07 April, 2008

Markets flat Monday, Traders waiting for Earnings

As the NCAA Basketball Championship loomed Monday Night for all college sports fans, markets in the US were mixed, but mostly flat as the April earnings season creeps up around the corner.

Markets started the day with a rally as the S&P paced gains of about 1%, but the afternoon led to a minor selling spree pulling the major indices towards the flat line. As the tent pole for the earnings season, aluminum maker Alcoa (AA) reported a 54% drop in profit on a year over year basis. Analysts expected $0.50/share but the company reported $0.37/share ($0.44/share excluding special items). Not a good quarter for the metal maker, but considering the economic stressed, things definitely could have been worse for Alcoa.

The earnings season will definitely pick up as the days fall off the calendar in April. Expect volatility and a slew of analyst upgrades and downgrades throughout the month as the profit picture for US companies becomes clearer.

Disclosure: Author does not own AA

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