The markets started the week with strong gains despite precision strikes in Syria over the weekend which many felt would cause concern in the short term among investors. The Dow 30 was higher by 215, the S&P 500 added 21, and the Nasdaq 100 popped 49. The focus turns back to earnings season which will likely provide for more excitement going forward while investors wait to see how the Syrian situation develops.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) was the latest to report earnings which came in better than expected. The company says they saw growth which was helped by lower taxes as well as equity trading profits. The company also claims success in keeping costs down for the previous quarter as well. Investors were not so quick to jump on the stock though as they like to see real growth in earnings reports, not growth from lower taxes and cost cutting. Analysts overall were not that impressed by the results.
JB Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) shot higher by 6.19% today as the transportation company reported earnings that came in much better than expected. The beat was driven by a large increase in intermodal sales which is it’s largest segment. Shares have now recovered almost all of March’s losses. The transportation sector (NYSE: IYT) added 2.34% on the day, largely thanks to JBHT.
Though earnings season is just getting started, so far it’s looking pretty good. Remember that analysts have set the bar incredibly high for this earnings season with expectations of 17.3% growth in overall earnings for the S&P 500. This would be over an 8 year record if the S&P 500 pulls it off.
Some big names up to report this week that will very likely get media attention include Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and General Electric (NYSE: GE).
Stock market shakes off Syria. Focuses on earnings!