Today, the market is kicking off a blizzard of its own (hopefully with less travel disruption). Virtually every big tech company, including Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), and Alibaba (BABA) are reporting earnings this week. To top it off, the Fed is meeting on interest rates and GDP is being released.
I have a good feeling this will be a good week, with new records set. Either way, it should be an interesting one. Here’s a preview of what’s coming up this week:
Monday: Microsoft (MSFT)
Analysts expect Microsoft to report earnings per share (EPS) of 71 cents and revenues of $26 billion, with growth since last year expected for revenues but not EPS. That means their expenses are rising more than revenues are, which in this case may reflect their efforts to expand into new markets.
If Microsoft does report negative EPS growth it could drive the stock lower, but the company is expected to report on lots of new products that could temper the EPS effect. Overall, I wouldn’t be too worried about holding into earnings. While this is one of the least exciting of the tech companies reporting this week, it’s a very solid one, with the stock up 26% in the last year.
Tuesday: Apple (AAPL), American Airlines (AAL), Caterpillar (CAT), Pfizer (PFE), Procter & Gamble (PG), Yahoo! (YHOO), Federal Open Markets Committee Meeting
Apple is going to be the big story of the day, if not the week. Analysis expect Apple to report EPS of $2.59 and revenue of $67.50 billion (just compare those to Microsoft’s numbers for a minute). That’s also a big increase over last year.
It’s no secret that I love Apple, and it’s one of my big long-term positions. While I am optimistic about Tuesday, my one concern is that the huge expectations for strong earnings from Apple (the stock is already trading higher today) leave room for disappointment, and therefore a price dip. But I think any dip will be short lived and could even be a buying opportunity. This is a stock I’m holding, not trading.
I’m not as bullish on Yahoo. Much of Yahoo’s price increase this past year has been thanks to Alibaba, not operating improvements. That will show in an earnings report.
Finally, the Fed is kicking off a two day meeting on Tuesday, likely to focus on interest rate hikes. Most analysts are already expecting rate increases in mid-2015, so there likely won’t be any surprises out of the meeting. Hopefully there will just be additional clarification on the timing of the raises.
Wednesday: Facebook (FB)
Facebook’s stock price tends to struggle after earnings reports, even when the company performs well. I’d wait to pick up shares until after the report is out.
Thursday: Alibaba (BABA), Amazon (AMZN), Ford (F), Google (GOOG), Visa (V)
Alibaba is another of my long-term positions, and I’m expecting good things out of Thursday’s report. The stock has been trading down or flat in the past few months, which I think leaves more room for a positive reaction.
I’m avoiding Amazon. I’m not comfortable with its high valuation and the stock’s earnings reactions are always variable.
Friday: Chevron (CVX), MasterCard (MA)
Given the concern around falling oil prices, the reaction to Chevron’s report could be ugly.
I for one am looking forward to seeing how it all goes down this week. Stay warm, friends!