After a rough week, six initial public offerings (IPOs) priced at sensible levels. One priced below the range, a couple at the high end, a couple in the middle. Yesterday's double-digit rally in three offerings have greatly reduced the anxiety that was created when King Digital IPO fizzled on Wednesday.
On the Big Board:
1) Aerohive Networks, a cloud-based mobile network platform for businesses, priced 7.5 million shares at $10, in the middle of the $9 to $11 range;
3) Online health-related content provider Everyday Health priced 7.1 million shares at $14, in the middle of the $13 to $15 range.
On the NASDAQ:
1) Cloud-based online education content provider 2U priced 9.1 million shares at $13, at the high end of the $11 to $13 range;
2) Energous (WATT), which develops wire-free charging technology, priced four million shares at $6;
3) Apartment REIT Bluerock Residential Growth (BRG) priced 3.3 million shares at $14.50, below the $15 price talk.
1) In two weeks, first quarter earnings start to roll in. After starting the year at expectations of 5 percent growth, earnings growth expectations are for a mere 0.5 percent growth, and 3.5 percent for revenues, according to S&P Capital IQ.
A good chunk of that is related to retailers, who dramatically took down their earnings expectations on the lousy weather. However, it is highly unlikely to come in this low by the end of the quarter. If we stick to historic patterns, final tally should see gains of roughly 4 percent for earnings.
This is what happened in Q1 of 2013: expectations were for only 0.67 percent growth, we ended with growth of over 5 percent.
The good news is that expectations of 3.5 percent revenue growth is fairly strong: it's the highest we have seen since the third quarter, when we had 4.1 percent growth.
2) I discussed some recent quarterly themes in Thursday's edition of Trader Talk, but several trends are becoming obvious:
a) The "short yen, long Japan stocks" trade is faltering; is the worst performing market in Asia, down 9.8 percent;
b) Started weak/end strong: Emerging Markets
c) Started strong/end weak: Social media/cloud computing.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani