Business News

A solid start to Q1 earnings season

With 95 S&P 500 companies having reported, S&P 500 earnings for first quarter 2017 point to an 11.2% year-over-year increase. The early upside has been driven largely by financials, which are tracking to a 19.0% year-over-year increase. Industrials have also surprised to the upside thus far. Conversely, since earnings season began, first quarter earnings estimates have been cut for the consumer discretionary, energy, and telecom sectors. (LPL Research)

Leading indicators rise for seventh consecutive month. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) pushed 0.4% higher in March. Eight of 10 indicators increased in March, led by contributions from strong new manufacturing orders. The LEI has climbed 3.5% year over year, a rate that has historically been associated with low odds of a recession occurring within the next year. (LPL Research)

The toymaker Mattel has a huge problem. Fewer kids want to play with the company's Barbie and American Girl dolls, and Fisher-Price toys. Their stock is down to its lowest level since October 2015. Sales were down 15% last quarter.  Barbie sales plunged 13%, American Girl sales were down 12%, and the company's Mega Bloks, sales plummeted 38%. (CNNMoney)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

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