The Chicago Journal

Investors Brace for the Start of Earnings Seasons as US Stock Futures Take a Dip

Early Monday morning, US stock futures fell significantly, particularly those tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. These fell 0.44% or 139 points, while S&P 500 futures fell 0.6% and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.89%.

The Dow and the S&P traded slightly lower last Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite rose for a fifth consecutive day.

Most of the major medians had a positive week after a better-than-expected employment report on Friday, which shows that the economic downturn that investors are anticipating is not yet here, giving them some hope.

Treasury Yields also rose, with two-year Treasury Yields exceeding 10-year yields, a reversal that many believe to be an indicator of a recession. Greg Bassuk, CEO of AXS Investments, also said:

“While the markets ended in solid green for the week, investors should brace for continued volatility in July, with ongoing uncertainties looming with respect to inflation, Fed policy, recession concerns, the enduring Russian-Ukraine war, all as we also move into corporate earnings season.”

Read also: Americans’ Wealth Takes a Hit from Stock Market Collapse

As beneficial as it is to the economy, employment reports could encourage the Federal Reserve to continue its policy of aggressive rate hikes in the coming months to fight high inflation. It remains to be seen, but speculation will be put to the test this week with a series of important bank earnings and consumer inflation data this week.

“With recessionary fears weighing on the markets, investors are hyper-focused on corporate earnings for greater clues about the health of corporate America and the broader US economy,” said Bassuk. “A sharper lens will be needed to dissect these earnings reports, as a strong second quarter might be accompanied by very conservative outlooks.”

“As commodity and other producer costs remain high, companies will be factoring in the extent to which those heightened prices can be passed on to consumers and, likewise, how to keep earnings vigorous amid economic, geopolitical and other key headwinds,” he added. 

Investors are also expecting key inflation data this week, with June CPI out on Wednesday. Headline inflation is expected to rise above 8.6% from May.

“Investors expect more aggressive Fed rate hike actions,” said Bassuk. “Unless the inflation data shows an outsized reduction in prices, balanced against concerns that an over-aggressive boost in rates could tip the US into recessionary territory.”

The June PPI will be released on Thursday, while the University of Michigan Consumer Confidence report will be released on Friday.

Read also: While Inflation Remains High, Jerome Powell Believes a Recession is Unlikely

Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.