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Plus 5 New Strong Buys for Today
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Strengthening Economy And Strong Earnings Send Stocks To New Highs

Stocks soared yesterday with the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq hitting new all-time highs.

The economic rebound continues to impress.

And earnings season is off to a rousing start.

Regarding the strengthening economy, that was underscored by yesterday's Weekly Jobless Claims which came in way better than expected with new claims falling by -193,000 to 576K vs. the 695K consensus.

Businesses Inventories were up 0.5% vs. last month's upwardly revised 0.4%.

The Housing Market Index was up 1.2% at 83 vs. the prior month's reading of 82.

Retail Sales surged 9.8% last month, blowing past the 5.6% that was expected.

The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index jumped from 44.5 to 50.2. That's a 12.8% increase.

And the Empire State Manufacturing Index rose as well, going from 17.4 to 26.3. That's a 51.1% increase.

Regarding earnings, after seeing big beats from financial giants Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase on Wednesday, we saw more positive surprises from Citigroup, US Bancorp, and Bank of America yesterday. And for good measure, Alcoa, which has long been considered the 'official' start of earnings season, surprised as well with a 64.58% positive surprise.

Earnings season is off to an auspicious start. And if the next 4-5 weeks are anything like we've seen so far, it could end up being nothing short of spectacular.

We'll get another 20 companies reporting earnings today. And then another 408 next week.

And we'll get another look at the economy today with Housing Starts and Consumer Sentiment.

As Jamie Dimon put it, we could be looking at a "Goldilocks moment" for the economy.

Sure is looking that way so far.


Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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