Market turmoil; Big Tech earnings; Automakers in trouble

Posted at 3:03 AM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 06:07:12-04

1. Market turmoil: Stocks appear to have found firmer ground following rough trading sessions in Asia and the United States.

US stock futures were pointing higher on Thursday, and major European indexes dropped less than 1%.

Benchmark indexes in Asia did drop sharply, with the main market in Tokyo closing down 3.7%. Stocks dropped 1% in Hong Kong and 1.6% in Seoul.

The rout started in the United States on Wednesday.

The Dow fell more than 600 points, a 2.4% drop. The S&P 500 sank more than 3%. The Nasdaq slumped 4.4%, its worst day since August 2011.

“Investors have been worried about the potential negative impacts of higher interest rates, signs of weaker global growth and potential disruption from tariffs,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

“Still, the nearly 10% decline in US stocks over the last month appears excessive relative to the risks that we highlighted.”

2. Big Tech earnings: Twitter (TWTR), will publish its latest numbers before the opening bell on Thursday, while Alphabet (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), Snap (SNAP), Expedia Group (EXPE) and Intel (INTC) will follow after the close.

It could be a painful day for Snap. The struggling messaging app is dealing with a revolving door of executives, and the stock is down a staggering 53% for the year. Analysts expect the company will report another decline in users when it releases its third quarter finances this week.

The tech earnings come amid major drops in the sector. Netflix (NFLX) nosedived 9% on Wednesday, while Facebook (FB) was down 6% and Amazon dropped 5%. Apple (AAPL) shed about 3%.

Tech stocks sank following disappointing results from Texas Instruments and AT&T (T), CNN’s parent company. Concerns about increased regulations abroad in the wake of privacy scandals are also putting pressure on the sector.

3. Mercedes pain: Daimler (DDAIF), the maker of Mercedes Benz cars, has been hit by a major slowdown sales in Germany, where it faces new regulatory barriers.

The carmaker said that global sales dropped 1% compared to the same quarter last year, while net profit plunged 21%.

“The automotive industry and thus also Daimler are still in a very challenging environment. The continued high demand from our customers makes us confident for the fourth quarter,” CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement.

Daimler shares were up 1% on Thursday.

Separately, Daimler has announced a new joint venture with China’s Geely to launch an upscale ride-hailing service in China next year.

South Korea’s Hyundai Motors (HYMTF) said Thursday that its net profit plunged 68% in the third quarter. Shares in the company dropped 6%.

4. Earnings and economics: The following companies will report earnings before the open: Alaska Air (ALK), American Airlines (AAL), Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Brunswick (BC), Comcast (CMCSA), ConocoPhillips (COP), Dunkin (DNKN), GrubHub (GRUB), Hershey Foods (HSY), Merck (MRK), Nielsen (NLSN), Raytheon (RTN), Royal Caribbean (RCL), Sherwin-Williams (SHW), Southwest Air (LUV), Stanley Black & Decker (SWK), T. Rowe Price (TROW), Twitter (TWTR), Union Pacific (UNP) and World Wrestling (WWE).

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) and Mattel (MAT) will follow after the close.

The European Central Bank is scheduled to announce a policy decision at 7:45 a.m. ET. The bank is expected to keep benchmark rates on hold, but investors will be watching for any change in language from bank president Mario Draghi.

5. Coming this week:
Thursday — Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), Altria (MO), Ally Financial (ALLY), American Airlines (AAL), Alaska Air Group (ALK), Southwest (LUV), AK Steel (AKS), Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN), Boyd Gaming (BYD), Stanley Black & Decker (SWK), Sherwin-Williams (SHW), Merck & Co. (MRK), Hershey (HSY), GrubHub (GRUB), Snap Inc. (SNAP) earnings
Friday — Colgate-Palmovie (C) and Charter Communications (CHTR) earnings