Weakness is setting in in Europe on concerns of a Greek exit. We're seeing a fairly clear flight to safety. German and French bond yields are plunging. The is now yielding 2 basis points! Peripheral debt in Italy, Spain, and Greece is up by double-digits.
European banks are notably weak.
After the close in China, regulators instituted a crackdown on stock margin trading in over-the-counter stocks. Because the market was closed, the news was not reflected in the markets there.The Shanghai Index was up 2.2 percent. However, China ETFs trading in the U.S. are lower.
Also on Thursday, Blackrock, KeyCorp, Sherwin-Williams did the same. Earlier in the week, most of the big banks were also a bit light on revenue expectations: Bank of America, US Bancorp, and PNC Bank.
Granted, most of the misses were not huge, and much of the blame is again on the dollar. American Express blamed declines in International Card Services (16 percent) on currency impact. Honeywell said its disappointing sales gain of 1 percent on a core organic basis was largely due to the unfavorable impact of the greenback.
For the moment, investors seem to be willing to give most of these companies the benefit of the doubt.
Still, we are seeing a disturbing trend: Earnings seem to be improving somewhat, but revenues continue to decline. First quarter earnings are now down 4.1 percent, according to Factset, an improvement over the 4.7 percent decline on March 31.
However, revenue expectations are continuing to drop, down 3 percent, worse than the 2.6 percent decline expected on March 31.
2) Warning on the oil stock run-up. Bespoke recently noted that 90 percent of stocks in the energy sector were above their 50-day moving average, with many of the big names like Halliburton,Anadarko Petroleum and Cabot Oil & Gas dramatically overbought.
Schlumberger, for example, is about 9 percent above its 50-day moving average.
Speaking of Schlumberger, while the oilfield services firm turned in an impressive quarter, this is the sentence that is getting all the attention: "a recovery in U.S. land drilling activity will be pushed out in time, as the inventory of uncompleted wells builds and as the re-fracturing market expands."
Re-fracturing means re-drilling an existing well and extending its life.