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July 23, 2014 - Earnings in Focus as US Indices Near Highs
Trading the News This Week
US indices are expected to open marginally higher on Wednesday as the S&P continues to close in on 2,000 while the Dow is once again very close to new record highs having managed to close above 17,000. Ahead of the opening bell, the S&P is expected to be 2 points higher, the Dow 19 points higher and the Nasdaq 3 points higher.
These gains clearly show that investors are more concerned about economic data and earnings season right now than the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and the Gaza strip. Thatís not to say that both of these donít have the potential to cause further disruptions and weigh further on investor sentiment, it just means that the risk associated with these events is fully priced in and there has been no new significant developments.
With this in mind, corporate earnings are likely to be the biggest driver of markets today, given that the economic calendar is offering very little in terms of significant releases. The only releases coming from the US are MBA mortgage applications for the week ending 18 July and crude oil stocks change for the same period. Mortgage applications can give some important insight into the current state of the housing market in the US at the moment but the market impact tends to be minimal. The crude oil stocks change on the other hand tends to only impact oil prices.
We do have one number being released for the eurozone, the preliminary consumer confidence reading for July. This again doesnít tend to get much of a reaction from traders, potentially because the number remains in negative territory which suggests consumers remain pessimistic and are therefore less likely to spend. The lesser dependency on the consumer in the eurozone compared to the likes of the US and the UK, may also explain why this carries less weight.
This leaves earnings season as the major driver today, with the likes of AT&T, Boeing and Facebook all reporting on the second quarter. As always, while the earnings results themselves may primarily have an impact on equity markets, and more specifically the specific stocks and sectors, the sentiment surrounding the entirety of earnings season can be a driver of investor sentiment and therefore impact other markets indirectly.
By Alpari Forex
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