Event Highlights: Week of August 10, 2020

Macro Themes

  • It could be worse. Corporations continue to report earnings significantly above analyst expectations and economic data has verified above consensus estimates. 
  • Beyond FAAMG. While the US mega cap growth stocks get all the buzz, portfolio managers must pay attention to what is happening underneath the surface and around the world. Chinese stocks are in-play this week. Major companies in Japan, Australia, and Germany will also report earnings.
  • The stimulus situation. Firms, particularly smaller companies, will closely monitor developments out of Washington regarding an extension of COVID-19 relief measures.

Corporate Event Highlights

Monday, August 10

  • The week kicks off with earnings from Israel Discount Bank in the Financials sector and YPF SA, an oil & gas producer out of Argentina. Financials and Energy are among the weaker sectors across the investment landscape this year. It’s been a tough slog for non-US companies as well, so these reports may feature a somber tone.
  • In the USA, Duke Energy reports earnings Monday morning. The major US utility company was hit hard by Hurricane Isaias last week, but Duke was also battling another recent figurative storm. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline development plan was scrapped earlier this summer as regulatory hurdles and costs were mounting. The firm will be particularly at-risk in the coming weeks given the expectation of a very active hurricane season which doesn’t peak until September 10. DUK increased its quarterly dividend to $0.965 for the quarter, a positive signal to investors.
  • After the bell, Simon Property Group and Occidental Petroleum report earnings. These two companies operate within industries that were among the hardest hit from COVID-19. SPG – the largest retail Real Estate Investment Trust in the USA and OXY, an energy producer, struggled mightily during Q2, but both stocks have rebounded. This pair of earnings releases will shed further light on the COVID recovery.
  • Finally on Monday, the Wells Fargo Securities 5th Annual Technology Services Forum 2020 (Virtual) kicks off. The event runs through Tuesday and features IBM and Accenture. The Information Technology and Communications Services sectors have been clear winners from the ‘new normal’ economy. Investors should pay attention to key commentary from IBM and Accenture management from the event early this week.

Tuesday, August 11

  • International portfolio managers should monitor big-name earnings from Nippon Telegraph & Telephone and SoftBank in Japan. Commonwealth Bank of Australia also reports early on the 11th. In Hong Kong, Wheelock and Company Limited should shed light on the Asian real estate market.
  • Another Communications Services conference begins on the 11th and continues into Wednesday. The Oppenheimer 23rd Annual Technology, Internet & Communications Conference 2020 will feature ASML Holding out of the Netherlands, AT&T, and American Tower. The situation in the world of semiconductors and communications will be in focus. AMT will also present on Tuesday at the Cowen 6th Annual Communications Infrastructure Summit 2020. So expect the stock to potentially move on comments made at these forums.
  • Financials will be a focus on Tuesday with Blackrock, CME Group, and JP Morgan presenting at the UBS Virtual Annual Financial Services Conference 2020. What a time for this conference to take place given the environment of record low interest rates and central banks around the world that are doing all they can to keep the global economy afloat.

Wednesday, August 12

  • UK GDP and US CPI will be released early in the day, but before that economic data, all eyes will be on Tencent. The multinational conglomerate out of Shenzhen, China has been a target of President Trump as trade war tensions have resurfaced. Any color from management on the state of global trade will be critical to those managing money. The Chinese stock market has done well this year, but has struggled in the last month as the POTUS has stepped up his hostile tone. Tencent’s Board of Directors will also meet.
  • Australia’s largest Communication Services company, Telstra reports results for its second half 2020 fiscal year.
  • Also on the earnings front, Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot, the third largest bank in Israel, reports earnings for its Q2 – though it is unconfirmed.
  • Lastly on the earnings front, Cisco reports after the bell on Wall Street.
  • Several conferences take place Wednesday – companies in-play are Enterprise Products Partners in the oil & gas space, Roche Holding AG in Health Care, 3M, and General Motors.
  • T-Mobile, Adobe, and Qualcomm are slated to present at the Oppenheimer conference which continues into Wednesday.

Thursday, August 13

  • Tencent’s insights don’t end on Wednesday – the company’s 2020 Second Quarter and Interim Results Hong Kong Roadshow takes place early in the day. Technology & emerging market investors must closely eye the tone and outlook. Tencent is the 2nd largest holding in the iShares MSCI Emerging markets ETF (EEM). Expect volatility.
  • Speaking of emerging markets, China Mobile holds its Board of Directors meeting Thursday. Baidu, the Technology company (known as China’s Google) reports Q2 results after-market.
  • Let’s travel out of China for a moment, Bayer AG of Germany will present at the Maxim Group's M-Vest Virtual Conference Series: Leading Innovators in Women's Health 2020. Health Care and drug-related conferences are always noteworthy for potential drug development headlines and stock-moving news.
  • Staying in Germany, Deutsche Telekom AG, the largest Telecommunications provider in Europe, reports second quarter earnings.

Friday, August 14

  • Another company hit hard by COVID-19 and trade war tensions is Rosneft Oil Co. The Russian integrated energy company reports earnings Friday morning.
  • Equinor ASA, formerly Statoil, reduced its dividend recently to $0.09. The stock trades without the dividend starting Friday. Portfolio managers should be aware that non-US companies tend to fluctuate dividends more than US-based corporations.
  • On the economic front, an update on Eurozone GDP for Q2 will be released
    • On Wall Street, retail sales & industrial production will move markets early. Then a gauge of the consumer will be reported by the University of Michigan at 10:00 am EDT.
    • On a lighter note, several fun movie releases take place on Friday – Amazon, Netflix, and Apple all have video releases. Call it a sign of the times – new releases are not featured at the box office theatre anymore, but rather the home-theatre.