Why Won’t Stocks Drop?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Why Won’t Stocks Drop? It’s Partially Sentiment
  • Empire State Manufacturing Index Takeaways
  • Chart – How Oil Prices Are Influencing the S&P 500 Right Now

Stock futures are higher this morning as Chinese economic data was mostly better than expected while investors await more big bank earnings today.

Economically, Chinese Retail Sales jumped 10.6% y/y vs. (E) 7.0% in March which helped Q1 GDP to rise 4.5% y/y vs. (E) 3.9%. Other metrics including Fixed Asset Investment and Industrial Production were less encouraging, but the strong consumer data was well received by investors overnight.

Meanwhile U.K. wage growth rose 5.9% vs. (E) 5.1% in March which adds some pressure to the BoE to remain aggressive as there is clearly more work to do to get inflation under control.

Looking into today’s session, focus will be on earnings early with BAC ($0.79), GS ($8.14), JNJ ($2.51), and BK ($1.09) reporting quarterly results before the open while NFLX ($2.81) and UAL (-$0.73) report after the close.

After the open, investors will be watching for the only notable economic release today: Housing Starts and Permits (E: 1.400 million, 1.431 million) before there is a 52-Week Treasury Bill auction at 11:30 a.m. ET which may offer some fresh insight into market expectations for Fed policy over the next year.

Finally, the Fed’s Bowman speaks at 1:00 p.m. ET and investors will be looking any further clues about May rate hike plans and longer term policy outlook.