Week Ahead: FOMC minutes, Walmart earnings, next PMI round in focus

Week Ahead

US discounters Walmart and Target, and home improvement retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s report their earnings this week. With the exception of Target, these stocks have dramatically outpaced the S&P 500 this year. The global monetary policy outlook also gets an update this week thanks to minutes from the FOMC, ECB, and RBA, while flash PMIs for August will help shape the Q3 growth outlook.

Earnings: Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s

Discounters like Walmart and Target, and home improvement retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s have raced higher since the market bottomed-out in March. Walmart is 11% above 2020 opening levels, although that pales in comparison to Home Depot’s 28% surge and Lowe’s 30% rally. Target is the exception, although with year-to-date gains of 5% the stock is still fractionally outperforming the wider market.

According to Bank of America analysts, Target and Walmart could post strong earnings, thanks to broadened revenue streams, a timely shift to eCommerce, and shrinking expenses – with Q1 bearing the brunt of Covid-related costs.

Home Depot and Lowe’s have raced higher as investors bet on strong demand from consumers fed up of the homes they’ve been stuck inside for months. Both were able to stay open in Q1 while other businesses had to close, helping boost sales growth. Markets will be looking to see whether this moderated in Q2 as a whole as other firms opened their doors.

FOMC and RBA minutes, ECB accounts

We’ll get plenty of insight into the current state of mind of the world’s central bankers this week thanks to the latest meeting minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee, European Central Bank, and Reserve Bank of Australia.

The Fed, ECB, and RBA all left policy unchanged at their most recent meetings while reiterating their commitment to doing whatever it takes to keep the economy supported. The minutes will provide more information on their respective outlooks and how concerned policymakers are over second-wave risks.

Flash PMIs to help shape Q3 outlook

Now that the Q2 GDP data for the world’s major economies is in (in preliminary form at least), the focus can turn to the outlook for Q3. The next set of flash PMIs from Markit cover August, and will help to shape expectations of the pace of recovery this quarter.

The latest manufacturing, services, and composite numbers will be released for the Eurozone, UK, and US. July’s composite readings indicated economic activity in the Eurozone had expanded by the fastest pace in just over two years, while the UK expansion was the fastest since June 2015.

UK inflation, retail sales

Price growth in the UK came in slightly above forecast in June, rising from 0.5% to 0.6% on the year versus expectations of a slip to 0.4%. However, inflation is still running at a four-year low, and analysts do not believe June’s rise was the start of a sustained uptrend. Spare capacity in the economy is expected to keep a lid on price growth or see the rate slow even further.

Retail sales showed a larger-than-expected rise in June, jumping 13.9% on the month and following on from a 12.3% rebound in May. Despite the strength, many high street stores have announced jobs cuts recently. Data from the British Retail Consortium points to further sales growth in July, but with online still driving a huge portion of this the threat to the UK high street remains.

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 17⁠-⁠⁠Aug Master the Markets
From 15.30 UTC 18-⁠⁠Aug Weekly Gold, Silver, and Oil Forecasts
17.00 UTC 19-⁠⁠Aug Using candlestick charts to form the basis of your trading analysis
17.00 UTC 20⁠-⁠⁠Aug Election2020 Weekly

Top Earnings Reports this Week

22.30 GMT 17-Aug BHP Billiton – Q4 2020
Pre-Market 18-Aug Walmart – Q2 2021
Pre-Market 18-Aug Home Depot – Q2 2020
Pre-Market 19-Aug Lowe’s Companies – Q2 2020
Pre-Market 19-Aug Target Corp – Q2 2020
After-Market 19-Aug NVIDIA – Q2 2021
After-Market 20-Aug Ross Stores – Q2 2020

Key Events this Week

Watch out for the biggest events on the economic calendar this week:

01.30 GMT 18-Aug RBA Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes
06.00 GMT 19-Aug UK Inflation
14.30 GMT 19-Aug US EIA Crude Oil Inventories
18.00 GMT 19-Aug US FOMC Meeting Minutes
11.30 GMT 20-Aug ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts
12.30 GMT 20-Aug US Weekly Jobless Claims
14.30 GMT 20-Aug US EIA Natural Gas Storage
06.00 GMT 21-Aug UK Retail Sales
07.15 – 08.00 GMT 21-Aug Eurozone Flash PMIs (Composite, Manufacturing, Services)
08.30 GMT 21-Aug UK Flash PMIs (Composite, Manufacturing, Services)
12.30 GMT 21-Aug Canada Core Retail Sales
13.45 GMT 21-Aug US Flash Manufacturing PMI

Week Ahead: Walmart and Home Depot Earnings, UK April Jobless Claims, May PMIs

Week Ahead

We may be reaching the tail end of earnings season, but there are still some eagerly awaited releases lined up this week. Highlights will be reports from Walmart and Home Depot; stock in these companies has seen strong bid even as the wider market has tanked. 

We also have the FOMC minutes, a host of PMIs, and jobless claims data from the UK for April. Here’s your full breakdown of the coming events you need to know about. 

Japan Q1 GDP estimate 

Preliminary Q1 GDP data for Japan is due early on Monday, but as with all Q1 growth data it will serve as the prelude to something much worse. The economy is expected to have contracted -1.2% on the quarter, after a -1.8% decline in the final three months of 2019. Annualised growth is expected to print at -4.6%, again a slowdown from the -7.1% drop recorded in 2019 Q4. 

Forecasts for Q2 expect a 22% decline, the worst since the end of the Second World War. Will the Q1 figures give us any indication of how accurate those estimates might be, or will markets ignore the data and wait for more clarity? 

How many UK jobs have been lost in lockdown? 

The UK reports jobless claims data for April, when the workforce suffered an entire month of lockdown. The number of people filing jobless claims grew by over 12,000 in March: April’s figure is likely to print around 650,000. Unemployment rate figures are also scheduled, but these cover March and so are extremely backwards-looking by this point. A little later on Tuesday morning, the Labour Productivity Index for the first quarter is expected to print at -2.6%. 

UK inflation set to collapse 

April UK inflation data will feel the impact of collapsing retail sales, shuttered businesses, climbing unemployment and furloughed workers. Annualised price growth is expected to slump from 1.5% in May to 0.2% last month, with prices predicted to shrink -0.7% on the month after stagnating in April. The core inflation rate is predicted to drop to 1% on an annualised basis and -0.3% on the month. The contraction in producer prices is predicted to have accelerated to -3.9% on the year, and to have doubled to -0.4% on the month. 

High hopes for Walmart, Home Depot earnings 

Markets think Walmart and Home Depot are well-positioned to weather the coronavirus pandemic. Both stocks are over 4% higher year-to-date at the time of writing, compared to a -13% drop for the S&P 500. Walmart actually hit record highs at the end of April. 

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Walmart saw a 20% increase in sales during March alone. Markets clearly expect a lot from the leading retailers, but can Walmart and Home Depot deliver? 

Both Walmart and Home Depot have “Strong Buy” ratings according to our Analyst Recommendations tool. Walmart has an average price target of $132.79 which represents a 7% upside on prices at the time of writing. Home Depot has a target price of $238.15, a 4% upside. 

Lowe’s, Target, and Best Buy are amongst the other companies reporting this week. 

FOMC meeting minutes 

We already know a lot more about the current thinking of the Federal Reserve thanks to last week’s speech from chair Jerome Powell. The minutes of the meeting at the end of April could be moot: Powell’s speech gave away what would likely have been the headlines from the minutes, namely that it was likely more stimulus would be necessary, but negative interest rates are not something being considered at this time. 

Eurozone economic sentiment set to go negative again 

April’s ZEW Economic Sentiment surveys for the Eurozone and Germany unexpectedly leapt back into positive territory. Assessment of current conditions remained dire, but investors began to focus on recovery. 

But the reality of the recession that lies between where we are now and where we’re trying to get back to is expected to hit sentiment hard again this month, with the German reading forecast to plummet back to -14 and the Eurozone wide reading dropping to -10. 

UK PMIs headed lower, Eurozone set to bounce off lows 

This week we get the flash PMI readings for May. UK manufacturing is expected to drop to 26.6, while the services index will slip to 9. The overall composite PMI is expected to drop from 13.8 to 9.2. 

Manufacturing and services in the Eurozone and its member states, however, are expected to rebound from their lows as economies began relaxing lockdown measures. Germany’s manufacturing index is predicted to jump around 10 points to 45, while services is forecast to more than double to 37 points. Overall the composite index is expected to climb from 17.4 to 40. The Eurozone composite is expected to rise from 13.6 to 34. 

It’s worth remembering that these figures still represent a huge rate of contraction across all areas of the economy. The Eurozone economy may have bounced back from the initial shock of COVID-19, but there is still a long road ahead – and expectations for how long are getting bigger all the time.

Heads-Up on Earnings 

The following companies are set to publish their quarterly earnings reports this week: 

18-May Ryanair – FY 2020
Pre-Market 19-May Walmart – Q1 2021
Pre-Market 19-May Home Depot – Q1 2020
19-May Imperial Brands – Q2 2020
Pre-Market 20-May Lowe’s – Q1 2020
Pre-Market 20-May Target Corp – Q1 2020
Pre-Market 20-May Analog Devices – Q2 2020
20-May Experian – FY 2020
Pre-Market 21-May Medtronic – Q4 2020
Pre-Market 21-May Best Buy – Q1 2021
After-Market 21-May Intuit – Q3 2020
After-Market 21-May Ross Stores – Q1 2020
After-Market 21-May Agilent Technologies – Q2 2020
After-Market 21-May Hewlett Packard Enterprise – Q2 2020
After-Market 21-May NVIDIA – Q1 2021
22-May Deere & Co – Q2 2020

Highlights on XRay this Week 

17.00 UTC   18-May  Blonde Markets
18.00 UTC  18-May   The Ten Rules of Trading
 15.30 UTC 19-May   Weekly Gold Forecast
 18.00 UTC 19-May Reading Candlestick Charts: Trading Patterns and Trends
11.00 UTC  20-May Midweek Lunch Wrap

Key Economic Events

Watch out for the biggest events on the economic calendar this week:

23.50 UTC 17-May Japan Preliminary Quarterly GDP
01.30 UTC 19-May RBA Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes
06.00 UTC 19-May UK Claimant Count Change / Unemployment Rate
09.00 UTC 19-May Germany / Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment
06.00 UTC 20-May UK Inflation
12.30 UTC 20-May Canada Inflation
14.30 UTC 20-May US EIA Crude Oil Inventories
18.00 UTC 20-May FOMC Meeting Minutes
07.15 – 08.00 UTC 21-May FR, DE, Eurozone Flash Services and Manufacturing PMIs
08.30 UTC 21-May UK Flash Manufacturing and Services PMIs
12.30 UTC 21-May US Jobless Claims
13.45 UTC 21-May US Flash Manufacturing and Services PMIs
22.45 UTC 21-May New Zealand Quarterly Retail Sales
06.00 UTC 22-May UK Retail Sales
12.30 UTC 22-May Canada Core Retail Sales

Week Ahead: Inflation readings to shape central bank views

Equities
Forex
Week Ahead

There are a lot of things going on this week, with inflation leading the headlines.

Inflation 

With investors betting the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again in September, Tuesday’s US inflation figures will be of key importance for the direction of global markets. Core CPI advanced 2.1% in June, its biggest increase in a year and a half. If inflation pressures continue to build, it could undermine doves on the FOMC calling for more hikes. UK inflation figures are released on Wednesday. 

China and Germany growth 

Fears about a slowdown in China and Germany are at the heart of investor concerns for the global economy. As such a batch of data from the two countries this week will be important for risk assets. China’s industrial production figures and the German preliminary GDP print on Wednesday will be the most closely watched. 

Walmart and US retail sales  

Q2 earnings season is well past its peak but US retail giant Walmart delivers its quarterly numbers on Thursday before the market opens. Q1 earnings were a positive surprise with EPS of $1.13 beating expectations of $1.02. The key comp sales number hit 3.4%, making it the best quarter in 9 years. Despite fears for the US economy, consumer confidence and retail sales gauges remain robust. On that front, US retail sales numbers are due on Thursday shortly after Walmart reports. 

Tencent and Alibaba 

We’ll also be watching earnings from China giants Tencent and Alibaba. The ongoing trade dispute between the US and China is sure to be a weight, however Chinese consumers have remained relatively robust. For Alibaba, in addition to its ecommerce platform, we’ll be watching to see how well its cloud computing business is doing. Both represent important bellwethers for the Chinese economy. 

Corporate Diary

Earnings season is still going strong, with these earnings releases in the next week.

Pre-Market14th AugustTencent Holdings Ltd – Q2 Earnings
After-Market14th AugustCisco Inc – Q2 Earnings
Pre-Market15th AugustWalmart – Q2 Earnings
15th AugustAlibaba – Q2 Earnings
After-Market15th AugustNVIDIA Corp – Q2 Earnings
XRay

Tune in live or watch on catch-up.

07.15 GMT12th AugustEuropean Morning Call
17.00 GMT12th AugustBlonde Markets
12.30 GMT13th AugustLIVE: US CPI Coverage
15.30 GMT13th AugustAsset of the Day: Bullion Billions
10.00 GMT15th AugustWalmart Earnings Preview: LIVE
Key Economic Events

Watch out for the following economic events in the coming week.

08.30 GMT13th AugustUK Average Earnings
12.30 GMT13th AugustUS CPI Inflation
09.00 GMT13th AugustGermany ZEW Economic Sentiment
01.30 GMT14th AugustAustralia Wage Price Index
02.00 GMT14th AugustChina Industrial Production
08.30 GMT14th AugustUS CPI Inflation
01.30 GMT15th AugustAustralia Unemployment Rate
08.30 GMT15th AugustUK Retail Sales
12.30 GMT15th AugustUS Retail Sales, Philly Fed Manufacturing Index

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