The cover story in Barron's over the weekend was an eye-catcher, focusing on a poll showing that more than half of the money managers in the U.S. expect further stock market gains in 2011.
However, that doesn't mean they're recommending across-the-board bets. To have success, you have to pick your spots, after all. Among other things, the pros are also forecasting a continued elevation in oil prices, which have rallied sharply this year and are now above $100 a barrel. For more details on the poll's findings, read on in Watch Your Step.
Meanwhile, earnings reports, the price of commodities such as silver, gold and oil, and the Federal Reserve's economic plans are dominating the headlines at the start of the new trading week. The latter is discussed in The Wall Street Journal's Fed Searches for Next Step. The U.S. central bankers will meet this week, and observers are looking for an announcement that the Treasury-buying program is nearing its end. As for the aforementioned silver, talk is building about whether a bubble is in or nearby, and that's something we've covered elsewhere on Breakout in recent weeks. So as always, be sure to send us your thoughts, either in the comment section below or with an email.
*Ashraf Laidi @alaidi - thin trading but worth noting euro strength is highlighted against Aussie. $EURAUD is near its highs relative to other euro pairs #forex $$
*Fari Hamzei @HamzeiAnalytics - worth noting: $SPX put in an outside bar on the WEEKLY chart last week
On the Blogs:
*People Should Have Been Buying Gold And Silver 10 Years Ago - Jim Rogers Blog
*Silver ... Over the Moon - Pragmatic Capitalism
*Become a Macro Strategist in Five Easy Steps! - The Reformed Broker, via StockTwits
*Monetary Base, Dollar Swings - The Big Picture
*Bull Market Still Dragging Stocks Higher - Money Morning
*3 Reasons Why Crude Oil Prices Will Stay High - Seeking Alpha
Stocks to Watch:
*NYSE Euronext (NYX): The stock exchange operator says its savings will be greater if it completes a merger deal with Germany's Deutsche Boerse than if it agrees to a competing offer from Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) and InterContinental Exchange (ICE).
*RadioShack (RSH): First-quarter sales were up 2.1% year over year, while earnings fell to $35.1 million, or 33 cents a share, from $50.1 million, or 39 cents a share, in the same quarter of 2010. The latest quarter included debt-retirement costs of 2 cents a share. RadioShack now expects full-year earnings of $1.60 to $1.80, down from the previous guidance of $1.60 to $1.90.
Upgrades & Downgrades:
*BB&T (BBT): Goldman upgrades to neutral from sell; Oppenheimer downgrades to perform from outperform.
*Valero Energy (VLO): Citigroup downgrades to hold from buy.
*Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Wells Fargo upgrades to outperform from market perform.
*Energizer (ENR): Morgan Stanley names long research tactical idea.
*Brocade (BRCD): RW Baird upgrades to outperform from neutral.
*Marriott (MAR): FBR Capital upgrades to outperform from market perform.
*Nucor (NUE): CIBC downgrades to sector underperformer from sector performer.
Trading & Investing Headlines:
*Why the Silver Market Has Gone Nuts - SmartMoney
*Bond Titans Differ on Post-QE2 Outlook — The Wall Street Journal
*Dangerous Views of Volatility — Barron's
*Apple's iPad Miss Prompts Cuts in Forecast - Reuters
*Dollar Bulls Hope for Fed Surprise — The Wall Street Journal
*Long-Term Bets on Yuan Are No Sure Thing — The Wall Street Journal
*3 Midcap Stocks to Buy for Any Market - InvestorPlace
*Amazon's Stock Is Overvalued, Overloved - TheStreet
Expected Earnings for April 25:
Compiled by Elizabeth Trotta and Chris Nichols.
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