Indexes gapped up mildly in the U.S., tried to rally a bit and failed, and then did little from there. The S&P 500 gained 0.29% and the NASDAQ 0.23%. A lot of eyes will be set on Friday’s employment data; economists forecast a 225,000 increase in April non-farm payrolls, and a one-tenth decline in the unemployment rate to 5.4 percent.. Factory orders for March showed a gain of 2.1 percent, the biggest increase in eight months and above expectations of a 1.9 percent increase. There were also dovish Fed comments that helped the action:
Chicago Fed’s Charles Evans said that hiking interest rates does not seem appropriate until next year due to the weak first quarter.
Data point: Of the S&P 500 members that have already released results this season, 73 percent beat profit projections and 49 percent topped sales estimates. Analysts have tempered their predictions for a corporate profit slump, now projecting a first-quarter drop of 0.4 percent, compared with April 17 calls for a 4.3 percent decline.Continue reading