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S&P 500 Starts Week Down, Xerox and 3M Provide Boost

S&P 500 is down this week, falling over 0.58% since Monday. Wednesday’s market is showing positive earnings reports, leading to the S&P 500 index rising 0.44% in early-morning trade. A mixed bag of corporate results led to investor sentiment fading early in the week.

Xerox (XRX) posted their earnings on Tuesday, causing the company’s stock to rise 11% on the session. The company’s positive results helped to stabilize the market on Tuesday and has also led to early-morning gains on Wednesday.

The company’s stock has risen over 37% in the last 30-day period with a boost yesterday after earnings beat analyst expectations. Operating cash flow is up $564 million year-over-year, and adjusted EPS rose $0.11 year-over-year to $1.14 in the quarter.

Guidance has the company reaching operating cash flow of $1.15 billion to $1.25 billion, with free cash flow levels of $1.0 - $1.1 billion.

3M (MMM) also released their earnings, helping stabilize the S&P 500 index further. 3M lowered its guidance four times this past year, and that is a cause for concern, especially when the company is still being directed by the same CEO, Michael Roman.

Expectations for 2019 earnings and sales growth were lowered on Tuesday, with the company projecting 1% - 4% growth in sales. Investors focused on the earnings surprises to start the week, helping push the company’s stock up over 1.9% on Tuesday.

Sales fell 0.6% year-over-year to $7.9 billion, and GAAP EPS hit $2.27, up 167% year-on-year. The company’s earnings may not have been as positive as the company forecasted to start the year, but the figures weren’t as bad as investors had expected. The guidance for the coming year shows a company that continues to slump, but the company reiterated their commitment to focus on priorities. Keys to growth and value creation include: Portfolio, Innovation, Transformation and Culture.

The company expects full-year earnings to be between $10.45 and $10.90 a share in 2019.

Apple’s announcement that iPhone sales are down and Harley-Davison's results have caused investors to remain cautious going into the second month of trading in 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was the only major index to rise on Tuesday, rising a mere 0.2% while the Nasdaq fell 0.8%.

The S&P 500 has had just 22% of companies report their most recent earnings, with just 46% posting earnings that topped expectations. Expect the markets to continue to fluctuate all week long as companies continue to release mixed earnings.

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