Earnings bonanza; Intel and Apple; New UK prime minister

Posted at 3:31 AM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 07:22:17-04

1. Earnings bonanza: Welcome to the thick of earnings season.

A slew of companies report results Tuesday for the three months ending in June. Before US markets open, investors will get a look at Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, Hasbro, JetBlue, Kimberly-Clark, Lockheed Martin and Stanley Black & Decker.

They’ll be followed after the close by Chipotle, Texas Instruments and Visa.

UBS kicked off earnings Tuesday for European banks. The company beat profit expectations, even as its investment bank continued to struggle. The Swiss bank also warned that lower interest rates on the horizon would eat into its profits. Shares rose 2% in early trading.

2. Intel and Apple: Shares of Intel are up more than 1% in premarket trading following reports that Apple is in talks to buy its smartphone-modem chip business.

The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the potential deal, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal would give Apple a greater role in developing key parts of its smartphones at a time when phone sales are falling.

The smartphone-modem chips allow phones to connect to wireless data networks. Apple would also acquire Intel’s work developing chips for 5G, the next generation of ultra-high speed wireless, according to the report.

Intel said in April it would no longer make 5G modems for smartphones, citing “no clear path to profitability and positive returns” in the business.

3. UK prime minister: The United Kingdom will anoint its next prime minister on Tuesday, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

The Conservative Party’s selection of Theresa May’s successor could set the stage for Brexit and hit the pound with a fresh wave of volatility. The currency sank to a two-year low below $1.24 last week.

Frontrunner Boris Johnson has said that he’d be willing to force Brexit on October 31, the latest deadline for Britain to depart the European Union, if he’s unable to negotiate a new exit deal with EU officials.

Leaving the European Union without an agreement would plunge the United Kingdom into recession, according to the UK government budget watchdog. UK stock markets would fall 5%, while the pound would plummet 10%. GDP would shrink by 2% by the end of 2020.

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4. Markets higher: Global markets edged higher ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later this week that’s expected to signal lower interest rates.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng increased 0.3%. Japan’s Nikkei jumped almost 1%.

Markets in Europe also posted gains in early trading, with Britain’s FTSE 100 rising 0.7% and Germany’s DAX rallying 1.2%.

US stock futures point to another day in the green. The Dow is set to open up 60 points, or almost 0.2% higher. The S&P 500 could increase a similar amount, while the Nasdaq is tracking 0.3% higher.

All three US indexes closed modestly higher on Monday, fueled by corporate earnings.

5. Coming this week:

Tuesday — Europe consumer confidence; US existing home sales; Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, Kimberly-Clark, Lockheed Martin, Chipotle, Snap, UBS, Visa earnings
Wednesday — German manufacturing data; US new home sales; US crude inventories; Deutsche Bank, AT&T, Boeing, Caterpillar, UPS, Facebook, Ford, PayPal, Tesla earnings
Thursday — ECB rate decision; US durable goods; 3M, American Airlines, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Comcast, Hershey, Nokia, Amazon, Alphabet, Intel, Mattel, Starbucks earnings
Friday — US Q2 GDP; McDonald’s and Twitter earnings