Week Ahead: Prepare for the Q3 earnings blitz

Wall Street will be alive with the sound of incoming earnings reports when Q3 earnings season kicks off in earnest this week. On the data side, we get US CPI data plus a look under the Fed hood with the latest FOMC meeting notes.  

Key inflation metric with US CPI report 

First up is Wednesday’s Consumer Price Index report, gauging inflation in the US. 

Following September’s release of August’s numbers, Jerome Powell and his colleagues are sticking to the script: that all this high inflation is simply transitionary. Will Wednesday’s data back this view up? 

For context, the last CPI report published in September showed things had cooled a little in August. Underlying prices rose at their slowest rate for six months up to then. Overall CPI rose 0.3% after gaining 0.5% in July. In the 12 months through August, CPI increased 5.3% after soaring 5.4% year-on-year in July. 

Some Fed members are not worried though. 

“I’m comfortable in thinking that these are elevated prices, that they will be coming down as supply bottlenecks are addressed,” Chicago Fed President Charles Evans told CNBC. “I think it could be longer than we were expecting, absolutely, there’s no doubt about it. But I think the continuing increase in these prices is unlikely.” 

Fuel prices are on the rise though. Oil & gas skyrocketed across last week. Higher oil prices generally points towards higher input and transport costs across multiple sectors, which may then be lumped onto the consumer, resulting in higher prices across the board. That said, high energy costs and their knock on effects may be expressed more clearly in next month’s CPI print, rather than Wednesday’s. 

FOMC meeting minutes to give insights into Fed thinking 

Wednesday also sees the release of the FOMC’s meeting minutes for its September get together. 

We know the script now: rates to stay low; tapering to come soon. 

That said, we also know some of the more hawkish fed members are projecting earlier-than-anticipated rate hikes. There is a feeling that higher rates could come next year.  

Chairman Powell also added his voice to the chorus of those warning against failing to raise the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned at the end of September the US government could run out of cash if action isn’t taken. 

Defaulting on US debt would cause “significant damage” to the US economy, according to Powell. President Biden has indicated that there is a real possibility for a debt hike, so the crisis may be averted.  

In terms of steering the economy, however, tapering is probably the big one. It’s thought that the Fed will remove support incrementally until it’s gone altogether by the end of 2022. 

It’s a strong sign that the US is aiming to get back to normal economic times quickly. But the threat of new COVID-19 variants still looms large. Let’s hope there’s not another new Delta forcing a fresh wave of lockdowns in 2022 or the Fed will be left holding the bag once again. 

Earnings season is here again 

Let’s head to Wall Street. Third-quarter earnings are about to start pouring in from the mega caps as earnings season begins anew this week.  

As ever, we’re kicking things off with the big investment banks who reported stunning growth numbers in Q2. Will the momentum roll on? JPMorgan, Wells Faro, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, amongst others, will start the earnings ball rolling with the first report landing from JP landing on Wednesday. 

Although growth looks like it is slowing from Q2 2021’s bumper results, we could still be on for a high-performing quarter. US financial data group FactSet predicts S&P500 companies will enjoy Q3 earnings growth of 27.6% – the third highest year-on-year earnings growth rate reported by the index since 2010. 

There are also supply chain snags to contend with in Q3. They existed across the first half of the year, but with the prices of raw material and energy increasing, we may see a slowing down of results. 

Certainly, the likes of Apple warned that sales growth will drop off towards the end of the year, but let’s see what happens. 

Our US earnings season calendar will keep you up to date of which mega caps are reporting and when so you can plan your trades based on this quarter’s earnings reports. You’ll also a preview of companies reporting this week below. 

Major economic data 

Date  Time (GMT+1  Asset  Event 
Tue Oct-12  10:00am  EUR  ZEW Economic Sentiment 
  10:00am  EUR  German ZEW Economic Sentiment 
  3:00pm  USD  JOLTS Job Openings 
       
  6:01pm  USD  10-y Bond Auction 
Wed Oct-13  1:30pm  USD  CPI m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Core CPI m/m 
  6:01pm  USD  30-y Bond Auction 
  7:00pm  USD  FOMC Meeting Minutes 
       
Thu Oct-14  1:30am  AUD  Employment Change 
  1:30am  AUD  Unemployment Rate 
  1:30pm  USD  PPI m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Core PPI m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Unemployment Claims 
  4:00pm  USD  Crude Oil Inventories 
       
Fri Oct-15  1:30pm  USD  Core Retail Sales m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Retail Sales m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Empire State Manufacturing Index 
  3:00pm  USD  Prelim UoM Consumer Sentiment 
  Tentative  USD  Treasury Currency Report 

 

Key earnings data 

Wed 13 Oct  Thu 14 Oct  Fri 15 Oct 
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) PMO  Bank of America Corp (BAC) PMO  Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) PMO 
     
Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) E  Citigroup Inc (C) PMO  Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) PMO 
     
  Morgan Stanley (MS) PMO