A positive week this week will make it a six-pack for the stock market, which just recorded its fifth consecutive weekly gain. It did so with a seemingly nonchalant response to bellicose trade rhetoric, rallying instead around great earnings news in general and Apple's (AAPL) earnings report specifically.
Apple surged 9.0% last week, which is a gigantic move for a stock that now sports a $1 trillion+ market capitalization.
The weight of expectations didn't come down on Apple. On the contrary, Apple pulled its weight and more. The S&P 500 rode its coattails and stopped roughly 1.1% shy of the all-time high it set on January 26.
It was a good week, but it wasn't necessarily an aggressive move by the S&P 500. We say that knowing the gains were led by Apple... and defensive-oriented sectors like telecom services (+2.2%), health care (+2.1%), consumer staples (+1.8%), and utilities (+1.2%).
Perhaps the bellicose trade rhetoric didn't fall on deaf ears after all.
The latter point notwithstanding, bullish undertones were evident in the fact that money rotated within the stock market and not away from it altogether. You know the stock market is bothered by something meaningful in its mind when nothing does well.
That wasn't the case. One thing did very well and some other things did well enough to drive the S&P 500 up 0.8% for the week.
This morning, it is on course for a flattish start. The S&P futures are down one point and are trading in close proximity to fair value. The Nasdaq 100 futures are down five points and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are down 15 points.
The middling disposition relates to the familiarity of the news.
To wit, press reports suggest China is ready to dig in when it comes to protectionist trade measures; and the White House is said to be reserving the possibility of imposing tariffs on auto imports from Canada. Separately, the first round of U.S. sanctions on Iran go into effect today.
The earnings reports continue to be better than expected, including the latest results from Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), which has a hefty market capitalization of its own at close to $500 billion.
According to FactSet, the blended earnings growth rate for the second quarter is 24.0% and the percentage of companies posting positive earnings surprises (80%) is the highest since FactSet started tracking that metric in 2008.
There isn't any economic data of note out of the U.S. today. Germany, however, reported a disappointing 4.0% decline in June factory orders, which is feeding into concerns about the economic slowdown in the eurozone.
One of the bigger corporate news items of note isn't earnings related. Earlier this morning, PepsiCo (PEP) announced that Indra Nooyi will be stepping down as CEO, effective October 3, and will be replaced by President Ramon Laguarta. Shares of PEP are up 0.8% in pre-market trading.
That's a bigger move than the broader market will make when the bell tolls for it shortly.