No Doubt About Intel

Yesterday I gave a somewhat tongue in cheek treatment to the question of whether Alcoa (NYSE:AA) had beaten analysts’ earnings expectations or not. 

Intel (Nasdaq:INTC) left no room for doubt. The chip-maker crushed estimates by $0.05 a share, beat on revenues and profit margins and guided higher for the second quarter.   


What’s next for Intel? Fixing the housing problem?

Seriously though, Intel’s earnings give us insight that Alcoa doesn’t. Namely, that corporate IT spending is strong. And that bodes well for profits at a range of companies, reinforces the pace of economic recovery and may even have implications for unemployment.   


Intel’s earnings come at an important juncture for the stock market. Stocks have been struggling to take out resistance at Dow 11,000 and S&P 500 1,200. 


The grumblings that the market was headed for a correction were getting louder. And while the recent low-volume push higher may still be vulnerable to a reversal, there’s finally a solid, tangible reason to buy stocks.  


And a good catalyst for stocks prices is something that’s been lacking lately.   


Not that there’s been no catalysts for stock prices. Gold’s been strong, oil’s been rallying and employment figures have improved, giving new hope for retail stocks.   


But still, the rally was mechanical, grinding higher a few points at a time. And volume was notably light. Enthusiasm was missing.   


I’ve been trying to put my finger on exactly what was missing from the recent rally, and why stock seem vulnerable to the correction talk. I think “enthusiasm” was the word I was missing. That rally just had little enthusiasm.   


And I think the enthusiasm seemed lacking because individual investors were not putting new money to work in mutual funds. That left the market to grind away, driven by institutional program trading.   


Will Intel be enough to bring the individual investor back to the stock market? Probably not in droves. But I suspect the enthusiasm level will pick up nonetheless.   


Commercial real estate stocks were the top performers for the last couple of days. And Daily Profit readers have made excellent gains on Maguire Properties (NYSE:MPG) on two separate occasions in the last 6 months.


This Friday, April 16, is a day that could push commercial real estate stocks higher. That’s because a bankruptcy judge is due to rule on a bid to bring shopping mall owner General Growth Properties (NYSE:GGP). And so if rival Simon Property Group (NYSE:SGP) wants to up its buyout offer for General Growth, it needs to do it by tomorrow.   


This is significant because investors are unsure what debt-laden commercial real estate companies are worth. The fact that hedge funds, and even China’s sovereign wealth fund, have been sniffing around commercial real estate, is a big positive.   


TradeMaster has identified a few beaten-down commercial real estate stocks that could make big moves as hedge funds move in. You can get details HERE

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