The major indices drudged higher today but it was not an easy journey to get that average 1% gain. Some decent earnings from US Steel ($X) and American Express ($AXP) helped the major indices, but there was a lead ball on board. More than likely that lead ball is a combination of the Fed statement tomorrow and the unnerved traders not wanting to buy in just before another test of the lows. As I mentioned yesterday, if we can continue to get decent earnings and (more importantly) good forecasts, we could see some momentum here.
Consumer confidence is at an all-time low right now and that’s not good for the economy or the financial markets. In other words, the consumer is wondering whether or not they’ll keep their job, or whether or not they’ll get a decrease in pay, more than how that 60 inch LCD would look on their wall. The Conference Board’s numbers will be one to keep an eye on, but you can also look at some of the companies that cater to wants more than needs. Carnival Cruise Lines ($CCL) and Best Buy ($BBY) are two decent examples of companies whose revenue depend a lot upon disposable income.
Yahoo added to the “hey were not dead yet” round of earnings today as they posted a loss for Q4, but that was better than expected by $.04. The stock traded up nicely in after hours trading but we’ll have to see how it trades with full market participation tomorrow morning. There is significant resistance around $13.50 so for now it’s on a short leash.
Tomorrow we get the FOMC statement and the Fed Funds rate as well as crude oil inventories. On the earnings front, AMP, T, BHI, BDX, BXP, BSX, CTXS, CPWR, COP, DNB, DOV, BEN, GD, HES, LM, LSI, MTW, MKC, MWV, MUR, OI, PX, QCOM, RHI, SO, SBUX, SYMC, TER, ALL, BA, NYT, SWK, TEL, WLP and WFC are reporting tomorrow.