Earnings vs. Coronavirus

Markets gapped lower Thursday as coronavirus fear resumed.  However, the bulls were having none of that as they rallied most of the day with the close coming near the highs.  For example, the Dow erased a 244 gap down to end the day 124 points higher.  The SPY gained 0.32%, the DIA gained 0.44%, and the QQQ gained 0.36%.  The VXX fell to 14.60 while the T2122 remains in mid-range at 39.69.

During the day, the World Health Organization reversed its decision from last week and declared coronavirus a global health emergency.  Oddly, at the same time, they did not recommend travel to China to be restricted.  In other coronavirus news, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first person to person transmission inside the US. Globally the death count continues to rise and the confirmed cases is now about 10,000.

After the close, AMZN absolutely crushed their earnings report.  Prices soared in after-hours trading on that report that was 60% higher than expected.  It remains to be seen whether this will “lift all boats” on Friday.  Again, other earnings reports were too numerous to mention. 

Overnight, Asian markets were mixed, with only the NIKKEI green as virus fear grows.  In Europe, markets are red across the board at this point in the day.  As of 7:45 am, U.S. futures are mixed with the SPY and DIA pointed to gap down, while the QQQ (bolstered by AMZN) pointing to a half percent gap higher. 

Friday’s major economic news includes Dec. Personal Consumption-Expenditures (8:30 am), Chicago PMI (9:45 am), and Michigan Consumer Sentiment (10 am).  The earnings list is somewhat smaller since it is Friday.  Among those reporting before the bell are AON, BR, CAT, CHTR, CL, CVX, CHD, XOM, HON, IDXX, ITW, JCI, LYB, PSX, and WY.

In impeachment news, the vote on whether or not to call witnesses is scheduled for Friday afternoon.  It appears the White House now has the votes to block witnesses.  If so, Senate Majority Leader McConnell is expected to call the votes to acquit (as has always been expected) as soon as Friday evening.  Speculation is that this might move markets even just on the expectation of an acquittal.  However, the way markets react to news, especially in advance, is never a sure thing.  So, as with other news, be careful betting on such an outcome.

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As mentioned, the bulls closed markets higher, but this also happened to be near resistance.  The US futures are mixed at this point and there are a number of major earnings reports this morning.  In addition to this, we have a weekend full of virus news coming.  So be careful relying on whatever happens today to be an indicator beyond today’s close.

Be cautious when considering any new positions.  And remember, nobody ever went broke taking profits and reducing risk. Above all, wait for the trade to come to you...plan your trade and trade your plan.

Ed

No Swing Trade Ideas for your consideration and watchlist for Friday. Trade smart, take profits along the way and trade your plan. Also, don't forget to check for upcoming earnings. Finally, remember that the stocks/etfs we mention and talk about in the trading room are not recommendations to buy or sell.

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