The Federal Reserve’s bullish outlook on the economy, projecting a 6.5% growth this year, evoked mixed reaction as inflation fears dampened the positive sentiment. After hovering near the all-time highs, stock indexes Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 retreated mid-week. Meanwhile, the central bank kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged at near-zero and hinted at maintaining the dovish stance in the near future.
Tech stocks, including Wall Street biggies Microsoft, Facebook and Tesla, dropped in the last session, dragging down the benchmark indexes they belong to. On the other hand, bank stock in general stayed in the positive territory, partly aided by the favorable monetary policy.
Data published by the Labor Department showed jobless claims continues to stay above the pre-COVID peak, despite the recent moderation. Last week, around 746,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits, marking a sequential decrease that can be linked to the ongoing macroeconomic recovery.
After a busy week, the M&A scene witnessed relatively fewer deals. The Cruise subsidiary of General Motors took over self-driving startup Voyage. Elsewhere, Tech giant Microsoft bought The Marsden Group, a pioneer in industrial technology innovation and rapid prototyping, for an undisclosed amount.
In another important tech deal, cloud communication platform Twilio bought ValueFast, an India-based provider of communications-platform-as-a-service. The other major transactions include the acquisition of European tech startup Fit Analytics by Snap and the buyout of environmental service company Desotec by Blackstone.
With the earnings season almost coming to a close, the markets cooled off this week, with the only important events being the financial releases of Nike and Dollar General that came on Thursday.
Earlier, cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike posted mixed Q4 numbers that triggered a stock sell-off. Adobe, the company behind the popular Photoshop app, will report its first-quarter numbers on March 23.
But all eyes would be on the year-end report of GameStop on that day, which was in news recently for the unusual stock rally that threw financial markets into a tizzy. The other closely-followed events are the quarterly reports of General Mills and KB Home, scheduled for March 24.
Key Earnings to Watch
Monday: Viant Technology, Tencent Music Entertainment, Synnex Corp, and China Merchants Bank
Tuesday: Neogen Corp, IHS Markit, GameStop, HUYA, and Adobe
Wednesday: General Mills, Xiaomi Corp, American Well Corp, KB Home and Tencent Holdings
Thursday: Darden Restaurants, Momo, Charlotte’s Web Holdings, and Concentrix Corporation
Friday: Telos Corporation, Alcanna, and Fang Holdings
Key Corporate Conferences to Watch
Key Investor Days/AGMs to Watch
Key US Economic Events
The following are notable companies which have reported their earnings last week. In case if you have missed catching up on their performance, click the respective links to skim through the transcripts to glean more insights.
Jabil Q2 2021 Earnings Transcript
FuelCell Energy Q1 2021 Earnings Transcript
Eastman Kodak Q4 2020 Earnings Transcript
Smartsheet Q4 2021 Earnings Transcript
Pinduoduo Q4 2020 Earnings Transcript
American Outdoor Q3 2021 Earnings Transcript
Accenture Q2 2021 Earnings Transcript
Weibo Corporation Q4 2020 Earnings Transcript
Aurora Mobile Q4 2020 Earnings Transcript
Dollar General Q4 2020 Earnings Transcript
Nike Q3 2021 Earnings Transcript
FedEx Q3 2021 Earnings Transcript
If you want to listen to how management responds to analyst questions and the tone they use, you can head over to our YouTube channel to listen to conference calls on the go.
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