Update: Equities Mixed, No Direction – Heavy Earnings Day

We are seeing the broader equity averages basically flat line this morning, as investors are sorting through a heavy round of mixed corporate earnings releases and reacting to a concerning read on Durable Goods.  In addition, the S&P 500 appears to be bumping up against some near-term technical resistance at the 1,580 level, which is roughly the high & closing value from yesterday’s trading session.

As of 10:45AM ET, we are trading right around the breakeven level all the major equity averages with the S&P 500 sitting at the 1,578 mark.  Please be aware that the S&P 500 has posted a solid 2.4% rebound over the last three trading days, so we may be experiencing a little buyer exhaustion at current levels.

Main Factors Driving Early Trade:

Heavy Round of Earnings In Focus – It appears we are once again getting another mixed round of earnings releases across the broader markets with Apple and Procter & Gamble posting solid headline results but missing on revenues, while Ford and Boeing managed to top expectations on both fronts.  We are beginning to see a larger trend form for this earnings season, as U.S. corporations have been handily beating earnings expectations but producing far more lackluster results on the revenue front.  As of today, of the 174 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date for Q1 2013, 68% have reported earnings above analyst expectations, 11% reported earnings in line and 21% reported earnings below expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.  Meanwhile, only 40% of these companies have reported revenue above analyst expectations with 60% reporting revenue below expectations.  This is a concerning trend that traders will be closely keeping an eye on in the weeks to come…

Weak Reading on U.S. Durable Goods – Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods recorded their biggest drop in seven months in March and a gauge of planned business spending rose modestly, adding to signs of a slowdown in factory activity.  Durable goods orders slumped 5.7 percent as demand fell almost across the board, the Commerce Department said.  Economists polled by Reuters had expected orders to fall 2.8 percent from a previously reported 5.6 percent increase. Excluding transportation, orders declined 1.4 percent after falling 1.7 percent the prior month.

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