Markets Week Ahead: Health giants and iron ore majors to release earnings

Markets Week Ahead: Health giants and iron ore majors to release earnings

As a series of new records tumbled in the US to end last week, the local share market is set for a bright open to begin a week packed with earnings reports. Iron ore miners and health care majors are the key results up for scrutiny this week, while the latest job numbers and central bank minutes will detail macroeconomic news.


Economic calendar and news

Minutes from the most-recent RBA Board meeting will be on the agenda on Tuesday, which should shed some further light on the central bank’s decision to extend its bond-buying program, in addition to its views on currency movements that are acting as an economic headwind at the moment.

Employment data will follow on Thursday, with job numbers from January the focus. Economists’ forecasts point to a continuing improvement in the economy, with an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 new jobs anticipated for the month, potentially enough to see the unemployment rate ease to 6.5%.

Rounding things out will be flash PMI data for the local manufacturing and services sectors, alongside preliminary figures for January’s retail sales.

Amid a shortened trading week in the US, look out for industrial and manufacturing production, housing starts, existing home sales, manufacturing and services activity, retail sales data and Federal Reserve minutes.


Major movers

The next round of companies set to report include a host of consumer retail names, alongside a number of industrials, real estate trusts, health care firms, and resources stocks.



Despite its smaller status, Nearmap (ASX: NEA) will be one of the most-watched stocks this week as the company brings forward its earnings release to Monday in an effort to respond to and counter a ‘short attack’ on the company by an international research firm. The stock has been singled out amid accusations its US growth is not faring up to speed, with this morning’s release addressing that matter.

Iron ore trio BHP (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) will all hand down results this week. With iron ore prices sky high throughout the half-year, and escalating further since then, dividends will be the main watch-point for these stocks as investors anticipate large payouts. 

On Wednesday, Webjet (ASX: WEB) will detail its financials, with the firm among the hardest-hit companies across the market during COVID-19 with international borders closed, and stop-start restrictions at a domestic level as well. Webjet’s peer, Corporate Travel Management (ASX: CTD), is another name with results set to be released on the same day.

Meanwhile, CSL (ASX: CSL) is the standout name to watch on Thursday, with the biotechnology giant also set to shed light on its efforts to produce vaccines locally. One matter that analysts might be watching closely is the appreciation in the Australian dollar, a headwind arising from the fact that the company earns a large volume of its revenue in USD. This may also be a factor influencing the results for fellow health care giant Cochlear (ASX: COH), which reports on Friday.



Other names on watch this week include some of those names trading with the strength of record all-time highs behind them, including IDP Education (ASX: IEL) and Pro Medicus (ASX: PME).

Overseas, reporting names include Palantir (NYSE: PLTR) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT), with the latter set to provide an insight into the strength of the American consumer.


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