Viewed several hours before the North American opening, the markets today may prove again that volatility is the new normal. Major North American indicators are in the green at time of writing. This may point to a rally of sorts during the day today, following the gut-wrenching sell-off of the past three days.
At the same time, major European indicators are literally shifting from red to green at time of writing. European markets are nervous of increased lockdowns in France and Germany and fears of the inevitable economic impact.
As I complete this edition, the wire services are carrying reports of a terrorist attack in Nice, France. Whether the attack rattles European markets will become clear during the morning.
Apple’s fourth quarter report is top of mind for many investors today and it will be interesting to see whether iPhone sales slowed while customers were awaiting the unveiling of the iPhone12. (And next time around, it will be interesting to see the impact of iPhone12 sales.)
The pandemic overhangs some of the results expected today. Moderna Inc. will report its third quarter results and investors will be listening for an update on its COVID 19 vaccine plans.
We get a different look at the effect of the pandemic as Amazon.com Inc. posts third quarter results including the increase in shopping from home, driven by the crisis. Amazon is currently on a hiring binge for the holiday season and investors will look for clues about the company’s outlook for the holiday season.
Facebook is also scheduled to report third quarter results on Thursday, and likely will post increased revenue. Investors will also be listening for any hints from the company about its reaction to renewed calls for its breakup. (How the potential breakup would be handled is another exceptionally large question.)
Twitter also reports today and may show two contrary trends: usage and subscribers increasing due to need to stay-at-home during the pandemic and declining ad revenue, also due to the pandemic.
Also, today we get another view of the impact of the pandemic with reports from several companies very much dependent on consumer traffic. Starbucks is expected to post its fourth quarter report and Dunkiin’ Donuts will post third quarter results. Keurig Dr. Pepper, Molson Coors Corp and the Kraft Heinz Company also report third quarter results.
Taken together these results will form a partial composite of the consumer sector.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. also reports its third quarter today. Not surprisingly, heavy losses are expected, and investors will want some clues from management about the outlook for 2021.
Disclosure: I do not own shares in any company mentioned in this report.