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Stocks closed narrowly mixed yesterday in a back and forth session. Plenty of big name companies reported before the open yesterday, such as Boston Scientific (positive EPS surprise of 9.80%), Thermo Fisher (positive EPS surprise of 8.72%), and AT&T
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks End Mixed, Busy Day Of Earnings Ahead

Stocks closed narrowly mixed yesterday in a back and forth session.

Plenty of big name companies reported before the open yesterday, such as Boston Scientific (positive EPS surprise of 9.80%), Thermo Fisher (positive EPS surprise of 8.72%), and AT&T (positive EPS surprise of 3.77%), which lifted those names, but less so the market, as it digested the gains from the previous couple of days.

We also got plenty of positive EPS surprises after the close as well. But some high profile names disappointed, with the biggest one being Meta. They posted a positive EPS surprise of 9.03%, and a positive sales surprise of 0.48%. That translated to a quarterly growth rate of 78.4% vs. this time last year, and a sales growth of 27.3%. But with current quarter revenue estimates of $36.5-$39B (midpoint of $37.75B) coming in -2.05% lower than the consensus, shares were down in after-hours trade by more than -15%.

Today we'll hear from another 339 companies with Merck, Caterpillar, and Union Pacific going before the open, and heavyweights Microsoft, Alphabet, and Intel reporting after the close.

In other news, yesterday's MBA Mortgage Applications were lower by -2.7% w/w with purchases off by -1.0%, and refi's down by -5.6%.

Durable Goods Orders showed New Orders up 2.6% m/m vs. last month's 0.7% and views for 2.3%. Ex-Transportation it was up 0.2% vs. estimates for 0.3%. And Core Goods were up 0.2%, in line with the consensus.

And the Survey of Business Uncertainty showed U.S. firms expecting year-ahead sales growth estimates to be up 3.76% vs. last month's estimate for 3.73%, while their expectations for employment growth is at 4.04% vs. last month's 4.07%.

Today we'll get the first look at Q1 GDP, the International Trade in Goods report, Weekly Jobless Claims, Retail and Wholesale Inventories, Pending Home Sales, and the Kansas City Manufacturing Index.

But the report everyone is really waiting for is Friday's Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index, which is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge. This will be the last inflation report the Fed will see before next week's FOMC announcement on May 1.

While virtually nobody is expecting a rate cut next week, the numbers still matter because it will help shape the Fed's timeline as to when they may begin their first rate cut.

The consensus at the moment is for September to be the first with the odds at 71.3%.

But the Fed insists they'll remain data dependent, so nothing is set in stone.

In the meantime, stocks are up for the week so far, with 2 busy days ahead of us.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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