Equity markets experienced a pullback in the last week with the:
S&P 500 index falling 2.9%
The Nasdaq Composite index falling 3.5%, and the
Dow Jones Industrial Average index falling 2.1%
The upcoming week will be bustling with corporate earnings releases, with major tech giants at the center of attention.
On Tuesday, the market is poised to analyze the earnings reports of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL). Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are slated to unveil their financial results on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The week will also witness earnings revelations from an array of other notable firms, such as Visa (NYSE:V), Mastercard (NYSE:MA), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), the Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), and Chevron (NYSE:CVX).
As per the data available until Friday, 17% of the companies listed on the S&P 500 had disclosed their earnings for the most recent quarter. FactSet's research indicates that 73% of these companies reported earnings per share (EPS) that surpassed the consensus estimates, and 66% announced revenues that exceeded expectations.
However, there's a prevailing anticipation that S&P 500 companies, on average, will experience a 0.4% annual decline in earnings. If this projection holds, it will represent the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year earnings reductions.
In this context, investors and analysts are keenly watching the forthcoming earnings announcements, especially from tech behemoths, to gauge the sector's performance and broader market trends amidst a complex economic landscape.
U.S. Economic Outlook: GDP and Inflation
On Thursday, the spotlight will be on the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) as it releases the preliminary estimate for the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter. GDP, a critical indicator of economic health, measures the total value of goods and services produced within the country's borders.
The U.S. economy grew by 2.2% and 2.1% in the first and second quarters of 2023, respectively. Despite the Federal Reserve’s strategy of implementing interest rate hikes to temper the economy and mitigate inflation, the U.S. economy has demonstrated resilience. These hikes, intended to make borrowing costlier, have yet to impede economic expansion significantly.
Moving to Friday, the focus shifts to inflation as the BEA is slated to publish the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index for September. This index is highly regarded by the Federal Reserve as a precise measure of inflation, offering insights into consumer price movements.
Forecasts from the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank anticipate a 0.35% increase in PCE prices for the previous month. Core PCE, which omits the more volatile components of food and energy, is projected to increase by 0.29% compared to August.
On an annual basis, core PCE is expected to register a 3.7% increase, marking a slowdown from the 3.9% rise observed in August. This trend signals a gradual approach towards the Federal Reserve’s 2% inflation target, underscoring the nuanced balance between economic growth and inflation management.