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S&P 500 Closes in on Record Highs on Strong Earnings

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Today was the beginning of peak earnings season and investors were not disappointed at all.  Stocks ripped higher after a plethora of companies from a wide range of sectors mostly reported strong results.

The Good:

Nucor, the nation’s top steel producer delivered a beat with the top and bottom line and their guidance was good enough to warrant a 3% rally.

United Technologies is higher by 2.4% after showing strength in the aero space market, similar to Honeywell.  UTX also raised their guidance, helping the stock post its best gain in three months.

Coca-Cola is also higher by 1.4% after delivering a clean beat on both the top and bottom line.  The full-year guidance was affirmed with the outlook for Q2 seeing 7% headwinds with operating income.

Twitter, the social media company giant is up by 15%, after beating expectations and delivering robust user growth.  This could be a positive sign for other social media companies, such as SNAP and Facebook.

The not so Bad:

Verizon is down 2.1%, off the lows after delivering soft subscriber gains.  The numbers were a slight miss and that may be attributed to their decision to not offer many promotions like their competitors.  Verizon did raise their EPS guidance and analysts maintain 13 buys and 21 holds with an average price target of $60.

Procter & Gamble is lower by 3.3% after some of their businesses struggled.  High-end beauty products and home-care goods had higher costs which did not derail the consumer.

The S&P 500 is up 0.8%, rising above their prior record closing levels.  Even the drop in share prices of both Verizon and Procter & Gamble paint a story of a strong US consumer.  The broad index is benefiting from a good start to peak earnings season, trade deal optimism between China and the US, and a patient Fed, with peers, such as the PBOC and ECB likely to provide more stimulus in the coming months.   If we do see stocks continue to the move higher, key resistance may come from the 2,970 area.

The US dollar is also higher on the session by 0.4% as investors increase their US stock holdings.  The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note is down 2.0 basis points to 2.569%.

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