Worldwide stocks are rising as CEOs prepare latest report cards
Wall Street is rising in Monday morning trading as CEOs across the country prepare to tell their investors how much money they made or lost, in the spring as the coronavirus pandemic pounded the economy.
The S&P 500 was 1.1% higher after the first hour of trading, following up on similar gains across Europe and Asia. Treasury yields also climbed, though some hesitance still hungover markets as the price of gold ticked higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 337 points, or 1.3%, at 26,413, as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was up 1.5%.
PepsiCo added 1.9% after it reported a bigger profit for the latest quarter than analysts expected. But the company behind Frito-Lay and SodaStream also said the future looks so uncertain given the coronavirus pandemic that it won’t offer any predictions about its sales and profits for the rest of the year.
Earnings reporting season will really get going Tuesday, when several of the country’s biggest banks report their results, headlined by JPMorgan Chase. Across the S&P 500, expectations are almost universally dismal.
Analysts say the biggest U.S. companies likely saw their earnings per share plummet nearly 45% from April through June, compared with year-ago levels. That would be the sharpest loss since the depths of the Great Recession in 2008, according to FactSet.
Investors, though, largely seem willing to give a mulligan for terrible results in the latest quarter and perhaps even a couple more.
We and many investors expect the coronavirus-induced collapse in profits will be concentrated in 2020, Goldman Sachs strategists wrote in a report.
Instead, investors are focusing on a hopeful return to profit growth in 2021 and beyond. The hope is that the economy and corporate profits bottomed out in the spring when lockdowns were at their height and will continue to improve as governments have relaxed restrictions.
The job market, retail sales and other measures of the economy have already been showing some budding improvement.
Of course, all the optimism is colliding with fears that the recovery could be short-lived. Coronavirus counts are jumping across global hot spots.
Florida and other hard-hit states in the U.S. Sun Belt have been in the spotlight in particular, with the stock market often jerking suddenly lower following announcements of rising numbers of known infections and deaths.
If states continue to bring back restrictions on their economies to slow the resurgence, it could choke off the fragile economic improvements just as they got underway.
Such concerns have helped the price of gold recently vault to its highest level since September 2011. Gold added 8.60 to 1,810.50 per ounce in Monday morning trading.
Another measure of nervousness in the market also ticked higher. The VIX, which shows how much volatility traders expect from the S&P 500 in upcoming weeks, rose by 1.7%.
Stocks nevertheless mostly climbed on Monday, with Maxim Integrated Products surging 10.8% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. Semiconductor maker Analog Devices said it will buy the company in an all-stock deal that values the combined company at more than 68 billion.
The gains add to the S&P 500’s 1.8% climb last week. It has pulled back within 5% of its record, which was set in February, after being down nearly 34% in late March. The market has been stuck in a mostly up-and-down churn since early June, though, when it got within 4.5% of its record.
Even though reports on the economy since early June have painted more improvements, worries are still high that the stock market has roared back to nearly record levels so much faster than corporate profits or the economy are expected to.
Many economists and analysts say it could take years for that to happen, and the recent resurgence in coronavirus counts puts even that timetable in jepoardy.
Stocks elsewhere around the world also climbed Monday.
In Europe, France’s CAC 40 rose 1.3%, and Germany’s DAX returned 1%. The FTSE 100 in London climbed 1.2%.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 climbed 2.2%, South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.7% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.8%.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.65% from 0.63% late Friday. It tends to move with investors’ expectations for the economy and inflation.
Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 0.8% to 40.24 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 0.8% to 42.90 per barrel.