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Romain Fournier

Chief Editor
Having worked in the British, French and Swiss financial press, Romain is able to report on local and international issues, as comfortable in French as in the language of Shakespeare, Romain Fournier leads the editorial team at Marketscreener. Fine connoisseur of the English-speaking markets, Romain delivers an editorial every day on US and UK markets.

Today on Wall Street: It’s a numbers game

10/27/2021 | 10:12am EST
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We’ll talk numbers today. Numbers that range from the very large to the too small. The mood remains good on financial markets, where corporate earnings have lifted several indexes, including the S&P500, much to the delight of investors.

Let's start with the infinitely large part of today's numbers. Earnings season continues to fuel the rebound of indexes, with particularly strong quarterly results, especially from sectoral leaders. Microsoft and Alphabet just showed they are capable of navigating shortages, energy costs and Covid-19 without flinching. So much so that we will probably have to redefine what a defensive company really is on stock markets.

Because if you look closely, a company like Microsoft offers an almost unequalled level of guarantees, while being stamped "technological", i.e. the best of both worlds. What's more, and almost miraculously, it often escapes the harmful monopoly label that Google, Amazon and Facebook suffer from, while Windows and its new frontiers like Office 365 or Azzure are ubiquitous in the enterprise as well as at home. This leniency is probably due to the company's seniority and less advertising-related exploitation of user data than the other members of tech giants club. Microsoft also has an incredible financial strength, which allows the company to stay in its place, either by strengthening its offer or by discouraging the competition. In the last quarter, net profit by U.S. standards reached $20.5 billion, which corresponds to $223 million per day between the beginning of July and the end of September. Staggering.

Let's change topic completely, while sticking with numbers. This morning, the Carbon Project Disclosure organization published a study carried out on about a third of the world's investment funds, which shows that 0.5% of the assets under management in a panel of 16,500 funds managing $27,000 billion are in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on global warming. A drop in the ocean, which once again raises the issue of greenwashing and the great farce of the majority of financial products presented as "green." "We must reduce the gap between dream and reality", stressed the boss of the organization. Companies must also play the game beyond their glossy recycled paper publications: only 10% are currently in a position to try to achieve the goal of a warming limited to 1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era.

There will be many more figures today from large listed companies, including Coca-Cola, McDonald's, GlaxoSmithKline, The Boeing Company or Schneider and Iberdrola in Europe. On the "macro" level, it is the durable goods orders in the United States that are the focus of investors today. They allow us to measure the strength of the country's industrial production, since they concern long-life products. They decreased in September for the first time since spring, hampered by higher material costs and parts and labor shortages, by 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted $261.3 billion in September when compared with August, the Commerce Department said.


Today's Economic Highlights

The US durable goods orders for September are the highlight of the day at the macroeconomic level.

The dollar is trading at EUR 0.8610. Gold is up to USD 1,796 per ounce, while oil remains steady at recent levels, at USD 85.40 for Brent and USD 83.67 for WTI. The T-Bond is yielding 1.62% over 10 years, while its German counterpart is at -012%. Bitcoin is hovering around USD 59,000.


On markets:

* The Boeing Company reported an adjusted third-quarter profit, buoyed by a pickup in aircraft deliveries as global air traffic picks up, but the aircraft maker recorded charges on its 787 and Starliner programs. The stock is up 1% in pre-market trading.

* General Motors announced Wednesday that its quarterly results were above expectations, despite lower sales and earnings, and that its annual profit will come in at the top end of its forecast range. However, the automaker lost 2.4% in pre-market trading.

* Coca-Cola on Wednesday raised its adjusted earnings per share forecast for 2021 as the reopening of movie theaters and restaurants in the U.S. boosted demand for its sodas. The stock gained 2.6% in pre-market trading.

* McDonald’s Corporation on Wednesday reported a 12.7 percent increase in third-quarter same-store sales, beating expectations on higher prices, larger orders and new menus. The stock gained 2.6% in pre-market trading.

* The Kraft Heinz Company raised its annual Ebitda forecast on Wednesday, as the U.S. food giant benefited from higher prices and continued strong demand for its products. The stock gained 1.8% in pre-market trading.

* Alphabet reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday, buoyed in particular by the search engine's advertising revenues, which seem to have overcome new measures limiting the tracking of users of Apple's iPhones. The stock was down about 1% in after-hours trading.

* Twitter reported a 37% increase in quarterly revenue on Tuesday and its advertising revenue was only slightly affected by Apple's changes to its privacy policy, sending the social network's stock up 1.4% in pre-market trading.

* Microsoft reported quarterly results Tuesday that beat Wall Street expectations, benefiting from demand for its cloud business, but warned that supply chain issues would continue to weigh on some units, such as Surface laptops and Xbox game consoles. The stock is up 1.7% in pre-market trading.

* Facebook - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the top U.S. antitrust authority, is reviewing reports that internal Facebook research documents reveal harmful effects of its products, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

* Texas Instruments on Tuesday reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales and a fourth-quarter forecast that was seen as disappointing, hurt by supply chain strains in the semiconductor industry. In pre-market trading, it fell by 4.8%.

* Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to beat expectations, betting on its ability to overcome supply chain issues to meet strong demand for chips used in game consoles and data center servers.

* Visa reported a quarterly profit above market expectations as a recovery in travel and improved global economic conditions boosted transaction volume growth. However, the company lost 2.6 percent in premarket trading as analysts cited cautious growth forecasts for 2022.

* Uber Technologies on Wednesday announced the launch of a partnership with car rental company Hertz to offer 50,000 vehicles from automaker TESLA as rental options to its drivers by 2023. Uber shares are gaining 2.1% in pre-market trading and Tesla stock is up 1.5%.

* Harley-Davidson gains more than 4% in pre-market trading after reporting better-than-expected quarterly sales.

* Thermo Fisher, a leading provider of COVID-19 tests, raised its annual profit and revenue guidance Wednesday after reporting a better-than-expected third quarter.

* CME - The exchange operator reported a more than doubling of quarterly profit on Wednesday, boosted by strong trading in most of its asset classes.

* Bristol-Myers Squibb on Wednesday reported a 10% increase in third-quarter revenue and better-than-expected profit on the back of a recovery in its cancer treatment business.

* Phillips 66 announced Wednesday that it will buy the shares of its subsidiary Phillips 66 Partners that it does not already own for $3.4 billion.

* Commodities broker Bunge gained 4.3% in premarket trading after raising its adjusted earnings guidance for 2021 and reporting better-than-expected third-quarter results.

* Oil producer HESS reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday as soaring crude and gas prices cushioned the effect of a production cut.

* Hilton reported better-than-expected third-quarter sales as the easing of pandemic-related restrictions spurred a recovery in tourist travel.

* Robinhood Markets reported lower-than-expected third-quarter revenue, driven by a decline in cryptocurrency trading. The brokerage platform's stock is down 7.8% in pre-market trading.

* Spotify gains 1% in pre-market trading after reporting an increase in paid subscribers for its premium service in the third quarter.

* Pfizer - A panel of experts recommended Tuesday that the U.S. drug regulator approve the use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for children ages 5 to 11, saying the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.


Analyst recommendations:

  • Abbott: Atlantic Equities raised the recommendation to overweight from neutral. PT up 12% to $144
  • Alphabet A: Jefferies advises its customers to buy the stock. The target price is reviewed upwards from USD 3325 to USD 3500.
  • Apple: Morgan Stanley lowers price target to $166 from $168, maintains overweight rating
  • AppLovin: BTIG starts coverage at Buy with $114 price target
  • AMD: BMO Capital Markets upgrades to market perform from underperform. PT down 2.4% to $120
  • Canadian National: CIBC Capital Markets downgrades to neutral from sector outperform. PT up 2.9% to C$170
  • Digital Realty Trust: Evercore ISI starts at Outperform with $180 price target
  • DraftKings: BTIG initiates coverage with neutral rating
  • Ecolab: J.P. Morgan downgrades to underweight from neutral. PT inches down 0.1% to $230
  • FirstGroup: HSBC upgrades from hold to buy targeting GBp 100.
  • General Electric: Vertical Research adjusts price target to $110 from $96, maintains hold rating
  • HSBC: RBC retains his positive opinion on the stock with a Buy rating. The target price is being increased from GBp 460 to GBp 490
  • Microsoft: Jefferies is keeping its Buy rating. The target price is unchanged at USD 375.
  • Raytheon Technologies: DA Davidson adjusts price target to $96 from $95, maintains buy/add rating
  • Reckitt: Goldman Sachs remains neutral with target raised to GBp 6250 from GBp 6150. 
  • Tesla: Goldman Sachs advises its customers to buy the stock. The target price is increased from USD 905 to USD 1125
  • UPS: Loop Capital Markets cut the recommendation on United Parcel Service Inc. Class B to hold from buy. PT up 3.6% to $226

© MarketScreener.com 2021
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Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ABBOTT LABORATORIES -1.35% 126.28 Delayed Quote.16.93%
ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, INC. -2.64% 157.74 Delayed Quote.76.55%
ALPHABET INC. -2.12% 2851.13 Delayed Quote.66.07%
AMAZON.COM, INC. -1.62% 3505.3 Delayed Quote.9.35%
AMDOCS LIMITED -1.68% 69.825 Delayed Quote.0.07%
APPLE INC. 2.34% 164.09 Delayed Quote.20.76%
APPLOVIN CORPORATION 0.89% 91.13 Delayed Quote.0.00%
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY -1.49% 53.825 Delayed Quote.-11.91%
BUNGE LIMITED -4.08% 86.94 Delayed Quote.38.12%
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY -1.08% 162.1 Delayed Quote.17.02%
CME GROUP INC. -1.38% 222.23 Delayed Quote.23.77%
COCA-COLA EUROPACIFIC PARTNERS PLC -1.86% 44.36 Real-time Quote.14.58%
DIGITAL REALTY TRUST, INC. -0.04% 168.89 Delayed Quote.20.99%
DRAFTKINGS INC. -2.45% 34.36 Delayed Quote.-24.40%
ECOLAB INC. -2.40% 221.615 Delayed Quote.4.99%
FACEBOOK INC -3.46% 326.47 Delayed Quote.23.75%
FIRSTGROUP PLC -5.18% 93.35 Delayed Quote.33.04%
GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY -3.10% 95.41 Delayed Quote.13.89%
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY -3.20% 57.96 Delayed Quote.43.76%
HARLEY-DAVIDSON, INC. -2.28% 36.8 Delayed Quote.2.64%
HESS CORPORATION -1.56% 74.885 Delayed Quote.44.10%
HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC. -1.90% 135.425 Delayed Quote.24.10%
HSBC HOLDINGS PLC 0.86% 420.05 Delayed Quote.9.92%
MICROSOFT CORPORATION -1.49% 331.5955 Delayed Quote.51.35%
PFIZER, INC. 2.75% 53.83 Delayed Quote.42.35%
PHILLIPS 66 -0.91% 69.26 Delayed Quote.-0.11%
RECKITT BENCKISER GROUP PLC -0.88% 6110 Delayed Quote.-5.78%
ROBINHOOD MARKETS, INC. -3.92% 26.13 Delayed Quote.0.00%
SPOTIFY TECHNOLOGY S.A. -4.04% 236.59 Delayed Quote.-21.63%
TESLA, INC. 0.17% 1139.18 Delayed Quote.61.12%
TEXAS INSTRUMENTS -0.86% 192.8 Delayed Quote.18.43%
THE BOEING COMPANY -0.44% 197.84 Delayed Quote.-6.94%
THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY -3.65% 33.535 Delayed Quote.0.35%
THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC -1.43% 639.55 Delayed Quote.39.29%
TWITTER, INC. -4.54% 43.79 Delayed Quote.-15.46%
UBER TECHNOLOGIES, INC. -4.99% 37.72 Delayed Quote.-22.16%
UPSTART HOLDINGS, INC. -2.07% 207.67 Delayed Quote.421.50%
VISA -1.08% 194.235 Delayed Quote.-10.26%