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Markets Mixed as Q1 Earnings, Powell Control News Headlines

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Tuesday, April 16th, 2024

Market indices fluctuated today. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were in-line throughout the day, right around breakeven (-0.21% and -0.12%, respectively). The Dow stayed in the green for all but a few minutes on the session, finishing +0.17%. The Russell 2000 only spent a moment out of negative territory today, reaching the closing bell at -0.42%. Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments today solidified that monetary policy is seriously considering delaying its first rate cut until economic reports warrant it.

Today’s Housing Starts data was a step in the right direction. They moved lower than analysts were expecting, though Building Permits — a forward look on future Starts — while still down, have been flatlining just under 1.5 million seasonally adjusted, annualized units for the past year and a half. Healthcare led the way during the regular session, riding UnitedHealthcare’s (UNH - Free Report) better-than-expected quarter, which helped bring its shares off multi-year lows today.

United Airlines (UAL - Free Report) came out with its Q1 report after today’s closing bell, with a slimmer-than-expected loss on its bottom line — -$0.15 per share versus -$0.53 in the Zacks consensus — matching a top-line revenue beat: $12.54 million versus $12.43 billion anticipated. Next-quarter earnings guidance is raised higher than the median estimate, while full-year earnings forecasts are in-line with current estimates. Revenue per Available Seat Mile was up for the quarter. Shares are up +5% in late trading.

Interactive Brokers (IBKR - Free Report) also slightly outpaced expectations in its Q1 report after today’s close. Earnings of $1.64 per share surpassed consensus by a penny, while quarterly sales rose from $1.19 billion expected to $1.22 billion actualized. The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)-rated brokerage platform increased its cash dividend yield from 10 cents to 25 cents per share. The company’s Daily Active Revenue Trade grew by +14% in the quarter.

Transportation major J.B. Hunt (JBHT - Free Report) , on the other hand, missed expectations on both top and bottom lines — earnings of $1.22 per share was short of the $1.53 estimate (and well off the year-ago pace of $1.89 per share), while revenues of $2.94 billion couldn’t reach the $3.12 billion in the Zacks consensus. This makes six straight quarters of earnings misses for the Zacks Rank #4 (Sell)-rated company. Shares have fallen -5.5% on the news in the late session, now down more than -6% year to date.

Wednesday morning brings us more Q1 earnings reports, including from Abbott Labs (ABT - Free Report) and U.S. Bancorp (USB - Free Report) , but no economic prints until the new Beige Book comes out tomorrow afternoon at 2pm. On Thursday, we get our first “FANG” stock of this earnings season, when Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) numbers hit the tape. Procter & Gamble (PG - Free Report) and American Express (AXP - Free Report) report earnings Friday morning.

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