On Tuesday afternoon, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) posted flat earnings for the first quarter. Interestingly, the shares of the tech giant gained more than 3 percent in after-hours trading. In their earnings report, the Californian based chipmaker reported net profits of 0.41 per share or $1.99 billion. This was slightly above the same period in 2014 which was at 0.41 cents per share or $1.93 billion. On a year-over-year basis, Intel also reported operating income of $2.6 for the quarter. This marked a 4 percent increase. According to Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, the flat revenue numbers for the first quarter, are as a result of poor sales numbers in Intel’s PC division. The non-volatile memory division as well as Intel’s data center produced stronger figures than PC sales with Intel's Data Center Group posting revenue of $3.7 billion. This marks an increase of 19 percent on a year-over-year basis. Also, for the quarter, Intel’s Internet of Things Group reported revenue of $533 million. This was up 11 percent from a year earlier. Last week, negotiations between Altera (NASDAQ:ALTR) and Intel hit a road bump as a result of divergent views on the stock price. On Tuesday this week, Altera shareholders pushed for talks to resume. In after-hours trading, the shares of Intel rose 3.05%, or $0.96, to trade at $32.45.
U.S. stocks gained on Tuesday with the S&P 500 index (SPX) pushed higher as a result of more than 2 percent gains in the energy sector. Added to this, Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan kicked off the earnings reports for large banks which saw Wells Fargo delivering a rare decline in profits in 18 quarters while J.P. Morgan’s results beat forecasts. The shares of Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC, +0.17%) declined 0.7 percent. At the close of trading, the SPX was up 0.2%, or 3.41 points, at 2,095.83. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) broke the upward trend and finished the session down 0.2%, or 10 points, at 4,977.29. Also, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) advanced 0.3 percent, or 59.66 points, to 18,036.70. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) was the top performer on the Dow. The shares of Chevron gained 2.16 percent, or 2.30, to trade at 108.80. This advance came after the EIA (Energy Information Administration) forecasted an increase of 10.6 million barrels per day in crude oil production by 2020.
On Tuesday, the U.S. dollar (USD) traded lower. This decline came after disappointing data released out of the U.S. prompted investor concern regarding the strength of the economy. This in turn fuelled uncertainty regarding the timing of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. In their report, the Commerce Department in the U.S. said that retail sales rose 0.9 percent in March which missed expectations for a gain of 1.0%. In February, retail sales fell by 0.5 percent. In a separate report, the Commerce Department also said that producer prices increased in March by 0.2 percent which met expectations. In February, producer prices declined 0.5%. In forex trading, the EUR/USD traded at 1.0703, up 1.26 percent. This increase came after the IMF (International Monetary Fund) raised its growth forecast for the euro zone in 2015 from 1.2 percent up to 1.5%. Meanwhile GBP/USD traded at 1.4797, up 0.81% while USD/JPY declined 0.83 percent to trade at 119.13. Also, the U.S. dollar index was at 98.71, down 1.03 percent.
On Wednesday, in Asian trading, crude oil prices retained gains. This came after the first quarter GDP out of China met expectations while mixed industry data on U.S. supplies helped to hold the commodity on the upside. In their weekly report, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said that crude stockpiles in the U.S. last week rose by 2.6 million barrels, while gasoline inventories fell 4.1 million barrels and distillate supplies declined by 566,000 barrels. WTI crude oil for delivery in May traded at $53.54 a barrel on the NYMEX, up 0.47 percent. Also, on Monday, Brent crude oil for delivery in June traded at $59.92 a barrel, up 0.88, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).