Global Shares Wobble Into US Earnings Season

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

So has the miserable days of December gone away for investors globally?

Judging by the first two weeks of 2019, the answer would be a guarded ‘yes…maybe…hope so’.

Certainly for oil prices, boom, boom is back with sharp rises since the start of 2019, while gold has been solid.

By the close last Friday, the Dow is up 2.9% so far in 2019, after dropping 11.8% during the fourth quarter and 5.6% for all of 2018.

The S&P 500 in has risen 3.6% so far in January, following a 14% plunge in the fourth quarter and a decline of 6.2% for last year.

The Nasdaq is up 5.1% so far this year, after taking a 17.5% hiding during the fourth quarter and down a modest 3.9% for all of 2018.

Fourth-quarter earnings season start in earnest later today (Monday) with Citigroup reporting, followed by Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

The results to watch this week though will be Netflix on Friday morning, Sydney time. Netflix shares have been a standout so far in 2019, soaring more than 26%.

That was after a 28.5% slump in the December quarter of 2018. It is still down 20% from its all-time high in 2018 though.

Friday saw the S&P 500 close just 0.01%, rallying back from a drop of as much as 0.75%. It gained 2.5% for the week. The Dow finished 0.03% lower on Friday and 2.4% for the week, while the Nasdaq slid 0.2% but ended up 3.5%.

US Treasuries rallied, pushing yields lower with the 10-year yield ending at just over 2.70%. The US dollar rose 0.1% on Friday but fell half a per cent over the week.

The Aussie dollar ended at 72.15 US cents, up a cent in the past week and leaving the sub 70 cent levels of the New Year far behind.

Brent oil futures were down 1.8% at $US60.56 a barrel at the close last week, but had rallied 18.3% from late December to Thursday.

West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery fell $1, or 1.9%, to settle at $US51.59 a barrel. WTI saw a weekly rise of about 7.6% and is up 21% from the low on Christmas Eve.

Comex February gold rose $US2.10, or 0.2% on Friday, to settle at $US1,289.50 an ounce. The contract rose 0.3% last week, but failed to rise above the important $US1,300-an-ounce level.

Comex copper rose 0.9% to $US2.662 a pound, ending the week with a rise of 0.6% and it is up half a per cent so far this year.

In Australia, the ASX 200 is looking at a rise of around 15 points later today with the index up 2.76% last week and nearly 3.1% for January so far. It fell 0.36% on Friday to end at 5,774.6.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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