Stocks bounced back after Friday’s selloff in global stocks, and rallied through the trading day, with no major economic data released.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 18,034, +208, (+1.2%)
- S&P 500: 2,100, +19, (+0.9%)
- Nasdaq: 4,994, +63, (+1.3%)
And now, the top stories on Monday:
- Metals got smoked. Gold fell by more than $US8 an ounce to as low as $US1190.90. Barclays analysts, seeing more downside, wrote in a note Monday: “Growing risk of a Greek default, China registering its slowest growth in five years as well as weaker-than-expected data from the US have not sparked a significant revival in gold.” Silver fell by up to 2% to around $US15.90 an ounce, the lowest level in a month. Platinum fell by around $US20, to as low as $US1148 an ounce.
- Etsy shares have been getting crushed after jumping 87% on the first day of trading. Shares fell by up to 9% in trading on Monday, and are around 23% lower since Thursday’s debut. In a note Friday, Wedbush analysts said the stock is overvalued: “We believe that at 84x estimated 2015 EBITDA after the IPO, ETSY is trading well beyond the high end of any comparable group.”
- Halliburton reported earnings before the opening bell, and exposed more of the fallout of the oil crash and the subsequent decline in rig counts. CEO Dave Lesar noted: “North America experienced an unprecedented decline in drilling activity during the first quarter, which drove pricing pressure and margin compression across all product lines.” The oilfield services giant reported that it swung to a loss in the first quarter, with revenues of $US7.1 billion, down from $US7.3 billion last year, beating expectations for $US6.89 billion. Excluding special items, it posted earnings per share of $US0.49, down from $US0.73 the previous year, and beating expectations for $US0.35.
- This is one of the busiest weeks of Q1 earnings season; before the bell, Morgan Stanley posted a beat on the top and bottom line, with adjusted EPS of 85 cents per share (78 cents estimated) and revenue of $US9.9 billion ($US9.19 billion estimated.)
- ForceField Energy shares tanked 21% before being halted by the Nasdaq. In a regulatory filing, the LED lighting maker disclosed that its chairman Richard St-Julien was arrested on Friday and resigned on Sunday. The company said it does not know why St-Julien was arrested in Broward County, Florida. Before being halted, the stock was down nearly 52% year to date, and 46% in the past 12 months.
- The International Monetary Fund has a warning that’s not for the faint-hearted: “Markets could be increasingly susceptible to episodes in which liquidity suddenly vanishes and volatility spikes.” The IMF’s latest Global Financial Stability Report cited the “flash crash” of October 2014, and the Swiss Franc peg removal in January, to highlight how easily liquidity can vaporise in moments of volatility. But Deutsche Bank thinks the IMF did not fully capture how bad it can get.
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