Weekly Update – April 20, 2012
Strong corporate earnings propelled the Dow up 65 points on Friday, helping the index gain 180 points for the week, or 1.4%. It was the Dow’s first weekly gain in three weeks.
Corporate earnings were in the spotlight and healthy reports from the likes of McDonalds, General Electric and Microsoft set the market’s tone. With Apple, Amazon, Caterpillar and other blue chips announcing next week, corporate earnings will continue to be a key driver of market performance. Across the pond in Europe, the first round of the French presidential election and continued action in Spain and Italy will be closely monitored.
Despite the uneven start to the second quarter, our trust preferred portfolios continue to return approximately 10%, on average, year-to-date through yesterday, Thursday, April 19, beating the Dow by over 3%.
Next week, economic releases of note include a consumer confidence reading and March existing home sales on Tuesday, initial jobless claims on Thursday and the advanced first-quarter GDP report on Friday. Expect consumer confidence and existing home sales to decrease slightly, initial jobless claims to remain in the 380,000 range and for GDP to be near 2.5%. Also of interest will be the Fed’s FOMC statement on Wednesday, though no surprises (i.e. an announcement of further stimulus) are expected.
Have a good weekend,