Alcoa AA earnings were taken positively by the market, the stock is indicated higher by +1.4%. Alcoa was again positive on aluminum demand from the auto and aerospace sectors. Both industries are strong for sure, but I believe both are slowing, which might take a bit of the shine of off Alcoa's optimism. Auto sales came is slightly below estimates for Dec and with oil prices in free-fall, the demand for more energy efficient transportation is coming down. I didn't find this report to be any reason to become more bullish on economic growth.
European bourses are up again this morning, FTSE +0.5%, CAC +1.3%, DAX +1.1% and IBEX +1.4%. It seems that Europe has caught a bit of optimism even with oil plunging to another new low. The rally is partially attributed to a UK inflation reading below estimates, but I thought deflation was the problem, not something to be excited about? A European food retailer, William Morrison Supermarkets Plc, reported same store sales down -3.1%, but that was above expectations. If expectations are that low in Europe, then their stocks have nowhere to go but up. Not sure how -3.1% comps could be good news, but apparently it is. Germany had Metro AG department store report better than expected same store sales as well. But department stores are in a secular decline. Remember on-line retailing? Not sure I would buy this rally, but let's see if it holds. I probably won't buy anything until oil stops going down. Why should we stop paying attention to oil and start following European retailers? Maybe stocks just need a bit of a bounce.
50 dma on S&P is 2042. Technical guys will probably see that as a pivot.
Michael Grove, CFA