The last couple of trading sessions, stocks are finding it difficult to hold on to early gains. After a nice triple digit Dow advance in early morning trading, stocks drifted into negative territory by the last half hour of trading. Earnings season officially kicks off today with the release of Alcoa’s earnings, but other than that there really weren’t any market moving headlines to explain a move in either direction (with the possible exception of Fed Chair Janet Yellen meeting with the President (read into that what you will).
By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 20 points to finish the day at 17,556. The S&P 500 was down 5 points to close at 2,041. Gold was up $13 to trade at $1,257 per ounce, while oil was up $.73 to trade at $40.45 per barrel WTI.
As mentioned, earnings season kicks off this week, but in addition to corporate earnings reports, on the economic data front we get Retail Sales on Wednesday as well as the PPI number. On Thursday we get the CPI number and the weekly jobless claims report. On Friday we get Industrial Production and Consumer Sentiment numbers. Perhaps we are just digesting the gains that we saw in stocks in the second half of the first quarter, which would be normal. On the other hand, traders are a bit wary about the upcoming earnings season. Let’s see how the week unfolds.
Have a nice evening everyone.