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When the Cat’s Away, the Mice Will Play: Global Week Ahead


In the Global Week Ahead, the headlines are already set to print. Multi-national quarterly earning reports will be the focal points for U.S. and international markets.

All week long, USA traders focus on the latest S&P 500 reports.

Seventy-two S&P 500 firms release earnings. Names include Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Blackrock, Bank of New York Mellon, Visa, Capital One, Microsoft, eBay, Netflix and American Airlines.

Traders have been confirming: the bullish story remains intact. As of Friday, July 14th, 6% of the S&P 500 companies had reported Q2 results. 80% beat their mean EPS estimate. And 83% have beaten the mean sales estimate.

Each beat lifts overall S&P 500 earnings growth for Q2, which is being revised upwards. The latest EPS growth rate for the S&P 500 rests at +6.8%. On June 30th, this was +6.6%.

Expect nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors to hand in earnings growth for Q2, led by the Energy sector. Five sectors have higher growth rates (compared to June 30th) due to upside earnings surprises — led by the Financials sector.

Where does the S&P 500 valuation stand? It’s rich! There’s no room for error.

The forward 12-month P/E ratio for the S&P 500 is 17.6. This P/E ratio is well above the 5-year average (15.4) and the 10-year average (14.0). The price-to-trailing earnings yield sits at 21.6 times. Again, that’s hardly cheap. To wrap this richly priced story up, S&P 500 stock prices trade at over three times book value.

In the week ahead, U.S. macro data reports look sparse. Housing starts and permits for June arrive on Wednesday. Forecasts there look good.

Late in the week ahead, European markets key in on the latest European Central Bank (ECB) meeting.

This happens on Thursday. The WSJ has reported ECB President Mario Draghi will attend the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium in mid-August. In the press statement out this week, consensus thinks Draghi will reinforce confidence in the Eurozone’s recovery and suggest there is less need for QE stimulus.

It’s a “Goldilocks” scenario on the continent. Growth is improving, but consumer inflation is still at bay.

Also happening Thursday, Asia’s Bank of Japan (BoJ) meeting should build on the positive ECB line.

Expect Governor Kuroda to stay the course with his deeply accommodative policy, including a negative (-0.1%) interest rate. Traders might see the BoJ modestly revise its GDP growth forecast upwards.

Also on Thursday, the central bank of Indonesia should stay pat at 4.75%, where its policy rate has sat since October. Core Indonesian inflation has dropped to +3.1% y/y. This is well under the 5% peak — back in ancient 2015. This central bank is within its 4% (+/-1%) inflation target zone.

Nobody, anywhere, is seeing consumer price inflation do anything but recede.

Hence, the bullish stock story endures. Rates can stay low, for longer — everywhere.

While the bond market cat is away, the stock market mice will play!

Top Zacks #1 Rank (STRONG BUY) Stocks—

NVIDIA Corp. NVDA: This is the darling of semiconductor stocks, and it is now a $98B market cap big hitter. But the Zacks VGM score is D. The shorts are awake to the rich valuation.???

Southwest Air LUV: Can U.S. plane stocks pick up speed? A long-term Zacks VGM score of A is showing up here.

Micron MU: Hunt and you shall find. This is another semiconductor stock, and it is priced much better, still. The long-term Zacks VGM score is A.

Want the message? Keep a close eye on individual stock price valuations.

Key Global/Macro Data and Events—

Make it eight!

On Monday, Mainland China’s real GDP came in at +6.9%. In the prior seven consecutive quarters China’s GDP growth rate clocked in at the 6.7 to 6.9% range. Before that, the key growth rate was 7.0% a couple of quarters.

What remarkable stability! And never revised. The figures are always perfect the first time. Oh, and the quickest release time of pretty much any significant economy.

In comparison, preliminary U.S. Q2 GDP estimates don’t come out for 10 more days, or until July 28th.

On Thursday, the big monetary policy meetings, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the European Central Bank (ECB, along with the Bank of Indonesia, happen.

On Monday, China’s industrial production came in at +7.6% y/y, beating estimates for +6.5%. China’s real GDP grew +6.9% y/y, in line with the prior +6.9% y/y reading. China’s retail sales came in at +11.0% y/y, above the prior +10.70%. This is solid expansion data.

Later on Monday, the Eurozone will report in on the all-important HICP consumer inflation rate there. The prior reading was +1.3% y/y.

On Tuesday, the German ZEW indexes come out. Current conditions rested at 88 in a prior reading. Look for 89. Economic sentiment was 18.6. Look for 22.0.

The U.S. NAHB Builders Survey comes out. The prior was 67.

On Wednesday, U.S. building permits are forecast at 1.21 million, housing starts at 1.19 million. Both are well above the prior readings.

On Thursday, the Bank of Indonesia sets its policy rate, the reverse repo rate. The prior was 4.75%.

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) issues its Policy Statement and Outlook Report and sets its Overnight Rate, which is now at -0.10%. There will be a Governor Kuroda press conference.

The Australian unemployment rate is 5.5%.

European Central Bank (ECB) President Draghi holds a press conference following his latest interest rate announcement. The ECB deposit rate is -0.4%, the refi rate is 0.0%, at the moment.

Brazil reports in about its IBGE inflation rate (consumer inflation there). The forecast is for +3.02% y/y, down from a prior +3.52%.

On Friday, Canada reports on its consumer price inflation (CPI). The y/y rate has been +1.3%. It also reports retail sales. The ex-auto number has been +1.5% y/y.

Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate comes out. The prior was 3.5%.

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