Volgende week: COVID-19 geeft het sentiment opnieuw klappen, kunnen de discounters profiteren?

Een zwik aan sentimentdata, Amerikaanse productiecijfers en resultaten van de discounters, die goed gepositioneerd zijn voor de economische neergang, zullen volgende week de markt bepalen. Lees verder voor een complete breakdown van de financiële agendapunten die u in de gaten moet houden.

Vertrouwen in Duitsland omhoog? Sentiment in VK, NZ daalt naar verwachting verder

Er worden deze week veel nieuwe sentimentdata gepubliceerd, waaronder het bedrijfsklimaat in Duitsland van Ifo, consumentenvertrouwen in Duitsland en het Verenigd Koninkrijk van GfK, het Amerikaanse consumentenvertrouwen van het US CB en tot slot het bedrijfsvertrouwen in Nieuw-Zeeland van ANZ.

In Duitsland zal de stemming naar verwachting beter zijn, waar de lockdowns sowieso al minder streng waren en de economische gevolgen naar verwachting minder sterk zullen zijn. Scholen en kleine bedrijven zijn weer open en de terugkeer naar een soort van normaliteit zal het sentiment naar verwachting doen opleven van de historische dieptepunten.

Het is een ander verhaal in het VK, waar de meeste beperkingen nog steeds actief blijven. Een sterke stijging van de werkloosheid zal ook op het sentiment wegen, waarbij zelfs werknemers die door de verlofregeling van de overheid worden beschermd een onzekere toekomst tegemoet gaan zodra de regering stopt met het betalen van hun lonen.

Hoewel de Nieuw-Zeelandse economie ondertussen heropend is, zal het meest recente ANZ-rapport naar verwachting opnieuw een verzwakking van het bedrijfssentiment laten zien.

Het is wellicht geen echte weerspiegeling van het huidige sentiment, aangezien de regering vorige week financiële maatregelen van meer dan 20% van het BBP heeft aangekondigd om de economische groei te stimuleren. Binnen twee jaar moet er weer sprake zijn van een terugkeer naar het werkloosheidsniveau van voor de uitbraak van COVID-19.

CPI: Duitsland en eurozone

Het instorten van de olieprijzen en de aanhoudende stimuleringsmaatregelen van de Europese Centrale Bank zorgen voor druk op de meest recente inflatiecijfers uit Duitsland en de eurozone.

De prijsgroei in de eurozone daalde van 0,7% naar een vierjarig dieptepunt van 0,3% in april, zoals vorige week werd bevestigd. Dit was grotendeels te wijden aan het instorten van de olieprijs; de stabielere kerninflatiewaarde daalde van 1% naar 0,9% op jaarbasis. Prijzen van voedsel, alcohol en tabak namen toe.

Terwijl de meeste belangrijke economieën van de eurozone met deflatie te maken kregen, bleef er sprake van prijsgroei in Duitsland. Meer van zulke gegevens zouden de spanningen tussen de motor van de Europese economie en de Europese Centrale Bank, die onenigheid hadden over de rechtmatigheid van het ECB-opkoopprogramma, nog verder kunnen doen toenemen..

Orders van duurzame goederen in VS dalen verder, werkloosheid raakt uitgaven

Het aantal orders van duurzame goederen in de VS kelderde in maart. Er was sprake van een daling van -14,4% vergeleken met de maand ervoor. Transportbestellingen, met name die van passagiersvliegtuigen, droogden vrijwel helemaal op.

Voorspellingen voor april suggereren nog eens -25% verdere daling. De persoonlijke inkomens- en bestedingscijfers later deze week kunnen eveneens weer een grote afname laten zien. In maart daalde het inkomen met -2% ten opzichte van de maand ervoor, terwijl de uitgaven een recorddaling van -7,5% lieten zien nu mensen gedwongen thuis moeten blijven. Twintig miljoen Amerikanen hebben in april hun baan verloren. De volgende reeks inkomenscijfers zal dan ook waarschijnlijk een nog veel grotere ineenstorting laten zien.

Japans werkloosheidscijfer, industriële productie, detailverkoop

Gegevens uit Japan zullen vrijdag een breed beeld geven van de lokale economische ontwikkeling, hoewel we al weten dat de economie van het Aziatische land zich in een recessie bevindt. De werkloosheid zal naar verwachting zijn gestegen tot 3,2% in april, van 2,5% in maart. Verwacht wordt dat de detailhandel in de loop van de maand zal blijven krimpen, al neemt de mate langzaam af van -4,5% tot -3,2%. Voorlopige industriële productiegegevens zullen aantonen of de jaardaling van -5,2% die in maart werd opgetekend, vorige maand iets is gematigd.

Resultaten: discounters doen het naar verwachting goed door hamstergedrag consumenten

De voordeelketens Costco, Dollar General en Dollar Tree zullen deze week allemaal hun kwartaalresultaten presenteren. Consumenten kochten volop essentiële producten in Q1. Krappere budgetten stijgende werkloosheid kunnen de vraag op lange termijn stimuleren.

Costco heeft echter andere zakelijke belangen die geraakt kunnen worden door de stagnerende economie en social distancing. De afdelingen food courts, reisdiensten en optiek trokken de vergelijkbare omzet met -4,7% omlaag ten opzichte van dezelfde periode vorig jaar, ook al steeg de vraag van consumenten naar basisproducten.

Dollar Tree kondigde aan dat het 25.000 extra medewerkers in dienst zou nemen om de toegenomen vraag in winkels en distributiecentra op te vangen. Financiële resultaten zullen een tik krijgen van het besluit om de onlineverkoop eind maart gedurende zeven dagen op te schorten, waardoor de omzet in die periode met bijna 20% is gedaald. Juist online hebben andere retailers zoals Walmart de dalende verkoopvolumes in de winkels goed kunnen maken.

Dollar General is de duidelijke winnaar als het gaat om de prestaties van aandelen, met een winst van 16% sinds het begin van het jaar. Costco staat bijna 5% hoger, terwijl Dollar Tree, dat goed presteerde tijdens de laatste recessie, bijna 15% is gedaald. Goldman Sachs gaf het aandeel vorige week een koopadvies.

Heads-Up on Earnings 

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

Pre-Market 27-May Royal Bank of Canada
After-Market 27-May Autodesk – Q1 2021
After-Market 27-May Workday Inc – Q1 2021
Pre-Market 28-May Dollar Tree – Q1 2020
14.00 UTC 28-May Dollar General – Q1 2020
After-Market 28-May Salesforce – Q1 2021
After-Market 28-May Costco Wholesale Corp – Q3 2020
After-Market 28-May Dell Technologies – Q1 2021

 

Highlights on XRay this Week 

17.00 UTC 25-May Blonde Markets
15.30 UTC 26-May Weekly Gold Forecast
10.00 UTC 27-May The Marketsx Experience: Platform Walkthrough
14.45 UTC 28-May Master the Markets with Andrew Barnett
12.25 UTC  29-May US PCE: Live Market Analysis

 

Key Economic Events

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

08.00 UTC 25-May German Ifo Business Climate
06.00 UTC 26-May German GfK Consumer Climate
14.00 UTC 26-May US CB Consumer Confidence
01.30 UTC 27-May Australia Construction Work Done (Q1)
01.00 UTC 28-May New Zealand ANZ Business Confidence
01.30 UTC 28-May AU Private Capital Expenditure (QoQ)
12.00 UTC 28-May Germany Preliminary CPI
12.30 UTC 28-May US Durable Goods Orders
14.30 UTC 28-May US EIA Natural Gas Storage
15.00 UTC 28-May US EIA Crude Oil Inventories
23.01 UTC 28-May UK GfK Consumer Confidence
23.30 UTC 28-May Japan Unemployment Rate, Flash Industrial Production, Retail Sales
09.00 UTC 29-May Eurozone Flash Inflation
12.30 UTC 29-May Canada GDP (Q1)
12.30 UTC 29-May US PCE, Personal Income, Personal Spending

UK inflation slips, M&S profits slide, indices hold trading ranges

It’s widely accepted that the pandemic is a profoundly deflationary shock to the global economy. No surprise then that UK consumer price inflation slowed to 0.8% in April from 1.5% in March. In fact, the bulk of the decline was due to lower oil prices.

Schemes to keep the economy on life support continue to support purchasing power – it may take some months for inflation to bottom as the economy goes through a painful readjustment.  Input prices for manufacturers declined 5.1%, whilst factory gate prices were 0.7% lower.  What comes next is anyone’s guess, but inflation could be round the corner as central banks and governments deal with vast debts.

M&S sales drop, but cash flow better than feared

Retailers will be at the coalface when it comes to inflation. Big discounts are expected as shops reopen over the summer – better to clear the old lines than having a bunch of shorts and bikinis to scrap. Marks & Spencer has been a bellwether for the UK high street, but lately its crown has slipped.

Results today indicate it’s had a tough time coping with the pandemic – in the six weeks to May 9th clothing sales tumbled 75% , while food sales declined 8.8%. But management are happy that they’ve outperformed their Covid-19 scenario with £150m better cash flow after six weeks than they had feared. Dividends of course are out of the question – MKS will not pay a final dividend for 2019/20 and it does not plan paying one for 2020/21.

Overall full year profits before tax declined around 20%. Free cash has halved over the year to £225m and after tax profits were down 40%. We knew it was going to be tough for M&S, so the focus for investors is the transformation plan, which is accelerating with more cost savings planned. Covid-19 has accelerated lots of consumer trends and it may just be the catalyst required to accelerate Marks & Spencer’s transformation into a 21st century retailer.

In particular it looks as though M&S has learnt just how important online is – so it’s making its Ocado venture more central to the business, introducing 1,600 Clothing & Home lines to be available online via Ocado. Much smaller store footprint, more focus on food, leverage the Ocado platform – there is at last a lot to be said for the MKS approach. Of course, we’ve talking about Marks’ recovery and transformation plans for many a year.

The pound eased back from the day’s highs on the weaker inflation numbers, with GBPUSD retreating under 1.2250, eyeing a potential retest of yesterday’s swing low at 1.2220.

Stock markets soft as scientists question Moderna vaccine data

Wall Street snapped a three-day win streak after doubts were raised about Moderna’s potential vaccine. Some scientists asked by health news website Stat queried the data, or lack thereof. Stocks ran up against the bad news as energetically as they ran with the good. It just shows how the market is clinging to any kind of sort of good news.

European shares followed lower again on Wednesday. The FTSE 100 just held onto the 6,000 level yesterday but opened lower this morning. Basic resources, financials and banks were the leading losers. Indices are within recent ranges as the tug-o-war between the economic reality on the one side and the twin hopes of stimulus and scientific research on the other play out.

API data shows surprise draw, WTI clings to $32

Oil was steady in its recent consolidation pattern as API figures showed a draw on US crude stocks. Inventories fell 4.8m barrels in the week to May 15th, vs expectations for stockpiles to build by 1.5m barrels. EIA figures are due later today and are seen showing a build of 1.7m barrels. With WTI trading above $30 again shale producers are already seen coming back on stream, which could tilt the balance back towards oversupply.

Nevertheless, demand is picking up and shut-ins have resulted in a little more supply being taken off. Reports suggest Chinese oil demand has almost returned to where it was before the pandemic. WTI (Aug) is just about holding above $32 but has a look like it wants to pull back – EIA figures today may provide the catalyst.

The risk-off tone supported gold bulls, with prices making steady progress back to $1750, having struck a low of $1725 yesterday. The recent 7-year high at $1764 struck earlier in the week is the upside target.

The S&P 500 quickly retreated from the area of the late Apr swing high around 2954 and closed below the 61.8% retracement. Futures indicate it will open around this level.

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

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: UK and Eurozone GDP, NZ Budget, Marriott earnings

Economic data at the moment tends to fall into one of two categories: 1) How bad did things get in Q1, and, 2) How quickly are they likely to get better? Everyone knows the Q2 data is where the real pain lies, but markets want an idea of where things stood before the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns really began to bite. 

To this end flash Q1 GDP figures from the UK, Germany, and the Eurozone this week will act as a primer ahead of data for the current quarter. The US has already reported its advanced GDP estimate for Q1, showing that the economy contracted 4.8% during the first three months of the year, compared to expectations of 4%. 

The UK economy is expected to shrink 4.4% on the previous quarter, the German economy by 2.8%, and the Eurozone by 3.8%. If the US data is any indication, these forecasts may not be bleak enough. 

The key question, though, is whether this weakness is the predicted impact of COVID-19 arriving earlier than expected, or a sign that the impact is worse than the already dire expectations. 

The US will post inflation and retail sales data, and the University of Michigan will publish its preliminary reading of its latest sentiment index. Australian releases this week include the wage price index and employment change and unemployment rate figures. 

China industry, retail sales and New Zealand Budget 

On the other end of the scale, Chinese industrial production and retail sales figures for April will give markets a vague idea of what an economy on the other side of lockdown looks like. It’s not an entirely accurate bellwether – China returned to work around the same time that Europe battened down the hatches. 

The shuttering of businesses across the West will damage manufacturing demand in Asia. Industrial production is expected to drop 4.2%, compared to 1.1% drop in March. Retail sales had cratered nearly 16% in February. The unemployment rate is expected to tick higher to 6.3% from 5.9%. 

Also on the postCOVID front, the New Zealand government will hand down its latest Budget release this week. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has already laid out his strategy in a prebudget speech (delivered via video link, of course): respond, recovery, rebuild. 

Particularly interesting is that Robertson says this will be a chance to not just rebuild the economy, but rebuild it better. Will other finance ministers around the globe be looking to reshape their economies over the coming months and years, or simply get the train back on the rails? The notion could drastically change what markets should expect from the coming years. 

Earning season: Marriott, Cisco, Tencent 

Marriott earnings are due before the market opens on the 11thThe hotel giant recently raised $920 million in new cash through its credit card partners. Revenue per available room was down 60% during March. 

The stock has a “Hold” consensus with a 19% upside (based on the May 6th closing price) according to our Analyst Recommendations tool. Hedge funds has sold shares in the previous quarter, while insiders have snapped up the stock. The latest research on the stock from Thompson Reuters is available to download in the Marketsx platform.

Marketsx stock sentiment tools: Marriott International Inc (MAR – NASDAQ)

Cisco reports after the market close on May 13th. While analysts rate the stock a “Buy”, hedge funds dumped 83 million shares in the last quarter, with company insiders selling over 9 million in the last three months. The latest research on the stock from Thompson Reuters is available to download in the Marketsx platform.

Marketsx stock sentiment tools: Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO – NASDAQ)

Tencent Holdings, Sony, and Wirecard also report this week.

 

Heads-Up on Earnings 

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

Pre-Market 11-May Marriott – Q1 2020
11-May Bridgestone Corp – Q1 2020
05.00 UTC 12-May Allianz – Q1 2020
12-May Vodafone Group – Q4 2020
Pre-Market 13-May Tencent Holdings – Q1 2020
After-Market 13-May Cisco – Q3 2020
13-May Sony Corp – FY 2019/20
14-May Wirecard – Q1 2020
14-May Astellas Pharma – Q4 2019

Highlights on XRay this Week 

07.15 UTC   Daily      European Morning Call 
09.00 UTC   Daily   Earnings Season Daily Special 
 15.30 UTC 12-May   Weekly Gold Forecast
12.50 UTC 13-May Indices Insights
18.00 UTC  14-May BlondeMoney Gamma Special

Key Economic Events 

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

23.50 UTC 10-May Bank of Japan Summary of Opinions
01.30 UTC 12-May China CPI
07.00 UTC 12-May UK Preliminary Quarterly GDP
12.30 UTC 12-May US CPI
01.30 UTC 13-May Australia Wage Price Index (Q/Q)
03.00 UTC 13-May RBNZ Interest Rate Decision
14.30 UTC 13-May US EIA Crude Oil Inventories
01.30 UTC 14-May Australia Employment Change / Unemployment Rate
02.00 UTC 14-May New Zealand Annual Budget Release
12.30 UTC 14-May US Jobless Claims
14.30 UTC 14-May US EIA Natural Gas Storage
02.00 UTC 15-May China Industrial Production / Retail Sales
06.00 UTC 15-May Germany Preliminary GDP (Q1)
09.00 UTC 15-May Eurozone Preliminary GDP and Employment Change (Q1)
12.30 UTC 15-May US Retail Sales
14.00 UTC 15-May Preliminary University of Michigan Sentiment Index

Disney earnings preview: analyst downgrade

Disney is a three-part business now – theme parks, films and streaming. Whilst streaming is going very well – thanks in no small part to lockdown – the other units are not performing so well.

DIS was downgraded to neutral from buy by MoffettNathanson ahead of the company’s earnings to be released after the market close on Tuesday (May 5th).

There are a number of risks that could lead this unprecedented event to have a longer impact, with earnings revisions massively skewed to the downside,” 5-star analyst Michael Nathanson wrote in the update.

Our Disney downgrade is also an admission that we believe the economic impact on the company will be longer than most anticipate, especially given the risks of a second wave of infections after reopening.

MoffettNathanson expects the theme parks unit revenues to fall 33% from $26.2 billion to $17.7 billion this fiscal year, which ends in September. Revenues are seen down 1% next year as the drag from Covid-19 lingers before bouncing back 22% in 2022. In films, the analyst sees earnings down 20% this year to $2.7bn on a 23% drop in revenues.

Week Ahead: RBA and BoE, Disney Earnings, US NFP

Expect policy decisions from the RBA and BoE, a host more earnings reports, the US nonmanufacturing PMI, and of course the highly anticipated/dreaded April nonfarm payrolls report. Keep track of the biggest market-moving events with the Events Calendar in the Marketsx trading platform. 

Reserve Bank of Australia interest rate decision 

Data is tentatively showing that lockdown measures in Australia might have succeeded in flattening the curve of infections, and several states have already started relaxing social distancing rules.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has previously stated that it believes the economy will begin to rebound once the outbreak was contained, therefore it seems unlikely we will be getting any further stimulus announcements as a result of this week’s meeting. It’s too early to expect the board to start tightening again, but we could see some comments regarding plans to begin tapering the quantitative easing programme. 

Regeneron earnings 

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is one of the leading companies in the race to find treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19. The stock is up 40% since the start of the year, and is a constituent of our Corona BlendAnalysts are expecting EPS of $5.99 per share – growth of 34.6% on the year. Revenue is forecast up 16% from the same period a year ago at $1.99 billion. 

US ISM Nonmanufacturing PMI 

Last month the US ISM Nonmanufacturing PMI fared much better than expected, clocking in at 52.5 versus the consensus forecast of 43.0. Companies reported a jump in supplier deliveries, with the subindex leaping to 62.1 versus 52.4 the previous month. 

Digging further into numbers, however, it’s clear to see that this helped mask wider weakness. The employment index recorded the largest drop since 2008, tumbling from 55.6 to 47.0, and the business activity index dropped almost 10 points to 48.0. New export orders and imports also collapsed.

April’s report is likely to see the headline number more accurately reflecting the weakness in the sub-indices – some forecasts suggest a drop to as low as 32.0. 

Walt Disney earnings 

Disney’s latest earnings report will be more of a preview than the main event. The company’s second-quarter period ends just a couple of weeks after social distancing measures and business closures were enforced. Like so much of the current data and reports, the rule is to expect bad news now, and brace for even worse to come. 

Business closures and social distancing will have hit Disney from all directions, forcing closures of its parks, curtailing or delaying theatrical releases of its latest films, and hurting demand in its retail stores.

The effect has clearly been significantthe company has already announced that it would slash executive salaries. 

The one positive in the report is likely to be the strong performance of the company’s streaming service, Disney+. The service enjoyed a strong launch, and demand is likely to have been bolstered even further thanks to global lockdowns. 

Guidance for the next quarter won’t be able to answer all investor’s questions – such as whether parks will be able to reopen in time for the busy summer season – but will give details on how the company plans to endure these punishing conditions until the economy gets back to something that vaguely resembles normality. 

PayPal 

PayPal stock has been one of the most resilient of those belonging to the payment processing industry. The company is likely to benefit from a surge in online shopping and demand for online services.

However, PayPal has also announced various measures to support its smaller partners, such as deferring business loan payments and waving certain fees for small business customers who are most affected by the impact of COVID-19. This will hit the company’s bottom line and revenue growth is expected to be negative for the quarter.

Bank of England interest rate decision 

The Bank of England faces the same situation as the Fed and ECB – interest rates are already as low as policymakers are willing to go (for the time being, at least), so it’s unlikely we will see any change to the base rate on Thursday. We could see an increase in the size of the asset purchasing programme, however, or alterations to its short-term repo operations.

The BoE also publishes its latest Inflation Report, which will detail the expected hit to the UK economy from the coronavirus pandemic.  The latest decision and report will be announced at 06.00 UTC on Thursday May 7th, instead of the usual time of 11.00 UTC.

Nonfarm payrolls 

Last month, the nonfarm payrolls report showed a drop of 701,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate leapt past expectations to 4.4%. The market reaction was muted, however, because everyone from economists to traders knew that there was far worse to come. 

Since the 21st of March, over 25 million Americans have filed jobless claims. Marchs NFP may have been the worst report since 2009, but the numbers will seem trifling compared to those reported for April. 

We’ve seen recently that markets are able to shrug off backward-looking data even if the readings are dire. It was the fear of numbers like these, after all, that saw stock markets posting record declines in Q1.

It is also worth noting that, since late March, the number of Americans filing for new jobless claims has fallen each week, suggesting the worst of the job losses may be behind us. 

But there is a risk that the numbers will be so appalling that markets will have to rethink their already bearish forecasts. 

Heads-Up on Earnings 

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

Pre-Market  05-May  Thompson Reuters – Q1 2020 
Pre-Market  05-May  Regeneron Pharmaceuticals – Q1 2020 
12.00 UTC  05-May  BNP Paribas – Q1 2020 
By 13.00 UTC  05-May  Fiat Chrysler – Q1 2020 
After-Market  05-May  Walt Disney – Q2 2020 
After-Market  05-May  Activision Blizzard – Q1 2020 
After-Market  05-May  Prudential Financial – Q1 2020 
After-Market  05-May  Occidental Petroleum – Q1 2020 
Pre-Market (Europe)  06-May  BMW – Q1 2020 
  06-May  Credit Agricole – Q1 2020 
  06-May  Societe Generale 
  06-May  Shopify – Q1 2020 
Pre-Market  06-May  General Motors – Q1 2020 
After-Market  06-May  PayPal – Q1 2020 
After-Market  06-May  T-Mobile US – Q1 2020 
After-Market  06-May  Lyft – Q1 2020 
  07-May  BT Group – Q4 2020 
Pre-Market  07-May  Wheaton Precious Metals – Q1 2020 
  08-May  Siemens – Q2 2020 

 

Highlights on XRay this Week 

07.15 UTC   Daily   European Morning Call 
09.00 UTC   Daily   Earnings Season Daily Special 
10.00 UTC   May 6th  Live Market Analysis with Neil Wilson 
12.20 UTC   May 8th  Platform Walkthrough 
12.30 UTC   May 8th  US Nonfarm Payrolls Live 

 

Key Economic Events 

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

08.15 – 09.00 UTC  04-May  Finalised Eurozone Member / Bloc Manufacturing PMIs 
04.30 UTC  05-May  Reserve Bank of Australia Interest Rate Decision 
14.00 UTC  05-May  US ISM Nonmanufacturing PMI 
08.15 – 09.00 UTC  06-May  Finalised Eurozone Member / Bloc Services PMIs 
14.30 UTC  06-May  US EIA crude Oil Inventories 
01.30 UTC  07-May  Australia Trade Balance 
01.45 UTC  07-May  Caixin Services PMI 
10.00 UTC  07-May  EU Economic Forecasts 
06.00 UTC  07-May  Bank of England Interest Rate Decision 
12.30 UTC  07-May  US Jobless Claims 
01.30 UTC  08-May  Reserve Bank of Australia Monetary Policy Statement 
12.30 UTC  08-May  US Nonfarm Payrolls / Unemployment Rate 

Week Ahead: Bumper week with FOMC, ECB, FAANGS & GDP

Welcome to your guide to the week ahead in the markets. Remember you can now find all the key events affecting the markets in our new Events Calendar in the platform.

European Central Bank rate decision

Last week ECB president Christine Lagarde allegedly told EU leaders during a private video summit that the bloc could be facing a drop in GDP of up to 15%, and that their efforts to contain the outbreak have been both too little and too late. Monetary policy can only go so far, but the ECB does still have room to manoeuvre. Expansion of QE will likely be the first port of call if policymakers decide more needs to be done, but minutes from the March 18th meeting show that cutting rates was floated, too.

FOMC decision – has the Fed got any ammunition left?

What’s left for the Federal Reserve to do? Rates have been slashed to zero, and that’s where futures markets see them staying well into 2021 at least. And it’s hard to announce more QE when you’ve already committed to unlimited asset purchases. The key question is what the FOMC has left in reserve in case its vast stimulus measures aren’t enough. Will policymakers set negative rates? Will they buy corporate stocks? Will they explicitly target yields on government bonds? Markets will be looking for reassurance that policymakers still have plenty of ammunition left. 

Bumper week of earnings with Apple, Alphabet, Facebook reporting 

Netflix has already reported earnings, but this week sees the rest of the FAANG group offering up their quarterly figures. Tesla and Microsoft are also amongst the heavy hitters providing updates this week. 

US, Eurozone GDP 

We’ve seen piecemeal evidence of the impact COVID-19 has had on the US and Eurozone economies thanks to industrial data, PMIs, and business sentiment figures. But now it’s time to get the full picture, as the US and Eurozone will both publish estimates of Q1 growth. It was initially believed that moderate growth in January and February would have softened the blow from social distancing and widespread lockdowns that went into effect in March. Now the consensus is that the recession expected in Q2 arrived much earlier. Estimates vary wildly, but no matter how dire the results, the figures for Q2 are likely to be way worse.

Heads-Up on Earnings

After-Market   28-Apr   Alphabet – Q1 2020  
After-Market   29-Apr   Microsoft – Q3 2020  
After-Market   29-Apr   Facebook – Q1 2020  
After-Market   29-Apr   Tesla – Q1 2020  
After-Market   30-Apr   Apple – Q2 2020  
After-Market   30-Apr   Amazon – Q1 2020 

Key Events

03.00 UTC   28-Apr   BOJ Rate Decision & Outlook Report  
07.00 UTC  28-Apr  Spanish Unemployment Rate Q1 
14.00 UTC   28-Apr   US CB Consumer Confidence  
01.30 UTC   29-Apr   Australia Quarterly CPI  
12.00 UTC   29-Apr   Germany Preliminary CPI  
12.30 UTC   29-Apr   US Advance GDP QoQ  
14.30 UTC   29-Apr   US EIA Crude Oil Inventories  
18.00 UTC   29-Apr   FOMC Rate Decision  
09.00 UTC   30-Apr   Eurozone Flash GDP  
11.45 UTC   30-Apr   ECB Rate Decision and Statement  
12.30 UTC   30-Apr   US Initial Jobless Claims  
14.30 UTC   30-Apr   US EIA Natural Gas Storage 

Companies pull guidance as COVID-19 chaos reigns

A slew of leading US companies have pulled their guidance today, blaming the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak. What else do the latest earnings reports tell us about the stocks?

Chipotle

Chipotle beat earnings estimates by $0.18 after reporting earnings per share of $3.08 for the first quarter. Revenue clocked in around expectations at $1.41 billion, as a surge in online orders helped to soften the blow from the closure of around 100 restaurants in locations such as shopping centres.

Despite pulling its guidance, the company has announced plans to help it adapt to the changing conditions, which include improving its mobile app, partnering with more delivery companies (and making delivery free), and shifting ad spend from live sports events to online, such as streaming platforms.

Executives have also said that diminished competition for real estate is helping the company secure better sites for future restaurants, even as it delays work on some of the 165-odd locations it had planned to open this year.

Shares are up around 10%.

AT&T

Shares in AT&T are drifting lower today after the company’s latest earnings report. Not only did the company pull its guidance, it also missed EPS expectations by a cent and reported revenue of $42.8 billion against forecasts of $44.2 billion.

The first quarter saw a surge in new phone subscribers, despite over 40% of its retail stores having to shut. Premium TV subscribers slumped by 897,000. The company estimates that the pandemic has hit EBITDA by $435 million.

Although guidance is out of the window, the company stated that it has enough free cash flow to make its debt payments and to pay dividends.

Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics has jumped 4% today after the company said that it had begun testing in its medical labs for COVID-19 antibodies, using tests from Abbot Laboratories and PerkinElmer. Earnings came in 5 cents above expectations, but revenue was 3.6% lower at $1.82 billion. The company expects to be able to perform over 200,000 antibody tests per day by the middle of next month. While guidance has been pulled, dividends are unaffected.

Kimberly-Clark

Earnings for Kimberly-Clark came in well-above expectations at $2.13 per share, versus consensus expectations of $1.97. Revenue was up as well, topping $5 billion against expectations of $4.86 billion, as consumers stocking up on essential items pushed organic sales up 11%.

The stock has slipped around 1% lower today.

LYFT

Lyft earnings aren’t due until May 6th, but the company has already followed its larger rival Uber in pulling its 2020 guidance. The company had been aiming to finally turn profitable this year, but the coronavirus pandemic has crushed those forecasts. Driver bookings are down around 75% in recent weeks.

‘The pandemic began to have a negative impact on business trends, including ride volumes, in mid-March, which has continued into April,’ Lyft said yesterday.

The May 6th earnings will detail the measures the company is taking to safeguard its financial position and reduce costs, while supporting both drivers and riders.

Week Ahead: Covid-19 earnings season, Amazon & Netflix to report

Amazon surged to a record high last week as markets bet that the company is well positioned to weather the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown has forced even more consumers to switch to online shopping, and the surge in demand has seen Amazon go on a huge hiring spree, adding 100,000 new workers in March and announcing plans for another 75,000 hires. Cowen Analyst John Blackledge believes Amazon may have witnessed a surge in demand during March equivalent to its annual Prime Day members sale.

The tedium of lockdown is likely to have driven up subscription rates for its video and music streaming services and its Kindle library as well. Guidance will show how sticky Amazon expects these new customers to be once lockdown measures are lifted.

Remember, you can follow the biggest earnings season stories with our daily coverage on XRay.

Netflix earnings

Streaming service Netflix is expected to reveal a huge surge in subscriber numbers when it reports earnings this week. Expectations that Netflix will continue to see its popularity surge over the coming months drove the stock to a new record high last week. Even after lockdown is over, the consumer shift towards streaming services is likely to remain, as social distancing and fear over a resurgence in COVID-19 cases keeps people away from cinemas – and going outdoors in general.

UK and US jobless data

There are plenty of predictions for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic upon the world’s leading economies, but markets continue to be hounded by fears that these might not be pessimistic enough. More labour market data from the UK and US this week could heighten or assuage those concerns.

In the UK, thanks to the government’s pledge to pay the wages of furloughed workers, the unemployment rate isn’t expected to climb more than a percentage point during 2020. In the US, economists believe 20 million Americans will file new jobless claims during April. A sharper or softer rise than expected in either of these metrics will cause markets to reprice their expectations that these forecasts will be met or exceeded.

Will markets focus on shape of recovery as PMIs slump?

Business activity across the Eurozone and the UK plunged to record lows last month, and we know there’s more bad news to come. The Eurozone composite could drop as low as 20 during April, with the UK reading predicted to slump to 21. The real question is whether markets believe the recovery from this downturn will be a rapid one – confidence in a sharp pullback could soften any negative reaction to another round of gloomy PMIs, assuming markets are in an optimistic mood.

Week Ahead: Earnings season and US-China trade deal in focus

Earnings season

US earnings season gets underway next week as the big banks begin reporting on Jan 14th. Weak corporate earnings growth could dent optimism around US stocks, but with the fourth quarter of 2019 out of the way, the market’s real focus is going to be whether we get the 10% earnings growth forecast in 2020.

Consensus estimates indicate a 1-2% decline in Q4 earnings, but the tendency to beat expectations suggests we will see earnings growth, albeit small.

Last year we saw multiple expansion massively outweigh earnings growth as the driver of the 28% rise in the S&P 500 last year. This poses problems as it means valuations are already rather stretched and reliant on strong EPS growth in 2020. However, ignoring the 2018 Christmas drubbing, the S&P 500 has only risen by a modest 10% from the 2018 highs.

US, China to sign phase one trade deal

Markets will surely take heart as January 15th approaches – that’s the deadline for signing the phase one trade deal the US and China managed agree in December. But there have been too many falls at the final hurdle to say that this is deal is done until the ink is dry. Markets could yet be in for a surprise, and even if phase one is agreed, we’ll then have to face the reality that phase two negotiations could be even more complex.

Germany, China growth data

World economic growth is expected to tick higher to 2.5% this year, but will German FY 2019 GDP and China Q4 growth figures shake the foundations of those predictions? Both have seen growth slow thanks to the US-China trade war, while Germany has also struggled due to Brexit uncertainty. The German economy is expected to have expanded 0.5% during 2019, while China’s Q4 reading is expected to tick higher to 6.1% from 6% in Q3.

US CPI – Fed to let inflation run hot

US inflation data is due for release on Tuesday 14th. Expectations are for price growth to moderate to 2% from 2.1%. The Federal Reserve in December made clear that it is prepared to let inflation run hot to compensate for months where it runs below target.

Corporate diary

Jan 14th – JPMorgan Chase & Co – Q4
Jan 14th – Wells Fargo & Co – Q4
Jan 14th – Citigroup – Q4
Jan 14th – Markit – Q4
Jan 15th – Bank of America – Q4
Jan 15th – United Heatlh – Q4
Jan 15th – BlackRock – Q4

Key Economic Events

(All times GMT)
09.30 GMT – Jan 13th – UK Monthly GDP / Production Data
15.00 GMT – Jan 13th – CAD BOC Business Outlook Survey
03.00 GMT – Jan 14th – China Trade Balance
13.30 GMT – Jan 14th – US Inflation Data
07.00 GMT – Jan 15th – Germany Full Year 2019 GDP Growth
09.30 GMT – Jan 15th – UK Consumer Price Index
15.30 GMT – Jan 15th – US EIA Crude Oil Inventories
Jan 15th – US-China Phase One Trade Deal Signing Ceremony
12.30 GMT – Jan 16th – ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts
13.30 GMT – Jan 16th – US Retail Sales
15.30 GMT – Jan 16th – US EIA Natural Gas Storage
02.00 GMT – Jan 17th – China GDP
09.30 GMT – Jan 17th – UK Retail Sales
15.00 GMT – Jan 17th – US Preliminary University of Michigan Sentiment

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