January's hot start hasn't slowed down, as the markets put in a strong performance with all three major indices up yesterday. Despite mixed earnings results coming in, 2012 remains a positive year for investors. How Thursday fares will depend on the increasing flood of fourth-quarter earnings and pre-market releases of a handful of key economic statistics, most notably the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and housing starts.
But before we jump into this morning's events, let's cover how the three largest indices fared yesterday.
Gain / Loss
Gain / Loss %
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Yesterday was a great day on the market. The S&P crossed 1,300 for the first time since July, and the banking sector rebounded from Tuesday's poor showing. The 10-year Treasuries and oil both edged up slightly, while gold as suffered a minor decline. But as mentioned earlier, today could be a lot more turbulent as 81 companies report earnings, including five Dow components and significant markers speaking to the health of the American economy are released.
After Citigroup plunged 8% after disappointing with weaker-than-expected results, including a double-digit decline in earnings, investors had every right to be nervous heading in to Goldman Sachs'
Combine those two items, and it's no surprise that the Direxion Financial Bull 3X
The Nasdaq has two heavy hitters reporting tomorrow, Dow components Intel
On the macro front, the PPI, essentially an inflation index using the wholesale price of finished goods, came in with a decline of 0.1 when an increase of 0.1 was expected. Inflation is seemingly nowhere to be found in the liquidity trap currently consuming the broader economy, easing concerns that additional Federal Reserve and Treasury action would create a high inflation scenario. Today's Consumer Price Index number and housing starts will give investors a better indication on the type of action Ben Bernanke might make in regard to another round of quantitative easing.
The real story today will continue to be earnings, including five big-name Dow components, as these blue chips will serve as a critical barometer for the health of our economy.
Stay tuned for our analysis on banking earnings and general market events throughout the day.
Watching the broad market each day is exciting, gut-wrenching, and stressful. If you're in the mood to pick up a great company to buy for the long term, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." It features a company hand-selected by the Fool's chief investment officer that has a strong future ahead of it. I invite you to take a copy, free for a limited time. Get access to the report and find out the name of this legendary company. The report is free, but it won't be available forever, so check it out today!
David Williamson holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, Intel, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of eBay, Intel, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft, writing puts in eBay, and creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.