Morning Market Minute – 4/20/15

Stock futures are up .5% this morning,  The VIX looks poised to close the gap up from late last week, and the US Dollar continues to set-up for its next move.... that and more in this mornings market minute:

 The Dow tumbled nearly 280 points Friday on China stock market fears and renewed angst over Greece’s long-term future in the eurozone. When trading resumes today on Wall Street, it will probably be corporate earnings in the spotlight.

“This week is the heart of earnings season, with one-third of the S&P 500’s market cap reporting,” says Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. market strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

It will be a busy week of earnings. Nearly 30% of the companies — 146 to be exact — in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index will report results, according to earnings tracker Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The earnings season, which started off with deep concerns over the possibility of the first contraction in quarterly profits since the financial crisis in 2009, has gotten off to a good start. Profits are on track to fall 2%, which is better than the nearly 3% decline at the start of April. Three out of four companies, or 75%, have beat forecasts, which is better than the 63% average since 1994.

There’s no shortage of big-name U.S. companies on the docket this week.

Toymaker Hasbro kicked off the profit-reporting week on a good note, as did investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Shares of Hasbro, sellers of brands such as Transformer, Nerf, Monopoly and Play-Doh, soared 8% in pre-market trading after topping profit and revenue forecasts. About two hours before the opening bell, Hasbro (HAS) shares were up $5.41, or 8.2%, to $71.30.

Morgan Stanley (MS) shares were up 93 cents, or 2.5%, to $37.68 before the opening bell after topping analyst forecasts.

Those earnings beats gave the stock market a boost. The Dow, which fell 280 points Friday, is up 85 points 90 minutes before the opening bell.

Other earnings reports coming later today include tech bellwether IBM reports, as will oil services firm Halliburton (HAL). Halliburton also posted earnings better-than-expected profit of 49 cents a share, vs. an estimate of 37 cents a share. Its shares were up 21 cents, or 0.5%, to $47.10 in pre-market trading.

Consumer stocks, such as sports apparel maker Under Armour and Chipotle Mexican Grill, go public with results Tuesday.

Wednesday, Dow blue chips Coca-Cola and McDonald’s report, as do home builder D.R. Horton and AutoNation, the USA’s largest auto seller.

Thursday is another big day, with consumer plays Pepsico, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks on tap. Tech powerhouses Google and will also report. American Airlines reports Friday

Known to most as Uranium Pinto Beans, Jason has more than 15 years under his belt of trading stocks, options and currencies. His expertise primarily lies in chart analysis, and he has a strong eye for undervalued stock. Because he’s got the ability to identify great risk/reward trades he usually enjoys taking the path less traveled and reaping the benefits from the adventure.

He is a co-founder of Option Millionaires, and he is best known for his weekly webinars with Scott, as well as his high level training webinars and charts found in the forums.

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