Morning Reads

Morning Reads




Stock investors are closing out a great first quarter, with the market continuing to crush it with near-daily record highs. The S&P 500 (SP500) is up 10% in the first three months of the year, already hitting the 5,200 mark that even the most bullish of analysts had predicted for all of 2024. Any weakness hasn't continued for more than several sessions, with dip buying and fresh money continuing to come off the sidelines.

Broad-based: It's not only the AI revolution and the Magnificent Seven (or "Super Six" minus Tesla). All of the 11 S&P 500 sectors have risen on a YTD basis, except for Real Estate (SP500-60), and the momentum has even recently spread to other indexes like the Russell 2000 (IWN). The records also haven't been limited to stocks, with bitcoin (BTC-USD) and gold (XAUUSD:CUR) notching new highs, in a rally that has spread across asset classes.

"The timing of the rate cuts, which was of paramount importance last year, has become less of a concern, largely because of the economic resilience we have seen so far this year," Investing Group Leader Lawrence Fuller writes in Rotation Is Keeping This Expansion And Bull Market Alive. "The soft landing that has gone from a pipe dream to the consensus view on Wall Street is at hand. That is why markets have performed so well since last October."

What's next? The market is closed tomorrow for Good Friday, meaning today will be the last session of the quarter. According to Dow Jones Market Data, when the S&P 500 notches an 8% gain or more in Q1, it is nearly assured to finish the rest of the year on the right foot with an average advance of 9.7% in the following three quarters. Also remember that there is a presidential election in November, which is usually positive for the market regardless of who is declared the winner.

Behind bars

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX, will hear today how much time he'll spend in prison. Back in November, SBF had been found guilty on all seven criminal counts related to fraud and conspiracy, as part of a scheme U.S. Attorney Damian Williams referred to as "one of the biggest financial frauds in American history." Federal prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 40 to 50 years, while lawyers for the former crypto mogul are pushing for a term of no more than six and a half years given expectations that customers and creditors will be paid back in full.

Take it slow

There is "no rush" for the U.S. central bank to start cutting interest rates, according to Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller. "The risk of waiting a little longer is significantly lower than acting too soon," he added, citing "the strength of the US economy and resilience of the labor market." Waller also pointed to recent economic data, which has "made me uncertain about the speed of continued progress." Implementing rate reductions too soon could risk a resurgence in inflation, meaning it would be better to hold rates at the current 5.25%-5.50% target range for longer. (31 comments)

Disney vs. DeSantis

Walt Disney's (NYSE:DISHulu integration isn't the only news making headlines. The House of Mouse and allies of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have reached an agreement over Disney World's future development. A state court settlement will bring an end to almost two years of litigation around the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, the entity that provides municipal services to the giant theme park. Elsewhere, activist investor Nelson Peltz won the backing of investment adviser Egan-Jones in Trian's campaign for two board seats at Disney. (64 comments)

Today's Economic Calendar

In Asia, Japan -1.6%. Hong Kong +0.9%. China +0.6%. India +0.9%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.2%. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt flat.
Futures at 7:00, Dow flat. S&P flat. Nasdaq flat. Crude +1.4% to $82.46. Gold +0.9% to $2231.60. Bitcoin +0.8% to $70,693.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +3 bps to 4.23%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 GDP
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 Corporate Profits
9:45 Chicago PMI
10:00 Consumer Sentiment
10:00 Pending Home Sales
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
11:00 Kansas City Fed Mfg Survey
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count
SIFMA Early Close at 2:00 PM
3:00 PM Farm Prices
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

Meet the latest additions to the S&P 500 Index (SP500).

Amazon (AMZN) spends billions on AI startup Anthropic.

Easier acquisition? Paramount (PARA) ratings cut to junk.

Carnival (CCL) warns Baltimore bridge collapse could clip profits.

In and out: Discover (DFS) President and CEO Rhodes resigns.

Schlumberger (SLB) pays close to $400M for carbon-capture venture.

Russian cuts to crude output may bring $100 oil - J.P. Morgan.

Fisker (OTC:FSRN) slashes prices to clear inventory and raise cash.

Judge rules SEC case against Coinbase (COIN) can move forward.

Walmart (WMT) will refile antitrust notification for Vizio (VZIOtakeover.

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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