US stocks are off to good start as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs posted strong earning reports. Bank of America delivered strong results with beats on both the top and bottom line, painting a better picture on the economy than what we saw from JP Morgan and Citigroup earlier in the week. The BoA release also noted, “we see a healthy consumer and business climate driving a solid economy.” Goldman Sachs also posted similar results to BoA. Overall risk appetite is up on the strong results from banks and airlines. The high-beta currencies have recovered some of their losses against the dollar following the strong move in equities.
The upward trend in stocks appears to be back despite the longest shutdown in US history, which now enters day 26. There are no signs for talks to resume, but it will be interesting to see if the shutdown last beyond, January 29th , the day President Trump is expected to deliver his State of the Union address. No President in history has given the address during a shutdown.
In M&A news, the board of directors of Fiserv and First Data approved a definitive merger between the two companies. The $22 billion combination shows a continuing trend in the consolidation in the payment industry. Last year, we saw Vantiv complete the acquisition of Worldpay.
Price action shows the resumption of the bullish rebound on the Dow Jones Industrial Average has price targeting the 50-day SMA, which trades at 24,352. If we see continued upside, initial resistance may come from the 24,800 level. To the downside, 23,330 remains key support.
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