Earnings Season Continues to Be a Big Dud for the Stock Market – TheStreet.com

Immediate selling pressure hit the market Friday morning after a gap-up open, but it relented as the day progressed and breadth stayed positive.

Nonetheless, it was still a disappointing day as market players wondered what it is going to take to generate some real momentum if blow-out reports from leading companies such as Amazon (AMZN) , Intel (INTC) and Microsoft (MSFT) can’t do it. What was particularly surprising about the weak response to the good numbers was that the news was not strongly anticipated and these stocks had not run up in front of the earnings releases.

So far this quarter earnings season has been a dud. The numbers have actually been quite good, but the price action has been pathetic and the charts continue to look troubled.

While, some of the softness this week was also caused by concerns about higher interest rates, the upward pressure eased the last couple of days. This is likely to be a continuing theme in the weeks ahead and we will have to watch for a response if the 10-year Treasury bond revisits the 3% level.

The big issue next week is going to be Apple (AAPL) , which reports earnings on Tuesday night. Much of the pressure on the technology sector is being caused by slowing demand for smartphones. Apple’s guidance is going to be particularly interesting. For that reason, Apple bulls will be focused on announcements about a capital return program.

Overall this is not a healthy market. The charts of the indices are weak, the response to earnings has been poor, there is no quality leadership, seasonality is turning negative and the stock-picking is very challenging.

The best course of action is to accept the fact that this is not a bull market and focus on protecting capital until conditions change.

Have a great weekend. I’ll see you on Monday.

Amazon, Microsoft and Apple are holdings in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells these stocks? Learn more now

Join Jim Cramer May 5th for TheStreet’s Boot Camp for Investors

Meet Jim Cramer and more than a dozen top market experts on Saturday, May 5, in New York for How to Diversity Your Portfolio: A Boot Camp for Investors.

Highlights include:

  • An exclusive market update from Jim.
  • A keynote interview between Jim and PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.
  • Break-out panels with top market experts like Tony Dwyer, chief market strategist at Canaccord Genuity; Mike Hanson, senior vice president of research at Fisher Investments; and Peter Hug, global trading director with Kitco Metals.
  • Roundtable discussions with TheStreet’s Carley Garner, Stephen “Sarge” Guilfoyle, Bob Lang and other columnists.

All attendees will also receive a free one-year subscription to our newest premium Web site, Retirement Daily (a $99 value).

Where: The Convene Center, 117 W. 46th St., Manhattan, New York

When: Saturday, May 5, 8:55 a.m.-2:45 p.m.

Special price for Real Money and Real Money Pro subscribers: $149. Includes a free one-year subscription to Retirement Daily (a $99 value)

Get more details or buy tickets here.