World Economy

US Stocks Advance on GE Deal

US Stocks Advance on GE DealUS Stocks Advance on GE Deal

A stronger dollar, cheaper energy and the starting of earnings season have all contributed to an across-the-board rally in the US shares.

Wall Street posted gains across all three major indices after GE announced it would purchase $50b worth of its own shares, Sputnik reported.

US investors switched their attention from US Fed activity to corporate sector reports as earnings season is underway in America. Meanwhile, US import prices dropped in March due to a stronger dollar. Global oil prices are on the rise.

Trading in New York saw a broad rally across all 10 sectors on the S&P 500 Index, fueled by the buoyant gains in GE stock after the tech firm decided to divest money from some of its most risky operations and to repurchase part of its own equities. GE jumped 10.8% to its 7-year highest, promising to pay its investors $90b by 2018. The S&P 500 added 1.5% on the news.

The Dow Index rose 0.55% and the Nasdaq inched 0.43% up. Weekly gains for the US major indices were 1.6% in the Dow, 1.7% in the S&P, and 2.3% in Nasdaq. The two former indices were driven mainly by corporate gains, fueled by M&A activity.

However, the dire effects of a stronger dollar for US multinationals might hit corporate earnings in general. Thus far, companies listed in the S&P 500 are expected to lose 2.9% their earnings in Q1.

  Diverting Attention

Several of America’s biggest banks, including JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, will post earnings reports early next week, diverting investors’ attention from the Fed’s actions. The US financial sector is anticipated to post significant gains, up to an annualized 10.8%, pushing stocks up consequently.

Energy companies are expected to suffer heavy losses in profits, as much as 63% year-on-year in Q1, as oil remains cheap.

In a most recent report, the US Labor Department said on Friday import prices fell in March by 0.3%, compared to the loss of 0.2% the previous month, again, due to a cheaper energy and a stronger dollar. Crude oil posted gains on Friday. Brent rose $1.30, to $57.87/bbl, while US crude rose for delivery in May rose to $51.64/bbl.