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Week Ahead: Big tech earnings to drive pre-election volatility
It’s set to be a volatile week for US markets as earnings season continues on Wall Street with Big Tech reporting. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook are among the biggest names delivering their quarterly updates. Meanwhile central banks are in action aplenty with the Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada and European Central Bank all holding policy meetings. And we of course countdown to November’s US presidential election with all eyes on the Vix.
Big Tech Earnings
It’s a massive week for corporate earnings and the focus will undoubtedly fall on the FAANGs with Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) all set to report quarterly earnings figures on Thursday. Earnings come amid scrutiny on big tech as the US Department of Justice opened an antitrust case against Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which focuses on agreements it has made with handset manufacturers and carriers to be the default search engine on new phones. Whilst investors have shrugged this off so far, earnings may well provide fuel for greater volatility in the stock.
Meanwhile there are fears that the case could create headwinds for Apple’s services business. The DOJ said Apple earns between $8 billion and $12 billion from Google, which would equate to between 17% and 26% of Apple’s revenues from Services last year. Apple recently released its iPhone12 but increasingly the reason for the stock’s higher multiples is about the ecosystem and Services revenues. Nevertheless, analysts remain bullish on these tech giants and they remain among the biggest winners YTD. Microsoft reports on Tuesday and there are dozens of large cap stocks reporting over the next few days.
With the euro gaining ground again versus the US dollar, attention in the FX markets will be on the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting on Thursday. Markets are increasingly betting on the ECB carrying out further easing in a bid to boost faltering economic growth and stagnant prices. The Eurozone slid into its second straight month of deflation in September and with further lockdowns being imposed across the bloc, the risks to the economic outlook have clearly deteriorated since the last meeting. The threat of a double dip recession is real, with Christine Lagarde saying recently that the resurgence of the virus is a clear risk to the economy. Given the murky outlook and dreadful inflation backdrop it seems all but certain the ECB will increase its bond buying programme by another €500bn by December.
To get a flavour of the mood in the ECB, the usually hawkish Austrian central bank head Robert Holzmann, said recently: “More durable, extensive or strict containment measures will likely require more monetary and fiscal accommodation in the short run.”
Meanwhile there are also meetings of the Bank of Japan and Bank of Canada taking place this week.
The advanced reading for US GDP growth in the third quarter will be the highlight as markets look for clues to the pace and sustainability of the recovery. The economy is expected growth in the region of 30% as businesses reopened following lockdowns. The Atlanta Fed’s forecast indicates the economy will have expanded by 35% on a quarterly basis – but this of course masks the real damage when it’s coming off the back of a 31% drop in Q2. The GDP reading comes at an opportune moment for Donald Trump who will be able to proclaim that the economy is on fire.
The final straight: polling data may not change much – the number of undecided voters has been small. Biden commands a strong national lead but in the key battlegrounds that will determine the result it’s tighter. We’re hosting a special pre-election live event on Nov 2nd to run through how the markets might react.
Top Economic Data This Week
Open the economic calendar in the platform for a full list of events.
|Oct 26th||German Ifo business climate|
|Oct 26th||UK Nationwide house price index|
|Oct 26th||US new home sales|
|Oct 26th||SNB Chairman Jordan speaks|
|Oct 27th||BoJ core CPI|
|Oct 27th||US durable goods, core durable goods|
|Oct 27th||US CB consumer confidence|
|Oct 28th||Australia CPI inflation|
|Oct 28th||Bank of Canada rate decision|
|Oct 28th||EIA crude oil inventories|
|Oct 28th||FOMC member Kaplan speaks|
|Oct 29th||Bank of Japan policy statement & economic outlook|
|Oct 29th||German preliminary CPI inflation|
|Oct 29th||UK mortgage approvals & lending figures|
|Oct 29th||US advanced GDP – Q3|
|Oct 29th||US weekly jobless claims|
|Oct 29th||ECB policy decision & press conference|
|Oct 29th||US pending home sales|
|Oct 29th||US natural gas storage|
|Oct 30th||Tokyo core CPI|
|Oct 30th||Japan industrial production|
|Oct 30th||French flash GDP|
|Oct 30th||German preliminary GDP|
|Oct 30th||Eurozone CPI flash estimates|
|Oct 30th||Canada GDP|
|Oct 30th||US personal spending & core PCE price index|
|Oct 30th||Chicago PMI|
|Oct 30th||UoM consumer sentiment|
Top Earnings Reports This Week
Don’t forget to tune into our Daily Earnings Season Specials on XRay for more updates
|26-Oct||SAP SE||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||Microsoft Corp.||Q1 2021 Earnings|
|27-Oct||Pfizer Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||Ping An Insurance Co.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||Merck Co.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||Novartis AG||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||Eli Lilly and Co.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||3M Co.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||Caterpillar Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||HSBC Holdings plc||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||S&P Global Inc||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|27-Oct||BP plc||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||Visa Inc.||Q4 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||MasterCard Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||Amgen Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||ServiceNow Inc||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||Boeing Co.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||Sony Corp.||Q2 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||Gilead Sciences Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||Anthem Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|28-Oct||Equinix Inc||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Apple Inc.||Q4 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Amazon||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Alphabet||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Facebook Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Samsung||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||China Life Insurance Co Ltd (A)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Comcast Corp. (Class A)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Shopify Inc (A)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Sanofi S.A.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||AB InBev SA-NV (Anheuser-Busch InBev)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||American Tower Corp.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Starbucks Corp.||Q4 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Shell (Royal Dutch Shell)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Volkswagen (VW) St.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||Stryker Corp.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) (A)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|29-Oct||China Life Insurance Co. Ltd.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||China Construction Bank Corp.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||AbbVie Inc||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||ExxonMobil Corp. (Exxon Mobil)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||Chevron Corp.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||Honeywell||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||PetroChina Co Ltd (A)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||Postal Savings Bank of China Registered Shs -A-||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||TOTAL S.A.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||AUDI AG||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||Altria Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|30-Oct||Colgate-Palmolive Co.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|31-Oct||Berkshire Hathaway Inc.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|31-Oct||Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (A)||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|31-Oct||Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|31-Oct||China Merchants Bank Co Ltd.||Q3 2020 Earnings|
|31-Oct||Bank of China Ltd||Q3 2020 Earnings|
Trump suggests delaying US Presidential Election, US GDP better than expected
US President Donald Trump has tweeted that the US Presidential Election 2020 should be delayed beyond November. US stock market futures paid little attention to the comment, but the Dow was 300 points in the red anyway after US growth and jobs data. Trump claimed, without providing any evidence, that November’s ballot would be “the most inaccurate & fraudulent election in history”.
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
Can Trump delay the US 2020 Presidential Election?
The president has long taken issue with mail-in ballots, and has claimed before that they pose a high risk of fraud. Many states have already taken the decision to open mail-in ballots to all voters for safety reasons given the huge number of coronavirus cases in the United States.
As Helen Thomas pointed out in our earlier election coverage, “recent electoral results have indicated that expanding vote-by-mail favours Democrats, as the easy access to the ballot has increased turnout in their favour”.
US GDP better than forecast, but jobless claims rise
Markets were little cheered by the latest US economic data, despite a smaller than expected decline in Q2 GDP. The economy shrank by -32.9% between April and June, compared to forecasts of a -34.1% drop. The decline is still the largest drop in output since the Second World War.
Jobless claims figures published alongside the latest US growth data pointed to a small uptick in claims. 1.434 million Americans filed for jobless benefits in the week ending July 25th, up from 1.416 million the previous week. The four-week average has risen from 1.360 million to 1.368 million, and the number of continuing claims rose from 16.2 million to 17 million – a much larger increase than had been forecast.
Stocks edge further into negative territory
European stocks and US futures slowly drifted further into negative territory after the data, with Wall Street going on to open around -1% lower. Equities had been languishing in the red ever since this morning’s European data, which showed a larger-than-expected drop in Q2 GDP for Germany and a rise in Eurozone unemployment.
Week Ahead: Massive week for earnings, Federal Reserve meeting on tap
Coming up this week – will the Federal Reserve lean on bond yields, and can Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Facebook meet lofty expectations for earnings?
Investors are becoming increasingly concentrated in a handful of big names, especially the very popular tech sector. The concentration is so large that the biggest five stocks make up almost a quarter of the total market capitalisation of the S&P 500. These stocks have returned 35% YTD, while the remaining 495 stocks have declined –5%. With such a high concentration in big tech, earnings updates from four of the five this week are going to be critical for the market’s direction.
Facebook (FB), Amazon.com (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), and Alphabet (GOOGL) are all due to report earnings this week. This will provide the market with an important steer on the resilience of earnings among the largest-cap stocks as well crucial guidance on the coming quarters. Read our preview to the Amazon earnings.
In a very busy week for earnings, Royal Dutch Shell and AstraZeneca are the biggest UK stocks to report, whilst luxury comes in for scrutiny with results due from Hermes and LVMH.
Federal Reserve meeting – leaning on the front end?
Talk of yield curve control is keeping Treasury rates low and weighing on real rates, but it is unclear whether the Federal Reserve will seek to lean any more on the front end of the curve when it meets on Wednesday. Chair Jay Powell has stressed that the Fed isn’t even thinking about thinking of raising rates, whilst the decline in US real yields to record lows is a sign perhaps that the market believes the Fed may do more.
No policy change is expected at this week’s meeting, but it the talks are likely to set the stage for a move in the autumn to inject further support after last month the Fed said that highly accommodative policy was likely to last many years. At the last FOMC meeting, it was agreed that officials need more analysis of yield curve control but there was agreement on the need for more explicit forward guidance on interest rates, perhaps tying it to concrete targets for inflation or employment levels. This could further anchor the front end of the yield curve, acting as a de facto control mechanism.
GDP figures – how bad was it?
After the Fed, Thursday sees the release of the advanced US GDP reading for Q2. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model indicates the world’s largest economy shrank by around 35% in the second quarter. However, we already know that the June quarter was terrible – the backwards-looking data may prove less instructive than the now hot-ticket US weekly jobs report, also due on Thursday. Ahead of these and before the European session opens the latest German GDP numbers will be released.
Highlights on XRay this Week
Read the full schedule of financial market analysis and training.
|07.15 UTC||Daily||European Morning Call|
|12.00 UTC||27-Jul||Master the Markets|
|From 15.30 UTC||28-Jul||Weekly Gold, Silver, and Oil Forecasts|
|17:00 UTC||30-Jul||Election2020 Weekly|
|19.30 UTC||30-Jul||Daily FX recap|
Top Earnings Reports this Week
Here are some of the biggest earnings reports scheduled for this week:
|30-Jul||Procter & Gamble|
Key Events this Week
Watch out for the biggest events on the economic calendar this week:
|08.00 UTC||27-Jul||German Ifo Business Climate|
|12.30 UTC||27-Jul||US core durable goods orders|
|07:00 UTC||28-Jul||Spain unemployment rate|
|14:00 UTC||28-Jul||US CB consumer confidence|
|01.30 UTC||29-Jul||Australia CPI inflation|
|14:00 UTC||29-Jul||US pending home sales|
|14.30 UTC||29-Jul||US EIA Crude Oil Inventories|
|18.00 UTC||29-Jul||Federal Reserve statement + press conference|
|06:00 UTC||30-Jul||German preliminary GDP|
|12.30 UTC||30-Jul||US Weekly Jobless Claims|
|12:30 UTC||30-Jul||US advanced Q2 GDP|
|14.30 UTC||30-Jul||US EIA Natural Gas Storage|
|01.00 UTC||31-Jul||China PMIs|
|12:30 UTC||31-Jul||US core PCE inflation, spending|
Markets jump on Gilead news
European stocks added to gains and US futures extended higher after a report indicated positive results from Gilead’s drug trials for treating Covid-19.
Gilead said it was aware of positive data emerging from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) study of its antiviral drug remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19. Gilead will share additional data on its own trials in due course, stating in a PR: ‘This study will provide information on whether a shorter, 5-day duration of therapy may have similar efficacy and safety as the 10-day treatment course evaluated in the NIAID trial and other ongoing trials. Gilead expects data at the end of May from the second SIMPLE study evaluating the 5- and 10-day dosing durations of remdesivir in patients with moderate COVID-19 disease.’
This is undoubtedly positive for risk – the closer you get to treatment or a vaccine the quicker we reopen the economy and the lower the risk of a 2nd, 3rd wave outbreaks. Rumours of positive results from Gilead a week ago helped lift spirits and this is yet more encouraging news. We are also hearing that there will be a press conference later today with Dr Fauci on the NIAID results, which may offer further details for markets.
The FTSE 100 extended gains to take out 6060, whilst the DAX moved aggressively back to with touching distance of 11,000. The S&P 500 headed to open up at 2920, with the Dow seen up +400 points at the open around 24,540.
Meanwhile, after some delay and an initial misprint we learned US GDP contracted 4.8% in the first quarter. The usual caveats pertain – it’s backward-looking data and the worst of the damage will be done in Q2, but nonetheless it was worse than the –4% expected.