Indexes Struggle as Earnings Season Begins

UNH and NFLX moved the market with their reports

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) kicked off Monday with a sixth-straight daily loss before flipping back and forth for the rest of the volatile week. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC), on the other hand, posted five-straight losses on Thursday, and were on track for six-straight midday Friday. For the S&P 500, Thursday marked its longest losing streak since October. 

A flood of corporate earnings highlighted the week, from companies such as UnitedHealth (UNH), which helped break the blue-chip index’s losing run, and Netflix (NFLX), which sent the Nasdaq spiraling on Friday. The timeline for the Fed’s interest-rate cuts was in focus plenty this week as well, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell highlighting elevated inflation and the unlikelihood of there being interest rate cuts any time soon.

Earnings This Week

Goldman Sachs (GS) kicked off earnings season with a bang, posting better-than-expected first-quarter results. Procter & Gamble (PG) was seeing some technical pressure ahead of earnings, and the company ended up posting a sales miss. Elsewhere, the semiconductor sector has seen plenty of pressure lately, and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) moved lower despite an earnings beat. Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and Equifax (EFX) brushed off upbeat reports as well, moving sharply lower. 

Stocks Moving on Headlines

It was a particularly newsy week for Tesla (TSLA), with several updates including global job cuts. Reasonably priced stocks Children’s Place (PLCE) and Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) staged large swings amid the former’s loan agreement and the latter’s trial data. Meanwhile, Duolingo (DUOL) was added to the S&P MidCap 400, while pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly (LLY) announced positive results for its sleep apnea treatment. 

What’s on the Docket

The earnings rush will continue next week, with reports scheduled from several Dow members. Investors will also be focused on the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index. Meanwhile, according to Schaeffer’s Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, it’s typically a good sign when both gold and stock prices trade in the same direction. 

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