Peak Season – Monday Morning Market Memo – October 23, 2023

Most of you reading this market note reside in the Northeast, where we are currently enjoying peak foliage season here in Connecticut.  The bold orange, red, and yellow leaf colors are making for some scenic Sunday rides.  While we are certainly enjoying the colors ourselves, the season we most enjoy, is earnings season, which is peaking this week on Wall Street!

Approximately 30% of S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report earnings results during the week ahead, highlighted by mega-cap technology stocks.  Alphabet and Microsoft are scheduled to report after the closing bell on Tuesday, followed by Meta on Wednesday, and Amazon on Thursday.

Away from technology, major companies reporting this week include 3MGeneral Electric,  Verizon CommunicationsVisa, Coca-ColaGeneral DynamicsBoeingBristol-Myers SquibbFord Motor CompanyIntelMastercardMerckUnited Parcel Service, and Chevron.

Looking at early earnings results so far: For the third quarter of 2023, with 17% of S&P 500 companies reporting actual results, 73% have reported a positive EPS (Earnings Per Share) surprise, which is below the 5-year average of 77%, and slightly below the 10-year average of 74%, according the FactSet.

Aside from earnings this week, investors will also be focusing on some important economic data.  The initial read on third-quarter Gross Domestic Product is released on Thursday, while a key measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index will be out on Friday.  Markets are worried if these numbers are too hot, the Federal Reserve will be more hawkish (restrictive monetary policy – higher for longer interest rates).

As always, please contact us with any questions you may have, or if you would like to set up a meeting.