As earnings season rumbles on, we saw another mixed bag from the City and Wall Street.


Good Week


Alibaba delivered some of the most eye-catching results of the week, as China's biggest e-commerce group said reported a 39% rise in fourth quarter sales. Although profit was down, investors cheered the news and its share price is now close to 20% up from its February trough.

It was also a good week for BATS Global Markets, as the company reported that its profits more than doubled in the fiscal first quarter of 2016. Adjusted earnings were up 77% from a year before. It comes after a successful IPO for BATS last month.

The London Stock Exchange suffered a blow as it emerged Intercontinental Exchange won’t make a counterbid for the UK bourse. Shares in LSE slumped on the news as its planned tie up with Deutsche Borse is not a done deal either.

Shares in Kraft Heinz bounced despite currency headwinds that hit revenues. Its stock was trading at its best level since last June.

Meanwhile, the Donald Trump effect lifted US cable networks, with ad revenues rising sharply for TimeWarner, Fox and CBS. For the Fox News Channel, primetime ratings were up 35%, while those at CNN and MSNBC more than doubled.

On the face of it, Trinity Mirror didn’t enjoy a particularly start to May, but its shares rose as investors reacted positively to the decision to bin its New Day publication after just nine weeks on the stand. Launching the paper amid falling print sales was widely derided and investors were not that surprised to see it axed, albeit the speed of its demise caught some off guard.

Finally, there was a rare bright spot for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, as Italy’s third-largest lender said first quarter profits beat forecasts. Against a backdrop of the Atlas fund ‘bailout’ for weaker banks looking like it may be short of cash, the news was cheered by investors. Despite the positivity, shares in the bank are still down more than 40% this year.

Bad Week


After reporting a drop in iPhone sales for the first time in over a decade, Apple endured yet another bad week as it lost a trademark case in China and was told by India that it could not import used iPhones.

It was also a pretty poor week for Centrica, as the British Gas owner made a cash call that ruffled investors’ feathers. Shares in the group nosedived after it announced plans to sell £750 million in new stock.

HSBC was the latest bank to post a sharp fall in profits. While some of its counterparts on Wall Street managed to rally despite soggy earnings, Britain’s biggest bank saw its shares decline to month-lows following the news.

UK plc suffered a painful week, as the triple bill of PMI reports pointed to stagnant growth. Construction, manufacturing and service sector activity fell to three-year lows and point to UK growth stalling in the second quarter. Brexit risks are looming large but there are other factors at work.