Markets Week Ahead: Apple, Tesla, big tech to dominate the agenda

Markets Week Ahead: Apple, Tesla, big tech to dominate the agenda

Futures point to a modest positive start for the local stock market at the opening bell this morning, despite the US market rounding out last week by dipping into the red.

Investors will be scrutinising a host of earnings results from US tech companies this week, which will set the barometer for global equities to follow. Also set to have an impact will be the first glimpse of US GDP data from the final quarter of 2020.


Economic calendar and news

This week, the Australian economic calendar is headlined by fourth-quarter inflation data, however, there will also be readings for business confidence, export and import prices, plus private sector credit.

Overseas news, however, will likely prove a catalyst as a series of key figures are published. This includes US data on manufacturing activity, durable goods orders, jobless claims, new home sales, as well as GDP for the December quarter of last year. Consensus estimates suggest the US economy grew in excess of 4% if not closer to 5% quarter-on-quarter, which follows the record drop and rebound over the preceding six-month period.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve will host its first meeting for the year, with no policy changes anticipated. The IMF will release its World Economic Outlook, which is a biannual survey detailing IMF economists’ analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term.



Major movers

More than 100 companies across the S&P 500 are scheduled to release earnings results this week, including heavyweights like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

Another potential stock that could be a hot topic this week is Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), which reports on Tuesday, US time. Unlike existing vaccine players, JNJ is working towards a single-shot vaccine, and there is some hope the company might touch on its progress developing a vaccine.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) will unveil its December production results on Thursday. It comes after the company’s non-executive chairman and former CEO Andrew Forrest detailed his vision for the company to become a producer of ‘green steel’.

Last Friday, FMG also gave shareholders a hint regarding what to expect from the company’s results, announcing December’s preliminary and unaudited net profit after tax was more than US$940 million, while the December half is expected to come in between US$4 billion to US$4.1 billion.

In terms of momentum trades, there were nine stocks valued more than $1 billion that hit a new all-time high last week, some of which could be on watch yet again over the coming days. The most-publicised was BNPL juggernaut Afterpay (ASX: APT), which is now valued at more than $40 billion. However, Wesfarmers (ASX: WES), at $60.6 billion, and Reece (ASX: REH), at $10.8 billion, were also among the high-profile names.


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