The GovCon Index gradually tumbled from a strong open Friday and fell sharply in late afternoon trade to end at a nominal gain of 0.197 points to 74.227, which puts the GCI at a weekly loss for the second time in three weeks.
The GCI posted a nominal 0.103-point loss from the April 1 close that includes Thursday’s sharp decline of nearly 1 percent as U.S. investors struggled to get clear direction on economic growth prospects as first quarter earnings season approaches.
Thomson Reuters data projects first quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies — which includes 11 GCI stocks — to decline 7.6 percent from the same period last year.
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) will kick off earnings reporting season for the U.S.’ five largest government contractors April 26, followed by Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) April 27 and Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) April 28.
General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) has not announced the date of its first quarter earnings release but the “Big Five” contractors traditionally report their January-March financial results in the same week.
Losses among biotechnology stocks offset gains by energy shares on a 6.6-percent jump in U.S. crude oil futures to $39.72 a barrel after government data showed the country’s stockpiles fell 5 million barrels last week.
Top GovCon Index Gainers
|Symbol||Company||$ Current Price||Net Change||% Change|
|GD||General Dynamics *||132.91||+1.52||+1.16%|
* Also listed in the S&P 500 composite index
|Advancing GovCon Index Issues||21|
|Declining GovCon Index Issues||9|
|Unchanged GovCon Index Issues||0|
|Index||Value||Net Change||% Change|
|S&P 500||2, 047.60||+5.69||+0.28%|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||17, 576.96||+35.00||+0.20%|