Stocks opened the day on a low volume selloff as new White House policy initiatives were announced, sorted out, analyzed and commented on. I will call it the “Wall Street tap dance” as investors try to figure out who the potential winners and losers are. At the close the Dow was off 27 points 19,799 on light trading volume.
The week will be big for three main reasons. Number one is that this will be the biggest week for corporate earnings reports with 30% of stocks issuing results. Then we have President Trump’s first full week in office with accompanying policy action which hopefully will initiate some type of track record and finally comes the release of initial Q4 GDP growth estimates which are currently expected to be at the 2.8% level.
Serving up breakfast earnings, McDonald’s reported per share profits up 10% while global revenues were lower by 5%. Both top and bottom lines beat estimates and comp store sales were 2.7% thanks in large part to strength in China. The gurus liked the numbers but are concerned about growth going forward as the company tries to build off the successful launch of its 24/7 breakfast.
In commodities, gold rose $10 an ounce to $1,215 while WTI crude oil was down a half point at $52.82 per barrel. Analysts attributed the move in gold to policy risk.
The Boy Scout snow camp went well. The snow was deep and of the 32 lunkheads on the trip, eight of them were able to complete and sleep in snow caves while the rest were in tents. It is hard to focus on building snow caves with the joyous prospects of sledding and snowball fights hanging in the air.