Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes were mostly flat early Monday as investors braced for one of the busiest weeks of the first-quarter earnings season. Contracts linked to the Dow and the S&P 500 hovered around the flatline. Nasdaq 100 futures traded marginally lower. Tesla shares were slightly lower in premarket trading ahead of the electric carmaker’s earnings report after the bell Monday.
Investors are due for a busy week ahead between a Federal Reserve meeting, the debut of President Joe Biden’s “American Families Plan,” more inflation data and a torrent of corporate earnings reports. About a third of the S&P 500 this week is set to update investors on how their businesses fared during the three months ended March 31. Some of the largest tech companies in the world are scheduled to report results this week, including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet.
With the global economy gradually reopening, firms like Boeing, Ford and Caterpillar are expected to note cost pressures they are facing from rising materials and transportation prices. Corporations have for the most part managed to beat Wall Street’s forecasts thus far into earnings season. With 25% of the companies in the S&P 500 reporting first-quarter results, 84% have reported a positive per-share earnings surprise and 77% have topped revenue estimates. If 84% is the final percentage, it will tie the mark for the highest percentage of S&P 500 companies reporting a positive EPS surprise since FactSet began tracking this metric in 2008.
News that the White House may look to hike the capital gains tax on the nation’s rich pushed the S&P 500 down almost 1% on Thursday, when multiple outlets began reporting the proposed increase. Though the broad equity index managed to more than recoup those losses with a 1.1% rebound on Friday, it still ended the week down 0.13% and snapped a four-week win streak. The Dow and the Nasdaq fell 0.5% and 0.3% last week, respectively.