- The Q2 earnings season rally hit a wall this morning, with commentators blaming lackluster results from Microsoft and Amazon for being unable to sustain the upward momentum. The two tech sector giants did not excel in the April-June period, and investors have dumped each, helping to send the Nasdaq down more than 1.5% and weighing down US equities across the board. Note that the final July University of Michigan Confidence Index was one point better than expected, although the reading was a solid 5 points below the final June reading. Front-month NYMEX crude has been trading in a tight range around $67. Treasury prices are rebounding very modestly from yesterday's selloff helped by the selling in stocks. Yields are not giving back much though, with the 10-year staying above 3.65% and the 2-year holding 1%.
- Microsoft missed revenue targets by a non trivial amount and was merely in line with analysts' earnings expectations in its fourth-quarter report last night. Microsoft's CFO said business continues to be negatively impacted by weakness in the global PC and server markets. He said there are signs the worst is over, but warned the balance of the year would remain difficult. Amazon also slipped up on the top line, but by a trivial amount, while earning were uninspiring. Analysts cut both names to neutral from buy overnight and investors are dumping the stocks, with Amazon down 7% and Microsoft down 10%.
- US solar power names SunPower Corp and MEMC outperformed analysts' expectations. SunPower's earnings were nearly twice the anticipated amount while MEMC reported $0.03 (versus expectations for $0.00); revenue at both firms was well ahead of the consensus view. Executives at SunPower said they were confident about the second half of the year, although MEMC's CEO said the solar industry faces limited demand growth and excess inventory. Shares of SPWRA are up 25%, boosting selected solar names as much as 5%, with TAN up 3%. Shares of WFR are down 15%.
- Both American Express and Capital One opened in the red this morning after offering leaden earnings reports after the close yesterday. Charge offs at both companies have kept rising on a sequential basis, although provisions for losses are beginning to creep down at both. AmEx missed revenue targets by a bit, while Capital One beat top-line estimates (and reported a quarterly loss that was slightly smaller than expected). COF opened down 5% but has shot up to +3% in the first hour of trade. AXP has muddled along in the low negative single digits.
- In currencies, attention seemed to focus on the CAD in the New York morning as loonie tested the 1.0800 level after overnight remarks from Canadian Trade Min Day. The minister said that while a rising CAD hurts exports, he was not concerned about the currency and reiterated the BOC view that the Canadian economy is moving closer to positive growth. USD/CAD saw good two-way flows as the pivotal 1.08 level sustained attacks. Dealers said there were a few extremely aggressive directional accounts trying to gun for the alleged USD sell stops lurking below the 1.0770 level. The overall USD trend has been down over the last two weeks, with dealers noting that of some 'cyclical' observations with July 27th cited as an important date for most currencies.
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