2:15 PM PT: IBM disappoints, Apple shines
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Asian markets were higher. The Nikkei 225 jumped almost 4% on news that Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund would double its ownership of equities.
In Europe stocks slid despite the ECB beginning its bond buying program. Weak earnings and outlook from SAP led the way with the DAX down over 1%. Of some concern is the resilience of the euro. The inability of the ECB to drive the currency lower has called into question the ability for European markets to rise.
US markets looked ready to begin the week on a positive note until IBM reported significant misses on both earnings and revenue. Still, after sinking on the news, markets turned around and ground higher throughout the day. The price-weighted methodology for calculating the DJIA meant that the IBM losses had a much larger impact on performance there than it did on other averages, but even the DJIA managed to finish higher on the day.
10-Year Note yields traded down to 2.2%. While the US$ was fairly quiet, gold added about $6 while crude hovered near the lower end of its range near $83. Although it never felt euphoric, technology stocks (other than IBM) led the markets to very solid gains.