Except for the US, global markets were closed for “May Day”. Here in America the NASDAQ posted a solid day and closed at an all-time high thanks to strong moves by Apple, Amazon, Faceplant and Netflix. The Dow benefited by an uptick in bank stocks but this was not enough to overcome general weakness in blue chips and at the close the Dow slipped into the red and lost 27 points to close at 20,913. Trading volume was lower than my old high school test scores back when I was a lunkhead.
This week in earnings we will have several big tech companies report Q1 results most notably Apple. According to Thomson Reuters, the average estimate for EPS growth this year of S&P 500 companies has risen to 11.3% from 10.9% at the start of April, a trend that should continue to blunt concerns about lofty valuations in the stock market.
WTI crude oil prices continued to slip. At the close WTI crude was down 1.1% to $48.77 a barrel. The reasons why oil has fallen back below $50 is due to rising US production coupled with weakness in demand. Gold meanwhile lost $10.60 to $1,257 an ounce. The French election is this coming weekend and the “center” candidate currently has the lead which is good for markets in Europe.
The scouts had a good weekend. 23 lunkheads camped in the woods at Buck Creek and by patrols they cooked, cleaned dishes, built a fire, set up tents, chopped wood and occasionally acted like lunkheads. It was fun and the weather was good with only occasional rain showers.