The markets closed the trading week mixed as the NASDAQ rose while the Dow fell 11 points to 24,311 on trading volume that was quieter than an Australian quakka. For the week the Dow had a net loss of about 0.8% of roughly 150 points. Earnings reports continue to pour in and for the most part are very good. Q1 GDP estimates came in above estimates with a 2.3% reading.
NHK World reported historic Inter-Korean peace talks appear to be yielding fruit as “Un met Moon” and begin the work of transitioning the 1953 Korean War armistice into a peace accord that will officially end the war and denuclearize the peninsula. The last time leaders from both sides met was 10 years ago but this effort seems different. A hot line was set up between the two nations and talks will now be expanded to include China and the US. Japan also hailed the meeting however skeptics say that there might be something amiss because researchers at 38North.org along with the University of Science & Technology of China (USTC) noted that Mt. Mantap, the nuke testing site, might be collapsing as noted by several earthquakes and reported deaths that have occurred since the last big test. The Chinese are worried about radiation leaks from the area and the sudden move to “find peace and denuclearize” might be Un’s attempt to extricate himself from a potentially huge environmental disaster. Stay tuned.
A slew of local companies reported earnings yesterday. A book seller by the name of Amazon led the way reporting a revenue gain of 43% and a net income gain of 121%. Microsoft “aka Micropoopie” reported a 16% revenue gain and a 16% increase in profits. Then a local coffee company called Starbucks had a 14% revenue gain and an increase in bottom line results of 18%. All in all this was a productive session by all three companies.
US Steel reported earnings that matched revenue estimates with a 16% increase plus a beat of earnings estimates as it swung from a year ago loss to net income per share of .32 cents. The company however saw its stock sold off hard after it lowered forward earnings guidance citing issues with the revitalization of a hot rolled steel fab plant in the Great Lakes region. The company launched a 4 year project last year to bring several mothballed plants back online and in the process, work with the steel union to hire back about 10,000 hard drinking belted SOBs. US Steel has made progress in this effort but the project will not be done until 2020. This quarter shows that there will be bumps in the road and US companies ramp up.