The benchmark indexes mostly stayed on an upward trajectory before edging down towards the end of the week, indicating that the excitement surrounding the stimulus bill and vaccination drive has probably slowed down.
Setting a new record, the Dow Jones Industrial Average remained above the psychologically significant 31,000-mark, but ended Thursday’s session lower. Following a similar pattern, the S&P 500 Index made modest gains and reached a new peak mid-week, before paring a part of the gains in the following session.
Meanwhile, COVID-related filings for unemployment benefit remained elevated last week, resulting in first-time claims of about 793,000, which was above economists’ prediction.
Elsewhere, Israel-based online marketplace Fiverr acquired New York-headquartered creative network Working not Working for an undisclosed amount. Hormel Foods, the company behind several popular food brands, this week gobbled up Kraft Heinz Company’s snack nut portfolio Planters in a deal worth $3.4 billion. In another major deal, gaming giant Electronic Arts agreed to buy Glu Mobile for $2.1 billion.
With the earnings season entering the final phase, the coming week will be a lean period for Wall Street in terms of financial releases. Drug store chain CVS Health Co., which is set for a mass COVID vaccination drive, is schedule to unveil fourth-quarter numbers on February 16 before the opening bell. The only other major companies reporting in the holiday-shortened week are Analog Devices and Baidu are – February 17. The typically busy Thursday will see muted activity.
Investors’ attention was mostly focused on Coca-Cola and PepsiCo this week amid speculations about their fiscal performance in the final months of 2020, after staying resilient to the pandemic thus far. The soft drink giants published stronger-than-expected earnings mid-week.
In a sign that Canadian cannabis firms have a long way to go before achieving sustainable growth, market leader Canopy Growth Tuesday reported a wider loss for the most recent quarter. Aurora Cannabis, which unveiled results on Thursday, also reported a loss.
The other major firms to have published earnings in the last few days include Cisco and Twitter – Thursday. General Motors reported Wednesday and the next day Walt Disney came out with a surprise profit for the first quarter.
Key Earnings to Watch
Thursday: Smith & Nephew, Repsol, Wal-Mart, Integra Lifesciences, Marriott International, Blue Apron, Fiverr International, Marathon Oil, Sunoco, Hormel Foods, Barrick Gold Corporation, Hyatt Hotels, Jack In The Box, Arista Networks, Planet Fitness, Applied Materials, Everbridge, Rackspace Technology, Roku, and Dropbox
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.
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.