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Ahead of Q1 Earnings Season

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Sorry for the delay on this report. Technical difficulties caused it to be published after the bell today. It won’t happen again…

As we await the dawning of a new earnings season — Q1 begins in earnest with big banks like JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) , Citigroup (C - Free Report) and Wells Fargo (WFC - Free Report) reporting late this week into early next. Numbers are expected to continue to improve, both on general economic traction and the huge windfall of corporate tax cuts gracing the bottom lines. But much of these fortunes have already been baked into expectations, so quarterly results are hotly anticipated once again.

Ahead of today’s opening bell, we saw new Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers hit the tape. Results were cooler than yesterday’s Producer Price Index (PPI) results, but in-line with expectations: -0.1% on the headline, +0.2% on the core. PPI headline reached 0.3%, well ahead of the +0.1% expected. So with the other shoe dropping, what we see is resilient — if not exactly spectacular — pricing on both sides. This keeps in line with the Goldilocks scenario the economy has enjoyed for a while now.

Markets are selling off a bit at the open today, but this follows a big leg-up Tuesday as the relief that a trade war with China may not transpire after all was pretty much palpable. It’s too early to say for sure there won’t be any pain felt as both sides forge out their visions of a new world of trade, but for now the worst of the worst seems to be abating.

The Dow has given up a half a percent in the early minutes of trading, with the S&P 500 following suit and the Nasdaq halving that deficit. Later today we get new federal budget numbers and the minutes from Jay Powell’s inaugural Fed meeting from last month, when the committee raised interest rates another quarter percent. Currently, analysts generally expect two more raises this year.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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