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Thursday’s Stocks to Watch and Trading Ideas

Fin - Breakout - US
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Earnings, earnings and more earnings. That's the story this trading day, and it's not just Apple (AAPL), even though the trend-setting tech shop once again impressed with its profit report and did what it could to buoy market sentiment.

A number of Dow components were on the schedule Thursday, starting with GE (GE) and DuPont (DD), McDonald's (MCD) and Verizon (VZ). What started out last week as an arguably neutral at best earnings season has tipped to the positive side this week, picking up steam thanks to tech names like IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC), and of course, the iPhone maker. MarketWatch's David Callaway writes that "the question now is whether the tech rally can finally help lift the moribund financial services sector out of the doldrums or whether persistent weakness in banks and on Wall Street will hobble a U.S. economy that appears ready to run." Read more in Tech and Bank Stocks on Collision Course.

Elsewhere, the oil markets continue to challenge investors, and The Wall Street Journal points out that part of the problem is the wealth of unreliable data. Get the details with Fuzzy Data Help Roil Oil Markets.

From Twitter:

*Douglas Kass @DougKass - not a dissenting comment on the markets today anywhere. that means, to me, investors will be disappointed over the near term - my view

*Jeffrey Carter @pointsnfigures - http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/cmegroup/49742/ a good idea. Manage risk between govt bond portfolios. $ZB_F, $ZT_F, $ZF_F, $CME $$

*Mike Jackson @bondscoop - US Treasury must issue at least a 1/8 coupon on all auctions. So today's TIPS auction must come at a premium. Due to negative rates on TIPS

*Barry Ritholtz @ritholtz - If You Don't Own Apple Products, Can You Be An AAPL Investor? http://dlvr.it/PF623 $$

*Joe Kunkle @OptionRadar by @ryandbaird - Another Example why $VIX is Reactive not Predictive - Monday, VIX over 18 and that was Reason Fast Money Said to Sell Market...not good

*Ashraf Laidi @alaidi - GBP leads USD Selloff after string sales http://bit.ly/9UuPYo turn to Canada sales #forex $$

*Trader Ben @terrapinntrades - Regulators admit HFT deficiency: Regulators have admitted they don't have the technology or the resources t... http://bit.ly/f8VsMY #hft

*Gruppo Daniele @gruppodaniele - Historical #inflation adjusted price of #Gold indicates $2500 top more appropriate; but the economic dynamics of our age may push it higher.

On the blogs:

*About that Inverse Head & Shoulders - All Star Charts

*Strong Tech and Continued US$ Erosion - The Big Picture

*Bearish Sentiment Up for the Second Week in a Row - Bespoke Investment Group

*I've Never Liked the Taste of Humble Pie! - Peter Brandt, via StockTwits

*The Gold Mania - Random Roger

*Time to Short Silver ETF? — Focus on Funds, Barron's

*May — A Golden Month for Gold? - Pragmatic Capitalism

*Just One Stock: Warrants Offer Leveraged Opportunity to Tap JPM's Earnings Growth - Seeking Alpha

In the headlines (Apple and otherwise):

*Does Apple Always Lowball Guidance? - CNBC

*Apple's 92% Earnings Windfall: The Bloggers Nail It, the Pros Miss by a Mile - Fortune

*IPhones Power Apple's Growth - The Wall Street Journal

*GE Q1 Profit, Revenue Top Street View - Reuters

*Profiting From Europe's Woes - Barron's

*As Market Rises, Americans Flee Stocks - 24/7 Wall St.

*Investors Skittish in Closely Watched Hong Kong IPO - The Wall Street Journal

*Five China Companies to Consider Investing In - MarketWatch

*3 Reasons the Gold Bubble Will Burst - InvestorPlace

*ETFs to Get a Pimco Star - The Wall Street Journal

*Health-Care Stocks Take the Lead - Barron's

Compiled by Elizabeth Trotta and Chris Nichols.

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