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Bob Carey
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  US Stocks Week Ended April 27, 2012
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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Last week's market still seemed focused on issues in Spain and greater Europe as they seek an answer to their debt situation. In addition, S&P downgraded the debt of Spain's sovereign credit. The United Kingdom further increased worries when it announced that GDP contracted in the first three months, officially putting the country into a recession. The highlight of last week's market was Apple and the company's surprisingly strong earnings. The company announced that it sold 35.1 million iPhones for the quarter, up 88% from the previous year. The company also reported that it has sold more than double the amount of iPads from the previous year. CEO, Tim Cook attributed the impressive growth to a strong Chinese market. The stock shot up more than 7% on the news. Opposite of Apple's earnings were Caterpillar's. The company had a surprisingly weak quarter, causing analysts to reassess their forecasts. The company sighted significantly weakening demand from the Chinese construction market and announced plans to export excavator production to North America. The North American construction market was a bright spot in an otherwise challenging quarter, the stock fell 4.58% on the earnings announcement. Wal-Mart and its executives found itself embroiled in a corruption scandal. It was alleged that company executives had paid bribes to Mexican officials in an effort to expedite their expansion in the country. Moving ahead, we remain in the heart of earnings season. Companies reporting are McKesson, Pfizer, Emerson Electric, and Chesapeake Energy. Investors will be focused on Chesapeake's earnings as they endure historically low gas prices. Last week, it was revealed that CEO, Aubrey McClendon, received $1.4 billion in loans from a private equity firm that was looking to buy assets from Chesapeake. Investors will finally get to ask management questions this week.
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 @ 8:27 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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