Stocks can rally on earnings, but Trump needs deliver on tax cuts

Alan Valdes
Alan Valdes

By Alan Valdes, director of floor operations at Silverbear Capital

US markets were rather quiet Monday, with traders focusing on a slew of earnings reports coming out later in the week. The Dow (^DJI, DIA) fell 8.02 points to close at 21,629.72. IBM (IBM) was the biggest drag on the index, as Big Blue closed down $1.23 to $153.01.

Microsoft (MSFT), on the other hand, contributed the most to the Dow. It was the index’s biggest winner of the day with gains of 0.8% to close at 73.35—a record close for the tech giant. The company is due to report fourth quarter financial results after the close on Thursday. The Street is looking for earnings of 71 cents per share, up 3% year over year on sales of $24 to $26 billion.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC, SPY) was another index that finished slightly lower, closing down 0.13 points to end the day at 2,439.14. Year to date it’s still up a healthy 9.84%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC, QQQ) turned in a winning performance yesterday. It closed up a meager 1.97—enough to keep a seven-day winning streak alive. The index, which is showing one-year returns of 25.55%, closed at 6,314. Even the Russell 2000 (^RUT, IWM) got in the game with a new intraday high of 1434.35—its first since June 9. Volume for all the indexes was on the light side.

Earnings, earnings, earnings

It’s all about earning this week: Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC) (both before the bell this morning), IBM (after the bell today), Microsoft (MSFT), Qualcomm (QCOM), and eBay (EBAY), just to name a few.

After the close Monday, it was another bad day for television, as the cord cutters added 5.2 million new subscribers for the quarter to Netflix (NFLX). The Street was looking for only 3.22 million. Goldman Sachs raised its target price estimate from $175.00 to $200.00. The company also hit a milestone with 100 million subscribers. As of Tuesday afternoon, the stock is up nearly 14% for the day and over 48% for the year.

With more senators dropping out of the health care bill, at some point, this is going to start weighing on the markets—not so much for health care itself, but the ancillary effects it has on tax reform, infrastructure projects and slimming down regulations. Wall Street has been waiting for some direction since the election for these bills to start moving forward. One of the main reasons Trump got elected was his promise to reform taxes!

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