Romain Fournier

Chief Editor
Having worked in the British, French and Swiss financial press, Romain is able to report on local and international issues, as comfortable in French as in the language of Shakespeare, Romain Fournier leads the editorial team at Marketscreener. Fine connoisseur of the English-speaking markets, Romain delivers an editorial every day on US and UK markets.

Nervousness is apparent ahead of Fed speech

05/03/2022 | 10:11am EDT
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U.S. stock index futures were slightly up to start the day, despite several disappointing earnings reports. Investors have now come to terms with the fact that the Fed will very likely raise interest rates by 0.5% tomorrow to curb inflation. But investors remain nervous.

The Estee Lauder Co Inc dropped 9.5% after slashing its full-year sales guidance due to Covid restrictions in China and the Conflict in Ukraine.

Biogen Inc fell 3.0% after it posted a 26% drop in quarterly earnings and said its CEO Michel Vounatsos would step down.

The countdown to the Fed's monetary policy decision tomorrow has started. U.S. 10-year yields have rallied to the 3% yield mark for the first time since 2018, which makes some sense considering the key rate hikes the U.S. central bank is about to adopt.

However, while everybody is pretty certain what to expect in terms of rates, it's still anybody's guess what Jerome Powell will say in terms of Quantitative Tightening in his speech following the monetary policy announcement.

Investors will analyze each and every word to get more clues about what's coming for stock markets this year. Perhaps we'll also get information about the pace of rate hikes.

In a note, Bank of America states that "perhaps the most interesting part of the press conference will be his response to a question about whether he would raise the rate by 75 basis points."

 

Economic highlights of the day:

On the agenda: German employment figures for April, the March unemployment rate and producer prices in the euro zone, and in the United States the JOLTS survey on job creation and durable goods orders. This morning, the Australian central bank raised its key rates by a quarter point.

The dollar is down 0.5% to EUR 0.9462. The ounce of gold is depressed at USD 1863. Oil has been little changed in the last few days, with North Sea Brent crude at USD 106.0 per barrel and U.S. light crude WTI at USD 103.81. The yield on 10-year US debt is back up to 2.98%, after touching the 3% mark for the first time since 2018. Bitcoin has stabilized around USD 38,500.

 

On markets:

* Pfizer on Tuesday confirmed its annual sales forecast for its COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid as well as for the vaccine developed with BioNTech, but revised its earnings per share forecast slightly downward to include certain expenses that were not previously recognized, in accordance with a recent request from stock exchange authorities. The stock was down about 1% in pre-market trading.

* Paramount Global, formerly ViacomCBS, reported weaker-than-market-forecast sales due to a decline in first-quarter TV advertising revenue. The stock was down 4% in pre-market trading.

* Dupont De Nemours - The industrial materials maker reported Tuesday a year-on-year decline in quarterly profit due to higher raw material and logistics costs, which were not offset by 6% price increases, and cut its annual sales and profit forecasts. The stock lost more than 6% in pre-market trading after these announcements.

* The Estee Lauder Company lowered its annual revenue forecast to take into account the impact of the recent confinements in China and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The stock was down 9% in pre-market trading.

* Western Digital - Activist fund Elliott Investment Management on Tuesday urged Western Digital to spin off its flash memory business, which it said is dragging down the U.S. company's overall performance, and offered to invest $1 billion to facilitate a sale or spin-off of the division. In pre-market trading, Western Digital gained 10%.

* Hilton Worldwide Holdings reported a first-quarter profit versus a loss in the same period last year, but the hotel group expects full-year profit to fall short of market expectations, sending its shares down 2.2% in premarket trading.

* Morgan Stanley - The bank's German subsidiary was raided Tuesday as part of an investigation into "past activities," a group spokesman said. The prosecutor's office said the investigation was into a so-called "cum-ex" tax fraud case.

* Biogen announced Tuesday the resignation of its CEO, Michel Vounatsos, saying it had started to look for a successor. The biotech group reported a 26% drop in quarterly profit.

* Expedia - The online travel agency reported Monday a smaller-than-expected adjusted loss for the first quarter and said it was optimistic about the recovery of tourist travel this summer. The stock was up 3 percent in after-hours trading on Wall Street.

* Thomson Reuters on Tuesday raised its 2022 revenue forecast after beating market estimates in the first quarter on strong growth in its core businesses but warned that the pandemic and geopolitical risks could reduce its ability to meet its targets.

* Restaurant Brands International - The owner of fast-food chain Burger King reported better-than-expected quarterly sales on Tuesday, thanks to increased restaurant traffic and higher prices.

* U.S. refiner Marathon Petroleum posted a first-quarter profit as demand for fuel and refined products returned to near pre-pandemic levels.

* Trivago reported a 166% increase in quarterly sales, driven by recovering demand in Europe and the Americas.

 

Analyst recommendations:

  • AstraZeneca: Handelsbanken cut its recommendation to hold from buy.
  • AO World: J.P. Morgan downgrades from neutral to underweight, targeting GBp 63.
  • Colgate-Palmolive: Atlantic Equities LLP downgrades to neutral from overweight. PT up 6.4% to $80.
  • Consolidated Edison: Wells Fargo Securities downgrades to underweight from equal-weight. PT up 2.2% to $94.
  • Ferguson: Jefferies remains Hold with a price target reduced from GBp 11,779 to GBp 11,239.
  • Idacorp: Wells Fargo Securities raised the recommendation to equal-weight from underweight. PT up 7.4% to $110.
  • Kellogg: Piper Sandler cut its recommendation to underweight from neutral. PT down 8% to $62.
  • Lancashire Holdings: Jefferies remains Buy with a price target raised from GBp 500 to GBp 550.
  • M&G Plc: HSBC upgrades from hold to buy targeting GBp 260.
  • Mohawk Industries: J.P. Morgan raised the recommendation. to neutral from underweight. PT to up 7% to $156.
  • NXP Semiconductors: Morgan Stanley adjusts price target to $188 from $262, keeps equalweight rating
  • Petrofac: Berenberg upgrades from hold to buy targeting GBp 210.
  • Salesforce.com: Wedbush adjusts price target on salesforce.com to $225 from $275, keeps outperform rating.
  • Tyson Foods: Piper Sandler downgrades to underweight from neutral. PT down 13% to $81.

© MarketScreener.com 2022
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Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AO WORLD PLC 0.14% 72.15 Delayed Quote.-34.80%
ASTRAZENECA PLC 0.28% 10806 Delayed Quote.24.31%
BIOGEN INC. 0.29% 212.55 Delayed Quote.-11.67%
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY -0.82% 79.72 Delayed Quote.-5.81%
CONSOLIDATED EDISON, INC. 0.77% 93.65 Delayed Quote.8.92%
DUPONT DE NEMOURS, INC. -1.76% 57.49 Delayed Quote.-27.52%
EXPEDIA GROUP, INC. -1.55% 100.695 Delayed Quote.-43.37%
FERGUSON PLC 1.33% 9322 Delayed Quote.-29.80%
HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC. 0.15% 116.92 Delayed Quote.-25.18%
IDACORP, INC. 1.51% 105.76 Delayed Quote.-8.07%
KELLOGG COMPANY -0.04% 70.68 Delayed Quote.9.78%
LANCASHIRE HOLDINGS LIMITED -1.04% 378.8 Delayed Quote.-27.77%
M&G PLC 1.21% 201 Delayed Quote.-0.45%
MARATHON PETROLEUM CORPORATION 2.43% 87.745 Delayed Quote.33.90%
MOHAWK INDUSTRIES, INC. 2.11% 130.46 Delayed Quote.-29.77%
MORGAN STANLEY -0.60% 77.35 Delayed Quote.-20.72%
NXP SEMICONDUCTORS N.V. -0.17% 158.92 Delayed Quote.-30.06%
PETROFAC LIMITED 0.84% 120.1 Delayed Quote.3.30%
PFIZER, INC. 0.66% 51.935 Delayed Quote.-12.63%
RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL LIMITED PARTNERSHIP 2.41% 64.22 Delayed Quote.0.00%
SALESFORCE.COM, INC. -2.67% 180.9 Delayed Quote.-26.84%
THE ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES INC. -2.57% 263.3 Delayed Quote.-27.01%
THOMSON REUTERS CORPORATION 0.80% 135.26 Delayed Quote.-11.29%
TRIVAGO N.V. 0.00% 1.59 Delayed Quote.-27.06%
TYSON FOODS, INC. -0.28% 85.535 Delayed Quote.-1.56%
WESTERN DIGITAL 2.15% 48.07 Delayed Quote.-27.82%
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