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US markets bounded higher on “do no harm” data, with broad based gains across all major indices and continued positive earnings, with November starting off particularly well and hopes building that we will break a three-month losing streak for US equities.
It has been a fraught week for investor nerves, with a plethora of potentially significant sentiment-moving events and data, but with one last big hurdle to jump in tonight’s US Non-farm Payrolls number, optimism seems to be at last shining through—at least for now.
Only a very “hot” number for the US monthly jobs, may encourage Fed watchers to suggest that data may be strong enough to consider a December rate hike, is likely to derail what has been a positive week across the board for risk-on assets.
Of course, Apple, which reported its latest results after the market close, beat expectations—as appears to be the norm this earnings season—but revealed that despite good numbers, sales had still dropped for the fourth quarter in a row. In after-hours trading, the stock is down in excess of 3%, and it is now in the market’s hands as to how much more the share price is punished on opening this evening.
The bottom line remains positive for the earnings season; irrespective of what happens to Apple later, it does not take away from a very impressive 79% of companies reporting so far, beating EPS (Earnings per share) per share) that seems to be holding up with more than 60% of S&P 500 companies now reported.
Finally, it is, of course, Friday, and this may cause a challenge or two as we get closer to the close tonight. We may see some profit-taking from short-term traders who may be keen to simply bank some gains, and then there is, of course, the ongoing Middle East conflict. With the weekend ahead and uncertainty about whether any further escalation may happen, we may see some risk coming off the table as a consequence.
It could be time to look for value, albeit cautiously, in the correction we have seen.
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