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Wall St. set to open higher as earnings season gathers steam

Kitco News

(Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open higher on Monday as investors eyed fresh trade developments between the United States and China during a busy week of corporate earnings, with results from marquee names including Facebook and Amazon on tap.

Second-quarter earnings started off on a dour note last week as results from major banks raised concerns about profit growth in a low interest rate environment.

“We are going into another round of earnings which is going to set the tone for markets, and U.S.-China trade talks look like they can go forward and that is a positive thing,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

The South China Morning Post reported U.S. trade negotiators will likely visit China next week for their first face-to-face talk with Chinese officials since the G20 meeting, when Trump held off on fresh tariffs on Chinese goods.

As earnings season progresses, profits at S&P 500 companies are now estimated to rise about 1%, according to Refinitiv IBES data, in a reversal from earlier expectations of a small drop.

Facebook Inc (FB.O), Inc (AMZN.O) and Google-parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) rose between 0.4% and 0.6% in premarket trade, and are set to report results this week.

“I think their results are probably going to be fine, but they will need to address their problems on impending regulations and how they are going to channel that, so that it doesn’t impair their ability to grow money,” Forrest said.

Results from technology companies have been robust so far, with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) reporting profit beats last week.

Investors will parse through company results to gauge the impact that the trade war has had on corporate profits, to see whether results are poor enough to persuade the Federal Reserve to take strong action this year.

Hopes of an interest rate cut helped Wall Street’s main indexes recover from a slump in May and scale new record highs.

The main indexes ended the week lower for the first time in three weeks as investors dialed down hopes of a steep 50 basis points rate cut at the central bank’s upcoming policy setting meeting.

At 8:25 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 67 points, or 0.25%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 9.25 points, or 0.31% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 37.5 points, or 0.48%.

Chipmaker Micron Technology Inc (MU.O) rose nearly 3.1%, while Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.O) gained 2.8% and 1% respectively.

The stocks likely got a boost from news that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow will host a meeting with semiconductor and software executives on Monday to discuss the U.S. ban on sales to China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL].

Micron’s shares were also lifted by a report that Goldman Sachs upgraded its shares to “buy” from “neutral”.

On the earnings front, Halliburton Co (HAL.N) rose 2.5% after the oilfield services provider’s second-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.

Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) rose 0.9% after its remake of “The Lion King” movie collected $185 million over the weekend and superhero movie “Avengers: Endgame” set an all-time box office record.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Karina Dsouza; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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