As earnings season gets into full swing, several SSR holdings reported earnings this week, so we are keeping the introduction short and sweet. Markets were shaken up on Monday on concerns of violence in Gaza and Ukraine, but investors were soothed after President Obama issued statements calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. He also said that Russia will be closely watched as investigators seek to get to the bottom of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down last week.
Macroeconomic events were on the back burner throughout the rest of the week, allowing investors to focus on improving company earnings and pushing the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index toward record highs. The S&P 500 finished Wednesday at an all-time high, the 26th record close for the year. According to FactSet, approximately one-third of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings for the quarter and remain on track to increase earnings 6.6% from a year earlier. Analysts projected a 4.9% gain before the unofficial start of reporting season.