After 3 weeks of consecutive losses, U.S stocks returned to its winning ways. The week was jam-packed with earnings and political headlines, as investors and traders are waiting patiently on news related to the promised tax reform. Although closing the week with gains, the S&P500 closed lower on Friday as traders looked ahead to the French election.
The first round of the French election will be held on Sunday, and it is looking to be a narrow race between far right candidate Marie Le Pen, and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon. Both candidates have expressed interest in France leaving the European Union, making investing worried about the future of the single market.
“We’ve had a pretty decent week, so people are taking a bit of risk off the table ahead of the French election,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. “Depending on how it goes, it could be really good or really bad for the euro.”s.
Earnings season has gotten off to a strong start. As of Friday morning, 77 percent of the 95 S&P 500 companies that had reported topped earnings-per-share estimates while 67 percent beat on sales, according to data from The Earnings Scout.
“First-quarter earnings season for the S&P 500, while admittedly still unfolding, appears to be positioning well for upside surprises that could deliver earnings growth of around 9%, in line with consensus expectations and perhaps even better than that,” said John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer.
General Electric ($GE) topped both earnings and revenue estimates. Sales declined by 1% to $27.66 billion but GE saw growth in its oil and gas, health care, transportation, and power businesses, among others.
Both Visa ($V)
and American Express ($AXP)
delivered better-than-expected quarters. Visa payments volume grew 37%, while total processed transactions increased 42%.
) beat earnings estimates and delivered in-line on revenue. Netflix reported that 1.4 million U.S. subscribers and 3.5 million international subscribers were added in the first quarter, bringing Netflix’s total bases to 50.9 million and 47.9 million, respectively.
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