Banks Send a Mixed Signal

 The market stayed flat yesterday. The lack of movement wasn't too much of a concern. It is a big week in earnings and the data that the market will receive could easily shift the trend of stocks. Traders were unwilling to take heavy positions ahead of those events.
 Despite the lack of movement yesterday, internally it was a crazier day than the minus-0.69 decline in SPX would suggest.
 Banks staged a strong comeback yesterday. On Friday, banks sold hard following solid earnings reports from WFC and JPM. But on Monday, bank stocks surged after a weak report from C.
 Today GS announced its first-quarter results. Goldman managed to beat on top and bottom line. Management also raised the quarterly dividend from $0.35 to $0.42 per share.
 But if GS follows the pattern of WFC and JPM where good news is bad, shares should decline today. Banks remain our market leader and it was great to see them rally yesterday, although I would have preferred that banks rallied on positive news.
 Technology heavyweights INTC and IBM will report tonight. Both are extremely important to global growth. My old senior analyst always told me that if I had to read only one earnings report, read IBM. It tells you how businesses are spending money and where they are spending it. IBM is global, so it's easy to determine which regions are growing at faster rates. The company also caters to both small and large businesses.
 While I remain bullish, SPX looks poised to decline a few percentage points before a bigger rally can begin. If SPX can claw back into the 1380 zone today, and hold it, I may be interested in going long. But for now, I would rather wait for another pullback to 1355 support.

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