*Avengers Spoilers Follow*

Equities start the day higher and if you haven’t seen the new Avengers movie you might want to hit delete on this email faster than you normally do. Ok, one last warning here before I continue **spoilers follow**, but how AMAZING was that flick? A roller coaster spectacle masterfully curated by the incredible talent at Disney. My family and I sat stunned as the death of Spider Man rocked us like we had just missed earnings by a trillion dollars. The narrative created around Thanos, the motivation for what he did was so nuanced and deep that he was truly a wonderful villain to behold. But what if I told you the comic book version of Thanos had a different narrative? Instead of trying to kill half the universe to solve some overpopulation problem Thanos wants to kill everyone to impress Lady Death. He falls in love with her and to show his true devotion sets out to obtain the stones to wipe out everyone and everything. Different narratives but both have merit on their own. Now think about what we’re trying to do here on a daily basis. Each person is crafting their own version of market events to help explain what’s going on but, like Thanos shaving that chin, it’s really hard to do correctly (if not impossible). Bottom line beat rates have been incredible so far, world beating (+24%). Top line has been good too (+10%) but the market is going nowhere. One narrative is that we might be at peak earnings, that things just couldn’t get any better than this. That tech is peaking and Dr Strange should’ve just used the dumb green stone and rewound time to when Thanos was born and killed him. The other is that earnings are doing just fine, that the economy continues to expand and the next few years should bring further gains. Like the story of Thanos there are two different versions each with their own merits. I guess we’ll have to wait a year or two to see this all play out. Who else is excited to see what Captain Marvel brings to this story? She’s incredibly powerful so her movie, plus her appearance in the final chapter of Infinity War, should be epic (we need more powerful women characters). 

After the open we entered one of those “hey a Fed decision is a few days away, let’s just randomly go up and down for no reason” type of markets. SPX up 0.5% for the first hour, then flat for an hour, then down 0.5% thru lunch, just noise surrounded by noise. Plus I’m sure people are reading those stupid “sell in May and go away” articles that are popping up everywhere so the first half of the day was fairly sloppy. DIS gained 1.1%, I guess the biggest movie opening of all time was actually worth something to shareholders. Speaking of worth something, they paid $4.2B for Marvel in 2009 and with this latest movie have passed $15B in box office receipts. Wow. I wish I had a couple stocks to make fun of but there wasn’t much news to be honest. The biggest loser was an Aluminum company that cut guidance (ARNC -21%), an refiner that bought another refiner (MPC -7%), and a drug stock with this headline “Metabolite noise on Ozanimod” so yea have fun with that health care geeks (CELG -3.6%). Winners were the refinery that got bought (ANDV +13%), MCD +5% because I had a double QP with cheese on Sunday to cure a hangover, and MAT +5% because who doesn’t love toys? By lunch no one could explain why the market fell from 2,680 to 2,650 so I’ll go with “algo driven selling.” Prove me wrong!

The rest of the day was more senseless selling as all those dog like things that broke thru the shield overwhelmed buyers. We closed at 2,648 which puts April squarely into the “nothing burger” camp for performance (ended last month at 2,640). Look, a lot of stocks are starting to act they’ve been snapped out of existence. We’re going to need leadership to undo all this negative energy and it has to come from the AMZNs, the AAPLs, the BAs, and the GSs of the world (among others). If anyone wants me to spoil them on how the comics resolved Thanos hit up your boy! I love talking about stocks, pop culture, travelling to Australia, why volume doesn’t matter anymore, how Baird is a great place to work, and why Nebula is the key to all of this… 

Final Score:  Dow -61bps, S&P500 -82bps, Nasdaq -75bps, Rus2k -92bps

News Highlights:

Do you have any idea how big the “World’s Biggest Surfed Wave” was?   Would you believe 80 feet?  8 stories?   Marky  Mark and Batman ain’t got nothing on this thing 


Have a good night.