The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average moved back into positive territory for the year on Thursday erasing most of Wednesday’s losses as earnings from Microsoft, Twitter and Tesla drove the S&P 500 tech sector 3.63% higher. Eighty percent of S&P 500 stocks traded in green yesterday, while only the Telecommunications Services and Utilities sectors ended in red. It seemed as if investors were finally buying the dips and rotating from the defensive sectors to growth stocks. However, it might be too early to confirm that markets have finally found a bottom.
The rally on Thursday may be short-lived after Alphabet and Amazon reported their Q3 results. Shares of Amazon received a sharp hit in after-hours trading, declining by 9% despite the e-commerce firm managing to beat on EPS. The company expects net sales growth to be between 10%-20% in the fourth quarter, below Wall Street’s expectations of 22%. Meanwhile, Google’s parent miss on revenues dragged the stock down 4% in after-hours trading.
In an environment of rising interest rates, trade tensions, signs of slowing economic growth, and lots of geopolitical uncertainty, earnings and future forecasts need to be exceptional for investors to continue buying stocks. Otherwise, the consequences will be severe. This is especially the case where investors have an alternative to equities, which is fixed income.
U.S. futures are indicating a lower open today after more than $100 billion were wiped off Amazon’s and Alphabet’s market cap. This led Asian equities to tumble today. Also expect European markets to be in the red in early trade.
In currency markets, the Dollar traded 0.3% below its 2018 highs. ECB President Mario Draghi failed to provide a boost to the Euro although the central bank is still expected to normalize monetary policy. Markets seem to be unconvinced that risks to the Eurozone outlook remain balanced especially given the recent data which showed economic activity falling to a 25-month low, and the ongoing rise in tensions between Italy and the EU.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Renminbi fell to its lowest level since the global financial crisis and is currently a whisker away from the key psychological level of 7.
On the economic data front, the U.S. Q3 GDP is expected to slow from last quarter’s 4.2% but remain well above 3%. A surprise to the downside will lead to further anxiety in equity markets as if confirms that the current economic cycle has reached its peak. A better than expected number doesn’t necessarily mean that bulls will return, as it suggests the Fed will keep tightening policy. However, the Dollar is likely to benefit the most from a robust figure.
Disclaimer: The content in this article comprises personal opinions and should not be construed as containing personal and/or other investment advice and/or an offer of and/or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments and/or a guarantee and/or prediction of future performance. ForexTime (FXTM), its affiliates, agents, directors, officers or employees do not guarantee the accuracy, validity, timeliness or completeness, of any information or data made available and assume no liability as to any loss arising from any investment based on the same.