Economy to Remain in Focus for Markets

May 9, 2011
Sheraz Mian

With nothing major on the economic calendar and the earnings season winding down, stocks will likely lack a clear direction. But lingering positivity from Friday's strong jobs report may keep overall investor sentiment favorable.

With nothing major on the economic calendar and the earnings season winding down, stocks will likely lack a clear direction today. But lingering positivity from Friday's strong jobs report may keep overall sentiment favorable.

The strong jobs report on Friday helped offset some of the negative sentiment from soft economic readings earlier in the week. These reports had raised questions about the economy's growth momentum in the current quarter folllowing the first quarter's anemic growth pace.

It was these concerns that caused the sharp pullback in commodity prices and created an air of tentativeness in the stock market. The positive Friday report addressed some of these concerns. But questions about the economy are likely to dominate market sentiment in the coming days.

We did not have any household names reporting earnings today. And those that did report painted an overall mixed picture. We had Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) modestly miss on earnings per share, as margin pressures due to rising input costs offset strong top-line gains. Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE: LPX) the building products maker, also came up short, as did AES Corp. (NYSE: AES) the electric utility.

On the positive side, Dril-Quip Inc. (NYSE: DRQ), the oilfied-equipment maker, reported better-than-expected adjusted results. And McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) came ahead of expectations in April same-store sales numbers.

Sheraz Mian is the Director of Research at Zacks Investment Research where he relies on valuable data to assess winning stocks and funds. Now, you can access the same data free for 30 days just by trying Zacks Premium.

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