The US is packing a lot into the final week of April, including a Fed meeting, some key Q1 data, and a stacked earnings calendar.
US: How much did the US grow by in Q1?
There are a few major events this week, starting with Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting.
Though, how notable that meeting will actually be is up for debate, as most analysts are expecting much of the same from Jerome Powell and co. In other words, further insistence that the US economy needs more time to recover, keeping interest rates at their current lows for the foreseeable future.
However, any slight shift in wording or sentiment, i.e. any signal that the Fed is set to reduce its emergency stimulus measures earlier than forecast, could have an outsized impact on not only the US, but global markets.
Coming as a rather significant chaser to Wednesday’s Fed meeting is Thursday’s first glimpse Q1 GDP reading. After a 4.3% recovery, at the annualised rate, in the fourth quarter, the first quarter is expected to show growth of 6.0%, again at the annualised rate. The accuracy of that estimate could dictate play on Thursday afternoon.
Before that, there’s the durable goods orders on Monday and consumer confidence on Tuesday, while alongside the GDP data on Thursday you’ve got the usual jobless claims figure. Finally, on Friday, there’s the core PCE price index, Chicago PMI and consumer sentiment numbers.
US: Stocks to Watch
If a Fed meeting and GDP reading weren’t enough, it is also the banner week for earnings. Elon Musk’s Tesla report on Monday, followed by Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet on Tuesday, Apple and Facebook on Wednesday, and Amazon on Thursday.
UK: Corporate earnings take centre stage
Making up for a barren economic calendar in the UK is a corporate schedule full of British big hitters.
BP’s first quarter figures get things going on Tuesday, while Wednesday has a full year report from Sainsbury’s, Q1 numbers from GlaxoSmithKline, and updates from Persimmon and Lloyds.
There’s no let up on Thursday, with half year figures from WH Smith, Q1 data from Natwest and Shell, and statements from Unilever and Smith & Nephew.
Finally, Friday closes with first quarter updates from both Barclays and the headline-grabbing (for good and bad reasons) AstraZeneca.
As is often the case, Germany is in the driving seat in the Eurozone this week, with the country posting its Ifo business climate data on Monday, Gfk consumer climate reading on Wednesday, inflation number on Thursday and retail sales figures on Friday.
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