Fallout of the SEC’s charges against Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) continues this morning as the markets sort out what it all could mean. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are being dragged down, and not even an upbeat leading indicators report could lift them.
The markets are still cautious in the wake of the charges against Goldman Sachs, although they were heartened some by positive earnings from Citigroup (NYSE: C), which earned $4.4 billion in the first quarter. The news beat analysts’ expectations and continues a trend of strong earnings seen in major financial institutions. Last week, JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) also reported strong earnings for the quarter. Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) is down about 0.6% so far today after taking a beating on Friday, falling nearly 4%. [More Details on the Charges.]
The airline ETF is getting smacked around as a volcano in Iceland continues to spew ash over Europe. The industry’s losses have now topped $1 billion, and airlines are demanding compensation from the European Union. Airlines estimate they’re losing $200 million a day and more than 750,000 passengers have been stranded. Claymore/NYSE Arca Airline (NYSEArca: FAA) is down nearly 3% so far this morning. [Why Aerospace & Defense ETFs Are Feeling Bullish.]
A gauge of future economic activity known as the leading indicators rose 1.4% in March, topping estimates. It was the fastest rate of growth in 10 months. The report means that economists expect the economy to continue to grow for the next three to six months, but the report also signals that this growth is expected to be slow. Data on manufacturing, jobs, housing and the financial markets comprise the report. [Top ETFs to Play Industrial Activity.]
Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) has lowered its projections for the year despite notching strong growth in the first quarter. The drug maker said health care reform changes lowered its first-quarter profit by 5%. That runs counter to the belief that pharmaceuticals should ultimately benefit from the reform, thanks to an influx of new customers. iShares Dow Jones U.S. Pharmaceuticals (NYSEArca: IHE); Eli Lilly is 5.2%. [Health Care Reform Winners and Losers.]
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