News & Analysis

Overnight on Wall Street: Wednesday 29 April 2020

April 29, 2020

By Deepta Bolaky

Equity Markets

US stocks ended lower paring modest gains as sentiment faltered towards the end of the trading day, dragged by the tech sector, a significant drop in US Consumer Confidence and the confusion behind easing social distancing measures.

All three US equity benchmarks ended in the red. While the Dow and S&P500 experienced small loses, the tech-heavy index lost almost 1.5%:

  • Dow Jones Average Industrial dropped by 32 points or 0.1% to 24,102.
  • S&P500 lost 15 points or 0.5% to 2,863.
  • Nasdaq Composite erased 122 points or 1.4% to 8,608.

Source: Bloomberg

On the earnings front, Caterpillar, 3M and Pepsi Co were among the key companies reporting earnings before the bell.

Caterpillar announced a decrease in sales and revenue, mostly due to lower sales volume.

  • First-quarter sales and revenues decreased by 21%; profit per share declined 39%
  • Company bolsters liquidity, improves a strong financial position
  • Returned about $1.6 billion to shareholders

The company has also withdrawn its earnings guidance for 2020 due to the uncertainties caused by the pandemic. Its share price ended in positive territory with a slight rise of 0.2% to $115.50 as investors focused on the actions taken by the company to execute profitable growth rather than earnings.

3M quarterly reports show strong growth in certain areas compared to others negatively impacted by the pandemic.

  • Sales of $8.1billion, up 2.7 percent year-on-year
  • Organic local-currency sales grew 0.3percent year-on-year
  • Operating cash flow of $1.2billion, up 16 percent year-on-year; adjusted free cash flow of $0.9billion, up 40 percent year-on-year

The company has withdrawn its full-year 2020 guidance. As a provider of personal protective equipment, rising demand for key products like the N95 respirators among others has contributed to keeping revenue growth. However, the company is still engaged in cost-cutting programs to navigate through the challenges of the pandemic. Its share price rose 2.6% to $157.60.

PepsiCo beats earnings and revenue estimates. The beverage and snack giant saw an increase in demand during the social distancing measures. Its share price is up by 1.4% to $136.30. The company also withdrew its outlook for 2020 but will continue to expect:

  • A core effective tax rate of approximately 21 percent; and
  • Total cash returns to shareholders of approximately $7.5 billion, comprised of dividends of $5.5 billion and share repurchases of $2 billion.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, issued its quarterly results after the bell. The company has reported an increase of 13% in revenue for Q1 2020, compared to a 17% increase for the same quarter a year ago and earnings of $9.87 per share. Based on expectations, it was a miss on earnings. However, overall the company has flared well given the challenges and the company is cautiously optimistic for the second-quarter. In after-hours, Alphabet’s share price rose by almost 10%

Currency Markets

In the FX space, major currencies were firmer against the US dollar. A series of dismal US economic data weighed on the haven currency.

  • Trade deficit rose to $64.22B in March from previous $59.89B.
  • Consumer Confidence Index significantly dropped from 118.8 to 86.9 in April, which is below the estimates of 87.9.
  • Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index contracted deeply to -53 points.

The Antipodeans remain among the best performing G10 currencies against the greenback. Among its peers, Australia and New Zealand have the least amount of cases and the death tolls and may be are in a position to loosen lockdown restrictions quicker.

The Aussie dollar is trading just below the 0.65 level ahead of the CPI figures which is scheduled to be released later today.

As of writing, the New Zealand dollar is slightly buoyed at 0.6060 level lifted by upbeat trade data:

  • Goods exports rose $215M (3.8 percent) to $5.8B.
  • Goods imports rose $369M (7.7 percent) to $5.1B.
  • The monthly trade balance was a surplus of $672M.

Oil Market

In the oil market, the weekly API crude oil stock report provided some relief to falling crude oil prices. The reports show a build of 9.978M compared to 13.226M easing fears of storage concerns to keep inventories.

As of writing, WTI and Brent crude is currently trading in the vicinity of $7.70 and $20 respectively.

USOUSD and UKOUSD (Daily Chart)

Source: Bloomberg


In a risk-off and risk-on environment, gold struggled to find a firm direction. As of writing, the pair is trading above the $1,700 level, backed by uncertainties and a weaker US dollar.

Key Upcoming Events

ANZ – Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence, Trade Balance, Exports, Participation Rate, and Unemployment Rate (New Zealand)
Consumer Price Index (Australia)
Business Climate (Eurozone)
Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (Germany)
Core PCE, GDP, Pending Home Sales, EIA Crude Oil Stocks Change, Fed Interest Rate Decision and FOMC Press Conference (US)

Key Earnings Results Ahead

Facebook Inc.

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) announced today that the company’s first-quarter 2020 financial results will be released after market close on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Facebook will host a conference call to discuss its results at 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET the same day.

Microsoft Corp

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) will report its quarterly earnings report today after market close. The webcast will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 2.30 p.m. PT.

Tesla Inc

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) will post its financial results for the first quarter of 2020 after market close on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. At that time, Tesla will issue a brief advisory containing a link to the Q1 2020 update. A live question and answer webcast will be held at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time (6:30 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss the Company’s financial and business results and outlook.

Boeing (BA)

The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) will release its financial results for the first quarter of 2020 on Wednesday, April 29. President and Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun and Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Enterprise Performance & Strategy Greg Smith will discuss the results and company outlook during a conference call at 10:30 a.m. ET.

General Electric

Earlier this month, General Electric (NYSE: GE) withdrew financial guidance due to uncertainty associated with the pandemic and provided preliminary view of the first-quarter results.

GE will hold its first-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at 8:00 AM ET, where it will share additional details. 

CME Group

CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) will announce earnings for the first quarter of 2020 before the markets open on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Written highlights for the quarter will be posted on the company’s website at 6:00 a.m. Central Time, the same time it provides its earnings press release. The company will hold an investor conference call that day at 7:30 a.m. Central Time.

By Deepta Bolaky

Disclaimer: Articles and videos from GO Markets analysts are based on their independent analysis. Views expressed are of their own and of a ‘general’ nature. Advice (if any) are not based on the reader’s personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Readers should, therefore, consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to their objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.


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