Market Overview

Benzinga Market Primer: Friday, May 17

Benzinga Market Primer: Friday, May 17

Futures Rise Heading Into the Weekend

U.S. equity futures rose slightly in early pre-market trade heading into the weekend after a week marked by small moves in equities in both directions. Stocks look set to test all-time highs again in Friday's session if futures can hold gains into the open.

Top News

In other news around the markets:

  • The European Union reported EU auto sales rose 1.8 percent in April, the first monthly gain in over 18 months.
  • Japanese Machine Orders rose a whopping 14.2 percent in March, much better than the 3.2 percent expected gain. However, the data is extremely volatile and may not be a clear sign that stimulus policies are working just yet.
  • San Francisco Fed President John Williams, a non-voting member of the FOMC this year, spoke yesterday saying that it may already be time for the Fed to begin tapering its bond purchases. Other Fed officials hinted they may first slow purchases of mortgage backed securities to prevent a new housing bubble.
  • S&P 500 futures rose 4.4 points to 1,652.50.
  • The EUR/USD was flat at 1.2882.
  • Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell 2 basis points to 4.29 percent.
  • Italian 10-year government bond yields fell 1 basis point to 3.97 percent.
  • Gold fell 0.92 percent to $1,374.10 per ounce.

Asian Markets

Asian shares were mostly higher overnight following the Japanese data. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 0.67 percent. Also, the Korean Kospi gained 0.79 percent and Australian shares added 0.29 percent.

European Markets

European shares mixed overnight with moves remaining tepid following the auto sales data. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.08 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index added 0.17 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 0.08 percent and the French CAC 40 rose 0.15 percent while U.K. shares added 0.11 percent.


Commodities were mixed overnight with most metals continuing losses following the recent dollar strength. WTI Crude futures fell 0.09 percent to $95.07 per barrel and Brent Crude futures rose 0.12 percent to $103.80 per barrel. Copper futures rose 0.55 percent to $331.25, reversing two days of strong losses. Gold was lower and silver futures declined 1.01 percent to $22.43 per ounce.


Currency markets were on the move as the dollar was erasing some earlier gains heading into the U.S. session but still remained stronger against most partners. The EUR/USD was flat at 1.2882 and the dollar rose against the yen to 102.36. Overall, the Dollar Index gained 0.33 percent on strength against the Canadian dollar, the pound, and the yen.

Earnings Reported Yesterday

Key companies that reported earnings Thursday include:

  • Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) reported first quarter EPS of $0.42 vs. $0.45 expected on revenue of $570.4 million vs. $583.4 million expected.
  • Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) reported first quarter EPS of $0.21 vs. $0.35 expected on revenue of $14.1 billion vs. $13.52 billion expected.
  • J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) reported a first quarter loss of $1.31 per share vs. a loss of $0.86 per share expected on revenue of $2.63 billion vs. $2.7 billion expected.
  • Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) reported first quarter EPS of $0.73 vs. $0.76 on revenue of $2.75 billion vs. $2.8 billion expected.
  • Kohls (NYSE: KSS) reported first quarter EPS of $0.66 vs. $0.58 on revenue of $4.2 billion vs. $4.29 billion expected.
  • Sina (NASDAQ: SINA) reported first quarter EPS of $0.02 vs. an expected loss of $0.03 per share on revenue of $121.3 million.
  • Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) reported first quarter EPS of $1.14 vs. $1.15 on revenue of $114.19 billion vs. $116.42 billion but said that trends in the first half of May saw a marked improvement over the first four months of the year.

Pre-Market Movers

Stocks moving in the pre-market included:

  • J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) shares declined 3.03 percent pre-market following the weaker than expected earnings report.
  • Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) shares declined 6.23 percent pre-market following its weaker than expected earnings.
  • Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) shares declined 3.32 percent pre-market on its weaker than expected earnings even though the company affirmed Q2 guidance.
  • United States Steel (NYSE: X) shares rose 1.01 percent pre-market as CEO John Surma said the company is divesting unprofitable businesses to focus on key business lines to return to profitability.


Notable companies expected to report earnings Friday include:

  • Donaldson Company (NYSE: DCI) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.49 vs. $0.46 a year ago.
  • Stage Stores (NYSE: SSI) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.09 vs. $0.05 a year ago.


On the economics calendar Friday, consumer sentiment and leading indicators are due out followed by the ECRI weekly index. Also, the Fed's Naryana Kocherlakota is set to speak. Over the weekend, Ben Bernanke is speaking on Saturday and could talk about Fed tapering.

Good luck and good trading.

Click here to view Benzinga's Market Wrap for Thursday, May 16.

Posted-In: Earnings News Bonds Guidance Dividends Futures Commodities Previews Best of Benzinga


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