Another crazy week is behind us, and at least this week our indices closed higher from last Friday for a change. As of this writing, the Nasdaq is up 86 points, the Dow is higher by 306 and the S&P added six points for the week.
With those baby steps higher, here are a few things I will be thinking about this weekend while watching the cricket matches for the Asia Cup.
Sell-siders were tripping the light fantastic in their zeal to upgrade their price targets higher on the shares of Palo Alto Networks (PANW). Forgotten in the cheerleading is the fact that the company actually lowered EPS guidance for the current quarter, the quality of billings was not the best and the company did back away from its own oft-reiterated fourth-quarter profitability target. The company skillfully "leaked" earnings while the market was open yesterday, more than likely with backing from Wall Street or institutional holders, to support the shares and buy despite the guide-down on earnings and the miserable little raise on revenue guidance for the current quarter. Takes me back to the good ol' Henry Blodget days of the go-go '90s. "Great quarter, guys."
Next week will bring us the usual plethora of economic data from the world over and the usual central bankers going yakkety-yak as they always do. However, in my opinion, the statement put out by the finance ministers at the G-20 summit in Shanghai could hold the keys to the tone of trading for next week. We know they will come up with something along the lines of, "Don't worry, the G-20 has this under control and you should just trust us."
In addition, we will also hear from the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, this weekend. He will without a doubt spin his folksy tales and regale us with excuses for yet another year of underperformance from his "hedge fund," Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B). Excuse my heresy, but I am not a fan of the Oracle. Never have been, never will. Becky Quick, you can stop hyperventilating now. LOL.
I will also be thinking about our GDP revision higher from Friday. Yes, it was revised up to a 1% annualized rate from 0.6% annualized rate of growth. Be still, my beating heart! Let's hope our Fed heads don't start drinking the "happy juice" this weekend and start with the rate-hike nonsense all over again next week.
We have all heard of the three classes -- first, business and economy -- while we fly the friendly global skies. Maybe some have even heard of premium economy being the fourth class. How about a fifth class? Anyone know what that is? It's a new class that was pioneered by Delta (DAL) and now American (AAL) and United (UAL) have also started offering the fifth class, called basic economy. This brings a new meaning to the words "back of the bus." It's so far back in the bus that a middle seat at the end of the aircraft is a given and upgrades are totally verboten and once 24 hours have passed since you made the reservation, forget about canceling. I can't wait till the airlines come up with the next lower class: baggage class!
With that, I wish each and every one of you a safe and joyful weekend with your loved ones.
May your trades always be in your favor.