NYSE: EFX), Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR), Ethan Allen (NYSE: ETH), Euronet Services (Nasdaq: EEFT), Everest Re (NYSE: RE), Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX), ExpressJet Holdings (NYSE: XJT), Famous Dave's (Nasdaq: DAVE), Federal-Mogul (Nasdaq: FDML), Ferro Corp. (NYSE: FOE), FICO (Nasdaq: FICO), First Merchants (Nasdaq: FRME), First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR), FirstService (Nasdaq: FSRV), FMC Technologies (NYSE: FTI), Fortinet (Nasdaq: FTNT), Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN), General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), General Maritime (NYSE: GMR), Geron (Nasdaq: GERN), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), Goldcorp (NYSE: GG), Goodyear Tire & Rubber (NYSE: GT), Green Mountain Coffee (Nasdaq: GMCR), Grupo Aeroportuario Del Pacifico (NYSE: PAC), GSI Commerce (Nasdaq: GSIC), Harris (NYSE: HRS), Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL), Helix Energy (NYSE: HLX), Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES), Highwoods Properties (NYSE: HIW), Honda Motor (NYSE: HMC), Horace Mann Educators (NYSE: HMN), Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HST), Hudson Highland (Nasdaq: HHGP), IAC (Nasdaq: IACI), iCAD Inc. (Nasdaq: ICAD), Illumina (Nasdaq: ILMN), Innovative Solutions (Nasdaq: ISSC), Insignia Systems (Nasdaq: ISIG), InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC), Interface (Nasdaq: IFSIA), Int'l Coal Group (NYSE: ICO), Internet Brands (Nasdaq: INET), Inverness Medical Innovations (NYSE: IMA), Invesco (NYSE: IVZ), iRobot (Nasdaq: IRBT), ITC Holdings (NYSE: ITC), Itron (Nasdaq: ITRI), JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU), JMP Group (NYSE: JMP), Jones Apparel (NYSE: JNY), Kadant (NYSE: KAI), Kaiser Aluminum (Nasdaq: KALU), Kilroy Realty (NYSE: KRC), Kirby (NYSE: KEX), Legacy Bancorp (Nasdaq: LEGC), LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG), Lincoln National (NYSE: LNC), Littlefield (Nasdaq: LTFD), Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI), LOGMEIN (Nasdaq: LOGM), LoopNet (Nasdaq: LOOP), LSI Corp. (NYSE: LSI), Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL), M/I Homes (NYSE: MHO), Makita (Nasdaq: MKTAY), ManTech Int'l (Nasdaq: MANT), Marine Products (NYSE: MPX), MarineMax (NYSE: HZO), MarketAxess (Nasdaq: MKTX), Martha Stewart Living (NYSE: MSO), Mastech (NYSE: MHH), MeadWestVaco (NYSE: MWV), Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS), Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL), Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP), Meritage Homes (NYSE: MTH), Metabolix (Nasdaq: MBLX), Methanex (Nasdaq: MEOH), Morningstar (Nasdaq: MORN), MoSys, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOSY), Nanophase Tech (Nasdaq: NANX), Navios Maritime (NYSE: NMM), Neoprobe (Nasdaq: NEOP), Ness Tech (Nasdaq: NSTC), Net Servicos de Communicacais (Nasdaq: NETC), Neurocrine Biosciences (Nasdaq: NBIX), Neustar (NYSE: NSR), Newfield Exploration (NYSE: NFX), Newport Corp. (Nasdaq: NEWP), NTT DoCoMo (NYSE: DCM), Nu Skin (NYSE: NUS), Oceaneering Int'l (NYSE: OII), Odyssey Healthcare (Nasdaq: ODSY), O-I (NYSE: OI), Oil States Int'l (NYSE: OIS), Old Dominion Freight (Nasdaq: ODFL), ONEOK (NYSE: OKE), Openwave Systems (Nasdaq: OPWV), Orchids Paper (NYSE: TIS), O'Reilly Automotive (Nasdaq: ORLY), Orthofix Int'l (Nasdaq: OFIX), Owens Corning (NYSE: OC), P.F. Chang's China Bistro (Nasdaq: PFCB), Park Electrochemical (NYSE: PKE), Power Integrations (Nasdaq: POWI), Praxair (NYSE: PX), Pzena Investment Management (NYSE: PZN), Radvision (Nasdaq: RVSN), RailAmerica (NYSE: RA), Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O), Regis (NYSE: RGS), Rewards Network (Nasdaq: DINE), RightNow Tech (Nasdaq: RNOW), Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI), Rollins (NYSE: ROL), Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL), RPC, Inc. (NYSE: RES), RTI Biologics (Nasdaq: RTIX), Rurban Fin'l (Nasdaq: RBNF), Ryland Group (NYSE: RYL), SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), Sealed Air (NYSE: SEE), SEI Investments (Nasdaq: SEIC), Selective Insurance Group (Nasdaq: SIGI), Service Corp. (NYSE: SCI), SFN Group (NYSE: SFN), Shinhan Fin'l (NYSE: SHG), Shutterfly (Nasdaq: SFLY), Silicon Laboratories (Nasdaq: SLAB), Siliconware Precision Industries (Nasdaq: SPIL), SJW (NYSE: SJW), SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM), Skechers USA (NYSE: SKX), Southern Company (NYSE: SO), Spectranetics (Nasdaq: SPNC), Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), Steiner Leisure (Nasdaq: STNR), Stericycle (Nasdaq: SRCL), Stifel Fin'l (NYSE: SF), Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS), Superior Energy (NYSE: SPN), SurModics (Nasdaq: SRDX), Susquehanna Bancshares (Nasdaq: SUSQ), Talecris Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: TLCR), Taleo Corp. (Nasdaq: TLEO), Taylor Capital (Nasdaq: TAYC), TC Pipelines (Nasdaq: TCLP), TESSCO (Nasdaq: TESS), Tessera Tech (Nasdaq: TSRA), Tetra Tech (Nasdaq: TTEK), The Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL), The Dixie Group (Nasdaq: DXYN), The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW), The Medicines Co. (Nasdaq: MDCO), Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO), Town Sports Int'l (Nasdaq: CLUB), Transatlantic Holdings (NYSE: TRH), Transcend Services (Nasdaq: TRCR), Trinity Industries (NYSE: TRN), TriQuint Semi (Nasdaq: TQNT), Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI), Tyco Electronics (NYSE: TEL), Tyler Tech (NYSE: TYL), US Auto Parts (Nasdaq: PRTS), UGI (NYSE: UGI), UMB Fin'l (Nasdaq: UMBF), United Microelectronics (NYSE: UMC), Universal Stainless & Alloy (Nasdaq: USAP), Varian Medical (NYSE: VAR), Ventas (NYSE: VTR), VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN), Virgin Media (Nasdaq: VMED), ViroPharma (Nasdaq: VPHM), Visa (NYSE: V), Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT), WCA Waste Corp. (Nasdaq: WCAA), WellPoint (NYSE: WLP), Whiting Petroleum (NYSE: WLL), Willis Group (NYSE: WSH), WINTRUST FIN'L (Nasdaq: WTFC), Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), Xilinx (Nasdaq: XLNX) and Zhone Technologies (Nasdaq: ZHNE).
It's just the two usuals for Thursday, along with a storm of earnings reports and a few Congressional hearings.
Weekly Jobless Claims is up for report in the early going. In the week ended April 17, claims eased back toward recent trend, marking 456K, down from the revised 480K from the week before. The four-week moving average increased by 2,750, to 460,250. Census hiring should be providing some support now, and believe it or not, bank and mortgage brokerage hiring might follow...
The EIA will report on Natural Gas storage at 10:30. For the week ended April 16, natural gas stocks increased by 73 Bcf. At current mark, natural gas storage sits 286 Bcf above its five-year average.
A House of Representatives panel will take up credit-default Swaps and their role in Greece's debt crisis. In other words, the feds are doing all they can to turn up the heat on Goldman and Wall Street, which works in favor of getting financial regulatory reform passed. Meanwhile, the Senate Banking Committee will review "short-termism" in financial markets.
Harman International (NYSE: HAR) hosts a meeting with investors. Rio Tinto (NYSE: RTP) has a 4-for-1 split scheduled. Reporting earnings, look for data from Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Burger King (NYSE: BKC), Santander (NYSE: STD). Also look for EPS reports from Abaxis (Nasdaq: ABAX), Acer Inc. (OTC: ASIYF.PK), ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq: ACIW), Acme Packet (Nasdaq: APKT), Actel (Nasdaq: ACTL), Aetna (NYSE: AET), Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM), Agree Realty (NYSE: ADC), Akeena Solar (Nasdaq: AKNS), Alaska Communications (Nasdaq: ALSK), Alexandria Real Estate (NYSE: ARE), America Movil (NYSE: AMX), American Dental Partners (Nasdaq: ADPI), American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), Anaren (Nasdaq: ANEN), Antigenics (Nasdaq: AGEN), Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), AP Capital (Nasdaq: ACAP), Applied Micro Circuits (Nasdaq: AMCC), ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT), Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA), Art Technology (Nasdaq: ARTG), Artio Global (NYSE: ART), Asbury Automotive (NYSE: ABG), Asset Acceptance (Nasdaq: AACC), AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN), Athenahealth (Nasdaq: ATHN), AVEO Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AVEO), Baldwin & Lyons (Nasdaq: BWINA), Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL), Ballard Power (Nasdaq: BLDP), Bally Technologies (NYSE: BYI), Banco de Chile (NYSE: BCH), Banco Santander (NYSE: STD), Bancorp Rhode Island (Nasdaq: BARI), BASF Catalysts (Nasdaq: BCAT), Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX), Bel Fuse Inc. (Nasdaq: BELFB), Belden Inc. (NYSE: BDC), Bemis (NYSE: BMS), Benchmark Electronics (NYSE: BHE), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: BMRN), Bofi Holding (Nasdaq: BOFI), BorgWarner (NYSE: BWA), Brigham Exploration (Nasdaq: BEXP), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY), Bruker (Nasdaq: BRKR), Brunswick (NYSE: BC), Brush Eng. Materials (NYSE: BW), Bryn Mawr Bank (Nasdaq: BMTC), Build A Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW), Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG), Calgon Carbon (NYSE: CCC), Caliper Life Sciences (Nasdaq: CALP), Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY), Callidus Software (Nasdaq: CALD), Cameron (NYSE: CAM), CARBO Ceramics (NYSE: CRR), Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH), Cardtronics (Nasdaq: CATM), CDI Corp. (NYSE: CDI), Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG), Cenovus Energy (NYSE: CVE), Center Fin'l Corp. (Nasdaq: CLFC), Cerus (Nasdaq: CERS), CEVA, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEVA), CH Energy Group (NYSE: CHG), Chart Industries (Nasdaq: GTLS), Chelsea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CHTP), Chicago Mercantile Exchange (NYSE: CME), China Petroleum & Chemical (NYSE: SNP), China Sunergy (Nasdaq: CSUN), Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB), City National (NYSE: CYN), Clarient (Nasdaq: CLRT), Clearwater Paper (NYSE: CLW), Coherent (Nasdaq: COHR), Coinstar (Nasdaq: CSTR), Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL), Colonial Properties (NYSE: CLP), CommScope (NYSE: CTV), CONMED (Nasdaq: CNMD), CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX), Constant Contact (Nasdaq: CTCT), Credit Acceptance (Nasdaq: CACC), CTC Media (Nasdaq: CTCM), Cumulus Media (Nasdaq: CMLS), Curtiss-Wright (NYSE: CW), Cybersource (Nasdaq: CYBS), Cytokinetics (Nasdaq: CYTK), D&B (NYSE: DNB), Dana Holding (NYSE: DAN), Deltek Inc. (Nasdaq: PROJ), DENTSPLY Int'l (Nasdaq: XRAY), Depomed (Nasdaq: DEPO), Digirad (Nasdaq: DRAD), Digital Realty Trust (NYSE: DLR), Digital River (Nasdaq: DRIV), Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB), Dominion Resources (NYSE: D), Double Eagle Petroleum (Nasdaq: DBLE), Dover Downs Gaming (NYSE: DDE), Dover Motorsports (NYSE: DVD), DPL, Inc. (NYSE: DPL), Duff & Phelps (NYSE: DUF), Duke Realty (NYSE: DRE), Dynamic Materials (Nasdaq: BOOM), Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK), eFuture Info (Nasdaq: EFUT), Electronics for Imaging (Nasdaq: EFII), EMCOR (NYSE: EME), Emergency Medical Svs. (NYSE: EMS), Empire District Electric (NYSE: EDE), Enbridge Energy (NYSE: EEQ), Energen (NYSE: EGN), Entergy (NYSE: ETR), Entravision Communications (NYSE: EVC), ev3 (Nasdaq: EVVV), Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE), FalconStor Software (Nasdaq: FALC), Financial Institutions (Nasdaq: FISI), First Potomac Realty (NYSE: FPO), Fiserv (Nasdaq: FISV), Fisher Communications (Nasdaq: FSCI), Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR), Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO), France Telecom (NYSE: FTE), Franklin Electric (Nasdaq: FELE), Gazprom (OTC: OGZPF), Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE: GWR), Genpact (NYSE: G), Gen-Probe (Nasdaq: GPRO), Genworth Fin'l (NYSE: GNW), GFI Group (Nasdaq: GFIG), Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC), GrafTech Int'l (NYSE: GTI), Greatbatch (NYSE: GB), Green Plains Renewable (Nasdaq: GPRE), Grupo Financiero Inbursa SA (OTC: GPFOY), Grupo Simec (NYSE: SIM), Guidance Software (Nasdaq: GUID), Hanmi Fin'l (Nasdaq: HAFC), Harris Interactive (Nasdaq: HPOL), Harsco (NYSE: HSC), Harte-Hanks (NYSE: HHS), Hartford Fin'l (NYSE: HIG), Harvard Bioscience (Nasdaq: HBIO), HealthSpring (NYSE: HS), Helmerich & Payne (NYSE: HP), Hercules Offshore (Nasdaq: HERO), Holly Energy (NYSE: HEP), Huron Consulting (Nasdaq: HURN), IMAX Corp. (Nasdaq: IMAX), Immunogen (Nasdaq: IMGN), Imperial Oil (NYSE: IMO), Ingram Micro (NYSE: IM), Innodata Isogen (Nasdaq: INOD), Intermec (NYSE: IN), InterMune (Nasdaq: ITMN), International Paper (NYSE: IP), Int'l Rectifier (NYSE: IRF), Investment Technology Group (NYSE: ITG), Investors Bancorp (Nasdaq: ISBC), Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), iStar Fin'l (NYSE: SFI), Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA), Jarden (NYSE: JAH), John B. Sanfilippo (Nasdaq: JBSS), KB Fin'l (NYSE: KB), KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR), Keithley Instruments (NYSE: KEI), Kellogg (NYSE: K), Kennametal (NYSE: KMT), Key Energy Svcs. (NYSE: KEG), Key Technology (Nasdaq: KTEC), Keynote Systems (Nasdaq: KEYN), KKR Fin'l (NYSE: KFN), KLA-Tencor (Nasdaq: KLAC), Kratos Defense & Security (Nasdaq: KTOS), K-Sea Transportation (NYSE: KSP), KT Corp. (NYSE: KT), LaBarge (NYSE: LB), Lancaster Colony (Nasdaq: LANC), Lantronix (Nasdaq: LTRX), LaserCard (Nasdaq: LCRD), LeMaitre Vascular (Nasdaq: LMAT), Libbey (NYSE: LBY), Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE), LKQ Corp. (Nasdaq: LKQX), Lubrizol (NYSE: LZ), Luxottica (NYSE: LUX), Macatawa Bank (Nasdaq: MCBC), Mack-Cali Realty (NYSE: CLI), Maxim Integrated (Nasdaq: MXIM), Maxwell Tech (Nasdaq: MXWL), McAfee (NYSE: MFE), Mead Johnson Nutrition (NYSE: MJN), MedAssets (Nasdaq: MDAS), MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), Merchants Bancshares (Nasdaq: MBVT), Merit Medical (Nasdaq: MMSI), MetLife (NYSE: MET), Mettler-Toledo (NYSE: MTD), MICROS System (Nasdaq: MCRS), Microtune (Nasdaq: TUNE), Mine Safety Appliances (NYSE: MSA), Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK), Monolithic Power (Nasdaq: MPWR), Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW), Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Mylan (NYSE: MYL), National Technical Systems (Nasdaq: NTSC), Natus Medical (Nasdaq: BABY), NEI (Nasdaq: NENG), Neogenomics (Nasdaq: NGNM), NetLogic Microsystems (Nasdaq: NETL), NetScout Systems (Nasdaq: NTCT), Newpark Resources (NYSE: NR), NII Holdings (Nasdaq: NIHD), Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL), Novamed (Nasdaq: NOVA), NSTAR (NYSE: NST), NuStar Energy (NYSE: NS), Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY), Oclaro (Nasdaq: OCLR), OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX), Olympic Steel (Nasdaq: ZEUS), On Assignment (Nasdaq: ASGN), OneBeacon Insurance (NYSE: OB), Online Resources (Nasdaq: ORCC), Open Text (Nasdaq: OTEX), Oshkosh Corp. (NYSE: OSK), Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq: PCBC), Palomar Medical (Nasdaq: PMTI), Patni Computer (NYSE: PTI), Patterson-UTI (Nasdaq: PTEN), PC Connection (Nasdaq: PCCC), PDL BioPharma (Nasdaq: PDLI), Pennsylvania Real Estate Inv. Trust (NYSE: PEI), Perrigo (Nasdaq: PRGO), Pinnacle Data Systems (NYSE: PNS), Potash Corp. (NYSE: POT), Power-One (Nasdaq: PWER), Pozen (Nasdaq: POZN), Pride Int'l (NYSE: PDE), Primedia (NYSE: PRM), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Pro-Dex (Nasdaq: PDEX), Provident Fin'l (Nasdaq: PROV), QLogic (Nasdaq: QLGC), Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: QCOR), Quidel (Nasdaq: QDEL), Radware (Nasdaq: RDWR), RAIT Fin'l Trust (NYSE: RAS), Regal Entertainment (NYSE: RGC), Reliv Int'l (Nasdaq: RELV), Repsol (NYSE: REP), Republic Services (NYSE: RSG), ResMed (NYSE: RMD), Revlon (NYSE: REV), Rochester Medical (Nasdaq: ROCM), Rockwood Holdings (NYSE: ROC), Rubicon Tech (Nasdaq: RBCN), Ruddick (NYSE: RDK), Rudolph Tech (Nasdaq: RTEC), Safeway (NYSE: SWY), Saia (Nasdaq: SAIA), Sally Beauty (NYSE: SBH), Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY), Selectica (Nasdaq: SLTC), Senomyx (Nasdaq: SNMX), Siemens (NYSE: SI), Silgan (Nasdaq: SLGN), Silicon Motion (Nasdaq: SIMO), Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical (NYSE: SHI), Skyworks (Nasdaq: SWKS), Sonic Foundry (Nasdaq: SOFO), Sourcefire (Nasdaq: FIRE), Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN), Spirit Aerosystems (NYSE: SPR), Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP), Standard Register (NYSE: SR), Standex Int'l (NYSE: SXI), Starwood Hotels (NYSE: HOT), State Auto Fin'l (Nasdaq: STFC), StellarOne (Nasdaq: STEL), Stewart Info (NYSE: STC), Strayer Education (Nasdaq: STRA), Sun Healthcare (Nasdaq: SUNH), Sunoco (NYSE: SUN), Support.com (Nasdaq: SPRT), Surewest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW), Symetra Fin'l (NYSE: SYA), Symyx Tech (Nasdaq: SMMX), TeleCommunications Systems (Nasdaq: TSYS), Teledyne (NYSE: TDY), Telular (Nasdaq: WRLS), Tenneco (NYSE: TEN), Terra Nitrogen (NYSE: TNH), Tesoro (NYSE: TSO), The Brinks Co. (NYSE: BCO), The First American Corp. (NYSE: FAF), The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), The Timberland Co. (NYSE: TBL), The Timken Co. (NYSE: TKR), Thoratec (Nasdaq: THOR), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Tollgrade Communications (Nasdaq: TLGD), TranSwitch (Nasdaq: TXCCD), TriMas (NYSE: TRS), Trimble Navigation (Nasdaq: TRMB), Ultralife (Nasdaq: ULBI), Unifi (NYSE: UFI), Unilever (NYSE: UL), United Stationers (Nasdaq: USTR), United Therapeutics (Nasdaq: UTHR), Universal American (NYSE: UAM), Valassis Communications (NYSE: VCI), ValueClick (Nasdaq: VCLK), Varian Semi (Nasdaq: VSEA), Viacom (NYSE: VIA), VISTAPRINT (Nasdaq: VPRT), Volcom (Nasdaq: VLCM), Washington Real Estate Inv. Trust (NYSE: WRE), Waste Management (NYSE: WM), Wayside Technology (Nasdaq: WSTG), Wesbanco (Nasdaq: WSBC), West Bancorporation (Nasdaq: WTBA), West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE: WST), Weyco (Nasdaq: WEYS), Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY), Wisdomtree Investments (OTC: WSDT.PK), World Acceptance (Nasdaq: WRLD), WSFS Fin'l (Nasdaq: WSFS), Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN), Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) and Zoll Medical (Nasdaq: ZOLL).
Five economic reports dot the schedule for Friday, but the market will be wholly focused on one key data point. GDP will be reported for the first quarter of 2010. This first reporting has economists looking for growth of 3.4%, which compares against the 5.6% rebound seen in Q4 2009. The GDP Price Index is seen increasing by 1.0% in Q1. Look for our early morning report Friday to review the data. Look for the Employment Costs Index at 8:30 as well. It's seen increasing by 0.4% in Q1, versus the 0.5% increase in Q4.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is due for report at 9:45 a.m. March's PMI came in slightly lower than February's reading, but at 58.8, still represented strong economic expansion. Because the Leading Index measured 61.8 in March, economists' expectations have been comfortably set at 60.0 for April's PMI.
The Reuters/University of Michigan will report Consumer Confidence at 9:55 a.m. Economists are looking for a recovery in this measure from the mid-April let-down. At that last check, the index fell to 69.5, from 73.6 in March. The Leading Component fell 5.6 points, and led us to warn readers that a harsh reality was sinking into American consumers hearts. Recovery will not be V-shaped, but slow going, perhaps W-shaped at best. We have been known to label the notion of a "jobless recovery" as fictional. Unemployment is sticking stubbornly high, and unfortunately satisfying our forecast. Consumers will not function optimally in such an environment, and we have a consumption driven economy here in the States.
Retail sales have been sustained somewhat by wealth stores, and thanks to stock market recovery, spending improved. However, we do not see this sustainable, and so economic recovery of note will require the return of manufacturing jobs (in new sectors like renewable energy, and perhaps, in a fair trading environment in competitive markets as well).
The Department of Agriculture will report on crop prices received by farmers at 3:00 p.m. This Crop Report is an important catalyst for commodity traders, recalling Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd.
Steve Madden (Nasdaq: SHOO) shares will split 3-for-2, and earnings are due from Abington Bancorp (Nasdaq: ABBC), Acorda Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ACOR), Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (NYSE: ASX), Allergan (NYSE: AGN), Allete (NYSE: ALE), American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE: AXL), Amerigroup (NYSE: AGP), Aon Corp. (NYSE: AON), Apartment Investment & Management (NYSE: AIV), Avon Products (NYSE: AVP), Barnes Group (NYSE: B), Beasley Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: BBGI), BioScrip (Nasdaq: BIOS), Brookfield Homes (NYSE: BHS), Central Pacific Fin'l (NYSE: CPF), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Chunghwa Telecom (NYSE: CHT), CNA Surety (NYSE: SUR), Cobra Electronics (Nasdaq: COBR), Colfax Corp. (NYSE: CFX), Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG), Coventry Health Care (NYSE: CVH), CTI Industries (Nasdaq: CTIB), D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), Digimarc (Nasdaq: DMRC), Discovery Communications (OTC: DISCK), Domtar (NYSE: UFS), Dresser-Rand (NYSE: DRC), Empresa Nacional del Petroleo (Nasdaq: ENAP), Endo Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ENDP), Federal Signal (NYSE: FSS), Grupo TMM SA (NYSE: TMM), HMS Holdings (Nasdaq: HMSY), Ingles Markets (Nasdaq: IMKTA), Interline Brands (NYSE: IBI), ISTA Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISTA), ITT Corp. (NYSE: ITT), James River Coal (Nasdaq: JRCC), Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq: JOUT), LifePoint Hospitals (Nasdaq: LPNT), Lydall (NYSE: LDL), Magellan Health Services (Nasdaq: MGLN), MannKind (Nasdaq: MNKD), MDU Resources (NYSE: MDU), Minerals Technologies (NYSE: MTX), Moneygram Int'l (NYSE: MGI), Moog (Nasdaq: MOGA), Nash Finch (Nasdaq: NAFC), Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL), Oppenheimer Holdings (NYSE: OPY), Penske Automotive Group (NYSE: PAG), PHH Corp. (NYSE: PHH), Ruth's Hospitality (Nasdaq: RUTH), Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG), T-3 Energy Services (Nasdaq: TTES), The Nasdaq: OMX Group (Nasdaq: NDAQ), The Nielsen Company (NYSE: TNC), Total (NYSE: TOT), TransCanada (NYSE: TRP), Tree.com (Nasdaq: TREE), Trex Co. (Nasdaq: TREX), UniSource Energy (NYSE: UNS) and VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC).
Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-A, BRK-B) annual meeting usually offers a spectacle for investment enthusiasts of all sorts, and Berkshire investors as well. Warren Buffet's annual letter is a treasure we hope we will have the pleasure of reading for many years to come.
The Kentucky Derby, another treasure we hope to long enjoy, kicks up the dirt on Saturday May 1st.
It's that week again! "Markos Birthday Celebration Week" kicks off again. The rules are simple. Friends of Markos must invite and treat him all week long, but never remind him of how old he's getting.
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