Stocks are in limbo as the Dow took another beating by falling 99 points to close at 17,651. Trading volume was very light. Utilities were market leaders today and the NASDAQ is off 5% from recent highs.
Speaking of utilities, Spokane based Avista reported first quarter earnings that benefitted from higher margins thanks to some rate hikes. The company saw revenues fall 6% while net income was up 20%. Forward guidance was strong and common shares hit a new high. My hope is they ditch the “Avista” name and go back to the old Washington Water Power logo.
With global growth estimates on the decline US economic data continues to be mildly good. The ISM non-manufacturing index reading moved up to 55.7 from the 54.5 print in March. "I think you start paying attention to the progress in the economy. This is second-quarter data," said Art “Colonel” Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, noting the mid-morning data was "good news.".
Tesla reports earnings after the closing bell today and shares were lower after news got out that two high level executives had bolted. Of interest on the call will be the “power wall” which, after some delays, was finally shipped this past quarter at $3,000 a pop. When asked his thoughts on the power wall, Coach Pete Carol of the Seattle Seahawks replied that he was feeling good about this year’s draft selections for the offensive line.
Oil held steady as WTI crude was a $43.88 per barrel and gold pulled back $10 an ounce to $1,281.