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Money Watch Weekly Wrap

Investors shook off S&P's possible downgrade of US debt, focused on better than expected corporate earnings and bought stocks during the holiday-shortened week. Further gains may be harder, according to professional money managers. The Barron's "Big Money poll," which surveys US money managers, found that 60% are bullish on the stock market through the end of the year. But, the majority expects gains of another 5% this year. Only 11% were bearish on stocks, down from 15% last fall.

  • DJIA: 12,505, up 1.3% on week, up 8% YTD (highest since June 2008)
  • S&P 500: 1337, up 1.3% on week, up 6.3% YTD (highest since Feb 18)
  • NASDAQ: 2820, up 2% on week, up 6.3% YTD
  • June Crude Oil: $112.29, up 1.9% on week
  • June Gold: $1503.80, up 1.2% on week (a nominal record-inflation-adjusted = $2400/ounce)
  • May Silver: $46.06 (+49% this year and over 155% in the last 52 weeks)
  • AAA National Average Price for Gallon of Regular Gas: $3.86 (Record $4.11 in July, 2008)
Total bank failures for 2011 = 34 (0 new bank failures over weekend)

FACTOIDS OF THE WEEK: Corporate earnings edition (source: Thomson Reuters)
Of the 137 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 that have reported Q1 results:

  • 75% have beaten profit forecasts-better than the 17-year average of 62%
  • 14% have missed forecasts
  • Profits are coming in 8% higher than analysts expected
  • 69% beat revenue expectations -- sales have been 2% better than forecast
  • In the "you might have missed it category": The Consumerist held the annual "Worst Company of the Year" - see how your most-hated entity did in the competition!
IN THE WEEK AHEAD: As earnings season roles along, the Federal Reserve's FOMC will huddle for another policy meeting, after which Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a 45-minute press conference. It will be the first of three scheduled briefings to be held this year -- the first time a Fed Chairman has ever held regular news conferences. While few expect any change to current policy, anxious investors expect the Fed to address a post-QE2 world, amid growing concerns about inflation.

Consumer Confidence is likely to be shaky, as gas prices hover near $4/gallon. There will also be housing data-new home sales and the S&P Case-Shiller Hope Price Index. While existing home sales came in better than expected last week, few would consider the housing market healthy yet. 11.1 million Americans with mortgages, or 23% of the total, are underwater, according to CoreLogic.

Mon 4/25:
Kimberly Clark
10:00 New Home Sales

Tues 4/26:
Coca-Cola, Ford, Amazon
9:00 Case-Shiller Home Price Index

10:00 Consumer Confidence

Weds 4/27:
Boeing, eBay, Starbux
8:30 Durable Goods Orders

Thurs 4/28:
Colgate, Exxon Mobil, Pepsi, P&G
8:30 Weekly Claims

8:30 GDP (Q1 Advanced expected to be 2%, from Q4's 3.1%)

10:00 Pending Home Sales

Fri 4/29:
8:30 Personal Income and Spending

9:45 Chicago PMI

9:55 Consumer Sentiment

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