For the second day in a row action across world stock markets has been mixed. Overseas markets have reversed course with European indices clawing back Monday’s losses led by a 2.0% gain in the Dax. Asia Pacific markets gave back much of Monday’s gains led by a 2.5% drop for the Hang Seng. US index futures appear indecisive this morning with Dow Futures up 0.25%. S&P 500 and NASDAQ futures are flat as they digest yesterday’s record closing highs.
Energy and metals are mixed again today. Natural gas is up 2.0% while WTI crude oil is up 0.3% as energy markets rebound. Metals, however, are uneven today with copper falling 0.6%, while gold is flat and silver is up 0.5%.
Earnings from big cap companies are in the spotlight again today. General Electric is up 9.1% in premarket action after sales and cash flow beat expectations, offsetting a slight earnings miss. Credit card provider American Express beat EPS expectations ($1.76 vs street $1.31) with management noting that as new lockdowns took hold, online spending increased but spending on entertainment and travel decreased. Other senior companies beating the street on earnings today include: 3M ($2.38 vs street $2.05), Johnson & Johnson ($1.86 vs street $1.82), and Verizon ($1.21 vs street $1.17). In other news, Beyond Meat is up 15.9% in premarket action after announcing a new partnership with PepsiCo to develop plant-based beverages and snacks.
Earnings season kicks off in Canada this afternoon with Canadian National reporting, followed by fellow railroad Canadian Pacific tomorrow. US headliners this afternoon include: Microsoft and Starbucks, followed by Boeing tomorrow morning.
The International Monetary Fund has updated its forecasts for 2021, revising its world GDP growth forecast upward for this year to 5.5% from 5.2%, and noting it expects world GDP to grow by another 4.2% in 2022 as the rollout of vaccines enable economies around the world to reopen. The agency noted that growth could be quite uneven between countries and regions. For example, it raised its US 2021 GDP growth forecast to 5.1% from 3.1% but cut its EU forecast to 4.2% from 5.2%.