Weekend News & Speculations
The speculations about Kim Jong-Un’s health has intensified over the weekend after unverified reports of a visit by a Chinese medical team hit the headlines. There were reports that the North Korean leader had passed away, but this was later denied by leaders familiar with the matter.
There is no smoke without fire, and the mystery, together with his lack of public appearances in the last few weeks have caused many to contemplate the threat and instability on China’s border and nuclear weapons. The world may have to face another conflict amid the major coronavirus pandemic.
Brexit news also hit markets as the latest talks were not encouraging. The pandemic has delayed Brexit negotiations, and investors are sceptical about whether the United Kingdom will request an extension.
However, the immediate attention remains on the developments of the fight against the novel coronavirus. In anticipation of positive news on the pandemic, investors will monitor the earnings results and central bank decisions for guidance.
Big Tech Earnings
It will be one of the busiest weeks with the remaining of the FAANG group reporting their quarterly earnings along with guidance. Amid major companies within the industrial, finance, and energy sector reporting quarterly results, the technology stocks will be the highlights:
Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) announced today that the company’s first-quarter 2020 financial results would be released after the market close on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Facebook will host a conference call to discuss its results at 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET the same day.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will release its second-quarter results on Thursday, April 30, 2020, after market close. Apple’s conference call to discuss second-quarter results on the same say at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will hold a conference call to discuss its first-quarter 2020 financial results on April 30, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. PT/5:30 p.m. ET.
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG, GOOGL) will hold its quarterly conference call to discuss first-quarter 2020 financial results on Tuesday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET.
Twitter, Microsoft, Tesla, Boeing BA, Berkshire Hathaway, Gilead Sciences, McDonald’s Corp, and Starbucks will also be among the major companies reporting quarterly results.
Central banks are back in focus with major central bank rate decisions. Global central banks have not hesitated to hold unplanned meetings to rescue the financial markets. There are heightened expectations from central banks to ramp up efforts to support their economies from the fallout of the pandemic.
As the world witnessed an unprecedented health crisis that threatens to cause a deep recession, interest rates have been set to record lows, and many central banks have started or resumed the controversial monetary policy- Quantitative Easing (QE).
Monday: Bank of Japan
The BoJ will hold the next Monetary Policy meeting, which was originally planned for Monday and Tuesday to only one day on April 27. A shorter meeting is being held with a view to making the utmost efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
At this meeting, the BOJ is expected to convey plans to ease funding for companies hit by the pandemic, which will likely include the purchases of corporate bonds and commercial paper. Monday: Bank of Japan
BoJ will hold the next Monetary Policy meeting, which was originally planned for Monday and Tuesday to only one day on April 27. A shorter meeting is being held with a view to making the utmost efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
At this meeting, the BOJ is expected to convey plans to ease funding for companies hit by the pandemic, which will likely include the purchases of corporate bonds and commercial paper.
Wednesday: Federal Reserve
The central bank has proactively been supporting the financial system with emergency rate cuts, massive QE programs, stimulus packages, interventions in the repo markets, and acting as a lender of last resort.
Investors are, therefore, not expecting the Fed to wait for a scheduled meeting to pass any significant stimulus measures to support the US economy. Market participants are mostly awaiting comments from the Fed on the economic conditions and how a recovery will pan out. In a nutshell, investors will look for clues to evaluate the Fed’s current outlook of the US economy.
Thursday: European Central Bank
The ECB will be assigned with a challenging job yet again to rescue the Eurozone area from the pandemic. The EU leaders failed to agree on a recovery fund, leaving the ECB with not much choice other than to boost efforts to rescue the Eurozone’s economy.
It is predicted that the ECB will likely expand its QE program and take bold steps to include the purchase of riskier bonds under the pandemic emergency purchase program as politicians failed to step up.
It will be interesting to see how ECB will act as EU leaders failed again to provide support to the ECB.
The US GDP data will stand out amid a packed-economic calendar. Aside from central bank decisions, investors will closely monitor the extent of the economic contraction following the shutdowns of the American economic activity.
The Q1 GDP preliminary figures are widely expected to be a preview of how worse the second quarter will be.
Dallas Fed Manufacturing Business Index (US)
Jobs/Applicants Ratio, Unemployment Rate, BoJ Monetary Policy, Outlook Report, and Press Conference (Japan)
ECB Bank Lending Survey (Eurozone)
S&P Case Shiller Home Price Indices, Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index and Consumer Confidence (US)
ANZ – Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence, Trade Balance, Exports, Participation Rate, and Unemployment Rate (New Zealand)
Consumer Price Index (Australia)
Business Climate (Eurozone)
Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (Germany)
Core PCE, GDP, Pending Home Sales, EIA Crude Oil Stocks Change, Fed Interest Rate Decision and FOMC Press Conference (US)
Retail Trade, Industrial Production and Large Retailer’s Sales (Japan)
Non-Manufacturing PMI and NBS Manufacturing PMI (China)
Retail Sales, Unemployment Rate and Change (Germany)
Real Retail Sales and KOF Leading Indicator (Switzerland)
CPI, GDP, Unemployment Rate, ECB Interest & Deposit Rate and Monetary Policy Statement & Press Conference (Eurozone)
Core PCE, Personal Income & Spending, Jobless Claims, and Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index (US)
Tokyo CPI (Japan)
Markit Manufacturing PMI (UK)
Markit Manufacturing PMI (Canada)
Markit Manufacturing PMI, ISM Manufacturing Employment Index, PMI, Prices Paid, and New Orders (US).