Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stocks Continue Roller Coaster Ride; Google Pops on Earnings

In this space a couple of days ago, it was theorized that stocks were not offering directional signs to investors, and that was on a nearly 200-point drop on the Dow.

Since then, just two days hence, the major indices have erased those ugly losses and added to the upside, with gusto.

Despite the highest number of initial unemployment claims since January (380,000) being announced prior to the opening bell stocks started a slow progression to the upside which lasted all session long, no doubt spurred on by the whirring computer algos which, as machines, only do as they are programmed.

The paucity of trades didn't slow the market in the least, as volume was, as per usual, non-existent for the most part. Somewhere in between the flat PPI reading (no kidding, PPI was unchanged for March) and Google's first quarter earnings announcement, somebody let slip a rumor of more QE from the Fed, or something like that, at the computer-traders lapped it up like so much cheery data, even though none of the recent spate of speeches by Fed governors included any mention of further easing, except on an iffy basis, that being a severe downturn in the economy.

The markets being more akin to a roller coaster rather than the usual casino-like environment of late, the day-trading brokerages and hedge funds had a field day skewering shorts until they screamed for mercy.

As for the aforementioned Google (GOOG) earnings report, the company - which reported after the bell - blew away estimates by earning $10.08 per share, well beyond the expected $9.66 offered by analysts. The company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split, though the proposal will not be voted on until June, though it is widely considered that it will meet with shareholder approval.

The beat goes on, despite occasional dissonance along the way.

Wells Fargo (WFC) and JP Morgan Chase (JPM) are next up on the earnings parade, reporting well before the bell on Friday morning.

Dow 12,986.58, +181.19 (1.41%)
NASDAQ 3,055.55, +39.09 (1.30%)
S&P 500 1,387.57, +18.86 (1.38%)
NYSE Composite 8,039.95, +127.10 (1.61%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,491,138,875
NYSE Volume 3,543,994,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4410-1193
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 103-39
WTI crude oil: 103.64, +0.94
Gold: 1,680.60, +20.30
Silver: 32.52, +1.00

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