US Stocks Week Ended April 18, 2014
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Investors were feeling sanguine as the S&P 500 returned 2.72% compared to the previous week's loss of 2.60%. Markets regained their confidence despite the ongoing standoff in Ukraine and economic uncertainty in China. It was announced that China's economic growth was 7.4% compared to last year's growth of 7.7%. This is the slowest pace of GDP growth in a year and a half. Last week, many of the banks reported first quarter earnings. Morgan Stanley announced earnings of 72 cents per share compared to 49 cents per share in the previous year. Rival investment bank, Goldman Sachs was not as fortunate. Goldman saw an 11% decline in first quarter profits reporting EPS of $4.00 compared to $4.52 in the first quarter of last year. Citigroup fared well reporting earnings of $1.49 surpassing analyst expectations and growing earnings 6% year over year. Unfortunately, investors in Bank of America did not fare as well. The nation's second largest bank by deposits reported a $276 million loss for the quarter. While the bank's underlying operations performed well, the company continues to be hampered by legal reserves. Economic bellwether, Union Pacific, reported a strong quarter growing earnings to $2.38 per share from $2.03 per share in the first quarter of 2013. Next week represents a busy week for companies reporting earnings. Comcast investors will look to hear if the company has been able to continue its growth in cable subscribers. China watchers will hope to get a glimpse into the health of the country's economy when Yum! Brands reports.
Posted on Monday, April 21, 2014 @ 8:27 AM

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.