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Q1 Earnings Reports Drive the Market This Week

By: , dated April 24th, 2015

Trading this week has been mixed, with hot and cold spots in the market due to the release of Q1 earnings reports. Reporting season tends to magnify the successes and failures of each company, putting a bigger spotlight on the winners and losers. That all boils down to flat trading -- with some sectors rising and others falling in what was essentially a wash.

The Dow gained 238.96 points this week, closing at 18,080.84. The NASDAQ made the largest real gains of the three major indexes, and put on 134.01 points to close at 5,092.08. The S&P 500 posted a gain of 33.58 points, and closed at 2,117.69 after 5 days.

In overseas trading this week, the spotlight remained on China's de facto market in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng. The market is known for huge spikes and dips, and it's currently on the upswing. Over the course of the week, the Hang Seng has gained another 612.83 points and is at record levels. However, overseas investors shouldn't expect any sort of stability from the market, which can easily rise or fall 700 points in a single day.

It's Earnings Season Again. Savvy investors should keep their eyes open for when earnings for their favorite stocks are going to be posted. Earnings reports are always scheduled ahead of time, and with a little bit of research it's easy to predict whether your holdings will spike or tumble. Q1 earnings reports have already delivered huge profits, so if there's a stock that you're holding until breaks a threshold, be ready to buy or sell when they declare their trailing quarter's results.

Russia Doing Everything They Can To Prop Up The Ruble. The Russian government isn't exactly known for capitalistic transparency -- or really any transparency at all -- so when their economy imploded a few months ago, analysts immediately started keeping a close eye on their maneuvering. Russia has done everything that they could do to salvage the value of the ruble, including 6 big interest rate hikes in 3 months. They've sold all of their known foreign cash reserves, and have been accused of price fixing in the oil market in order to salvage some sort of economic stability at a huge cost to their fraying international reputation. Despite their maneuvering, the Russian economy is expected to contract by 5% next year, and the ruble has lost 35% of its value versus the US dollar.

Ampio Biotech Is The Loser Of The Week. Rather than shareholder fraud or misleading its customers, its a refreshing change that Ampio Biotech (AMPE) is the loser of the week based solely on clinical trials that just didn't pan out. Unfortunately for Ampio's share prices, the reasons don't matter much in the long run. Ampio Biotech's stock fell big this Monday and stayed low all week, down from highs approaching $8 to share to a Friday close of $2.73. Ampio lost over 65% of its value over the past 5 days.

Big Profits Coming From AMC May 4th. Cable channel AMC (AMC) has everything in line to make big money when they release their earnings reports on May 4th. The reason that analysts have their eye on AMC to breakout is because they do one thing and they do it well -- they give their audience what they want, even if it's risky. One lesson that entrepreneurs can take away from AMC -- and it's a lesson that BusinessDictionary.com CEO Thomas Murcko touched on in a recent post -- think for yourself and be passionate, even when the odds are against you. AMC has elevated themselves from a third-tier cable channel to a powerhouse by creating original programming like Mad Men and The Walking Dead, and both shows will drive up advertising earnings and help AMC bust out of a plateau early this May.

Amazon Wins The Week With Huge Friday Growth. Online retailer Amazon (AMZN) won the week by posting huge gains on Friday, up over 14% on the strength of their amazing earnings reports. Online retail in general is growing faster than traditional brick and mortar stores, in part because of convenience but also because of Amazon's incredibly streamlined logistics process. They're able to keep prices low in part because of their warehousing and supply chain, which traditional retailers just can't match.

Aaron Phillips is a financial researcher and journalist based out of Michigan. He regularly writes the IG Daily and IG Weekly columns.

Copyrighted 2015. Content published with author's permission.

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