The investing landscape is gearing up for an eventful week as earnings season unfolds, with a striking 30% of S&P 500 companies poised to unveil their financial results.
These earnings disclosures are poised to cast a wide-reaching impact over the financial spectrum, transcending stocks and extending into the foreign exchange market. In essence, should these corporate performances fail to meet expectations, it could lead to a decline in stock markets and put downward pressure on the value of the US dollar. Conversely, favourable outcomes are anticipated to buoy both markets.
Among the tech titans set to reveal their earnings, Alphabet and Microsoft are on the docket after Tuesday's market close. Meta is scheduled to report on Wednesday, followed by Amazon on Thursday. The performance of these industry leaders is set to wield substantial influence over the broader market and, more importantly, define the growth prospects within the tech sector.
While the tech sector has traditionally been synonymous with growth, it is important to recognise that the major players in this domain are already reaping substantial profits. In the past year, these seven tech giants constituted a significant 17% of S&P 500 per-share earnings. This figure is projected to escalate to 24% by 2025.
The growth trajectories charted by these tech behemoths carry substantial weight in shaping the broader equity market's health. Big tech has consistently delivered lucrative returns to US investors, notwithstanding occasional setbacks like the one experienced in 2022. This year, the surge in interest in artificial intelligence has further propelled investments in tech stocks. Moreover, in an environment rife with economic uncertainties, investors are increasingly finding solace in the stability offered by some of the market's largest corporations.
In the ongoing earnings season, a notable 86 companies, representing 17% of the S&P 500, have already disclosed their earnings. Among this group, earnings have shown an impressive 4.9% increase compared to the previous year, with a significant 73% exceeding the expectations of Wall Street. This sparks optimism that this quarter could mark the first year-over-year profit growth in the past year.
Within the financial arena, a watchful eye is also trained on the bond market, with speculations arising about a potential reversal of the recent bond selloff. This reversal could come into play if economic data starts to soften or if geopolitical tensions escalate.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has hinted that the upswing in bond yields might lead the Fed to pause its campaign of interest rate hikes. Currently, those involved in interest-rate derivatives trading are giving a significant 96.2% probability of the Federal Reserve keeping its policy rate unchanged at the upcoming November meeting, as per the CME Group's FedWatch tool.
In summary, the focus remains squarely on the tech industry's earnings reports and their considerable influence on market dynamics. Coupled with this are the Federal Reserve's pivotal decisions regarding interest rates, which continue to play an indispensable role in shaping the prevailing economic landscape.
Fullerton Markets Research Team
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