The S&P500 is now back to within a few feet of its all-time high. More precisely, 0.7% separates it from its zenith at 4393 points. Indexes are showing resilience in the face of very palpable risks such as the spread of the Delta variant or US inflation.
The next two sessions are going to be filled with corporate results – including Microsoft - but not only. Several "macro" events will be closely scrutinized. Today, new data shows that jobless claims increased last week by 51,000 to a seasonally adjusted 419,000 for the week ended July 17, highlighting the fragility of economic recovery.
In addition, the European Central Bank said Thursday it does not expect to raise its historically low rates until it sees inflation "sustainably" reach the bank's new 2% target. The governing council "expects the ECB's key interest rates to remain at their current levels or lower until it sees inflation reach 2 percent well before the end of its three-year projection horizon" and on a sustainable basis for the remainder of the projection horizon, the bank said in a statement, adding that "this may also imply a transitional period in which inflation is slightly above the target.
Tomorrow, investors will also focus on purchasing managers' indexes, which will allow us to assess the evolution of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors in the United States and Europe.
This gives me the opportunity to refer you to our "stock profiles", which have recently been revised to display even more information. The "Calendar" tab is full of information to help you form an opinion on the quality of a company's latest results. Microsoft excels in this area. Focusing on quarterly results, the group has completely beaten market consensus (from revenues to earnings per share) since April 2019, which is still 9 affiliate releases above expectations. Will this streak continue?
Calendar tab of the Microsoft stock profile
Today's Economic Highlights:
In addition to the European Central Bank's monetary policy announcements, major indicators are published in the United States today, with the Unemployment Claims, Consumer Confidence, the Conference Board's Leading Indicator, and June's housing data.
The dollar/euro pair is trading at EUR 0.8476. Gold is still struggling around USD 1803. Oil rebounds strongly to USD 72.2 per barrel of Brent and USD 70.2 per barrel of WTI. The yield on US debt is also rising to 1.295% over 10 years. Bitcoin is rising to USD 32190.
On markets :
* AT&T gained 1.1% in pre-market trading after reporting better-than-expected mobile subscriber additions in the second quarter, buoyed by more Americans switching to 5G phones, raising its full-year growth forecast. The company announced Wednesday that it will sell its Vrio TV service in Latin America to Argentina's Grupo Werthein for an unspecified amount, after taking a $4.6 billion impairment charge on the business.
* Texas Instruments, which reported second-quarter results on Wednesday, fell 5% in premarket trading after a third-quarter revenue forecast was deemed disappointing.
* American Airlines on Thursday reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on the back of a recovery in travel demand.
* Southwest Airlines cut its second-quarter losses as bookings pick up, the airline said Thursday.
* Biogen on Thursday reported a 70.9% drop in quarterly profit as its flagship multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera caught up with competitors.
* Abbott Laboratories reported that its quarterly profit more than doubled on strength in its diagnostics business and a rebound in medical device sales.
* Blackstone - The world's private equity group said Thursday that its second-quarter profit nearly doubled year-over-year on higher asset sales.
* Chinese regulators are considering tough sanctions against DIDI after its New York IPO, Bloomberg News reported Thursday. The Chinese VTC giant is down 3 percent in pre-market trading.
* D.R. Horton posted a 77% increase in quarterly profit, benefiting from record real estate prices as demand outstripped supply.
* Dow reported Thursday that its second-quarter profit doubled on higher prices for its chemicals amid strong consumer and industrial demand. The stock gained 1.3% in premarket trading.
* Amazon - The Indian competition authority is accusing Amazon of concealing facts and making false statements in connection with an application to approve a 2019 investment in a Future Group subsidiary, a letter to the U.S. online retail giant seen by Reuters shows.
- Barclays: Goldman Sachs advises its customers to buy the stock. The target price is increased from GBp 260 to GBp 270.
- The Boston Beer Company : MKM Partners lowers price target to $974 from $1,204, keeps neutral rating
- Chevron: HSBC cut to hold from buy. PT up 12 % to $112
- Chipotle Mexican Grill : Evercore ISI adjusts price target to $1,950 from $1,800, keeps outperform rating
- EasyJet: JP Morgan remains neutral but raises its target price from GBp 845 to GBp 880.
- Flutter: RBC upgrades Flutter to outperform
- Foot Locker: Goldman Sachs reinstated coverage with a recommendation of buy. PT up 19% to $70
- GlaxoSmithKline: JP Morgan gives a Neutral rating to the stock. The target price remains set at GBp 1300.
- HCA Healthcare : Oppenheimer raises price target to $275 from $230, maintains outperform rating
- Morgan Sindall: Liberum upgrades to buy from hold, raises PT to 2,600p from 2,350p
- Netflix : Credit Suisse adjusts price target to $643 from $586, keeps outperform rating
- Polar Capital Tech: Stifel upgrades to positive from neutral.
- Rockwell Automation : Oppenheimer adjusts price target to $310 from $286, maintains outperform rating
- Royal Mail: Bernstein upgrades to "Outperform" with a target of GBp 650.
- Shell: HSBC downgrades to hold from buy. PT up by 10% to 1,500 pence
- The Interpublic Group of Companies : Wolfe Research adjusts price target to $40 from $36, maintains outperform rating
- Unilever: JP Morgan maintained his recommendation on the stock with a Neutral rating. The target price remains unchanged at GBp 4600.
- Utz Brands : Oppenheimer adjusts price target to $27 from $29, maintains outperform rating