Tech earning in spotlight
Today is the calm before a tech earnings storm and an FOMC policy decision that attempts to avoid any communication mistakes. Investors don’t expect the Fed to give any reason to think they are getting closer to talking about when they will consider scaling back QE, but nervousness is brewing on Wall Street. Some economists are thinking that a reduction in asset purchases could start as early as Q3.
US stocks are struggling for direction following a wave of mixed earnings results and as investors put Biden’s USD1.9 trillion stimulus plan on the backburner. Stimulus expectations have been pushed back at least a month and that is allowing traders to solely focus on earnings and the Fed. Some of today’s optimism came from Regeneron’s prevention study that showed one of their antibody cocktails could be used as a passive vaccine. The exploratory analysis of 400 individuals showed a reduction in overall infections seen within the first week, with 100% prevention of symptomatic infections.
The Good earnings came from J&J, Raytheon, and 3M, while the Bad was Lockheed Martin and American Express, with Verizon primarily slumping on ugly subscriber growth. Overall, Wall Street saw most of the big earnings come in at or much-better-than estimates. Johnson & Johnson was a standout with solid results and upbeat guidance that was not pricing in anything from their potential COVID vaccine. J&J reiterated their data COVID phase 3 study details will be coming out soon.
After making the rounds on the major news networks, the J&J CFO seemed optimistic about the vaccine and noted that we could finally get their late-stage trial data by early next week. The single-dose, easily stored COVID vaccine from J&J could be a game-changer in the fight against COVID and would do wonders for the global growth outlook.
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