Investors are about find out if the recent, long-awaited stock rally is more wheat than chaff.
Stocks will likely see a boost by the and easing tensions in the China-US trade row, but a greater test will be earnings drops from the nation’s favorite tech darlings.
Amazon, Microsoft and Apple — America’s three largest-cap companies — alarmed investors in October by reporting slower growth or reducing guidance.
Their subsequent rebound has helped drive the Dow Jones industrial average higher for five consecutive weeks, producing the longest winning streak since August. Whether the streak continues or the market reverts to volatility will also be influenced by Tesla and Facebook.
Apple stands to be the most scrutinized when it kicks off the earnings parade on Tuesday — especially after an unprecedented cut in its revenue forecast sent its shares down 10 percent on Jan. 3. Smart money will be looking to see if the company’s reliance on its services business eases analysts’ concerns about a projected 14 percent drop in iPhone sales.
On Wednesday, Microsoft, currently the world’s largest company, will shed light on how close its Azure cloud-computing business is to knocking off Windows software as its largest revenue contributor.
Amazon, which reports on Thursday, also is expected to post surging revenue from its cloud operations. Of chief concern, however, will be the Web service unit’s growth rate, which last quarter fell by 3 percent points.
For Tesla, the biggest takeaway from its Wednesday report will be its inclusion — or not — of a second consecutive quarterly profit, while Facebook, which also reports on Wednesday, isn’t likely to shake concerns that its privacy problem is continuing to scare off users and advertisers.