Stocks made a modest up move.
First the scoreboard:
Dow: 14,567, +19.6 pts, +0.1%
S&P 500: 1,562, +7.2 pts, +0.4%
NASDAQ: 3,233, +27.4 pts, +0.8%
And now the top stories:
- Earnings season is heating up this week. Through Friday, 104 companies (33% of the market cap) of the S&P 500 had announced their Q1 2013 financial results. "Positive earnings surprises are tracking below average this quarter (36% vs. 47%)," noted Goldman Sachs' David Kostin. In the past 40 quarters, the percentage of positive earnings surprise have been lower only twice.
- This morning, global industrial bellwether Caterpillar announced its Q1 financial results and it was a disappointment on the top and bottom lines. "What's happening in our business and in the economy overall is a mixed picture. Conditions in the world economy seem relatively stable, and we continue to expect slow growth in 2013," said CEO Doug Oberhelman. Still, the stock rallied by over 2%.
- Caterpillar's management had some extensive comments about the state of the world: "As we began 2013, we were concerned about economic growth in the United States and China and are pleased with the relative stability we have seen so far this year. In the United States, we are encouraged by progress so far and are becoming more optimistic on the housing sector in particular. In China, first quarter economic growth was slightly less than many expected, but in our view, remains consistent with slow growth in the world economy. In fact, our sales in China were higher in the first quarter of 2013 than they were in the first quarter of 2012, and machine inventories in China have declined substantially from a year ago," said Oberhelman.
- Existing home sales unexpectedly fell by 0.6% in March to a level of 4.92 million units at an annualized rate. Economists were looking for a climb to 5.00 million. This was a rare miss in a consistently bright spot of the global economy.
- Netflix announces its Q1 earnings after the closing bell. Follow the release live at BusinessInsider.com.
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