U.S. Stocks

U.S. Stocks To Watch Today

Caterpillar

Caterpillar will report its first-quarter earnings results today, before the market open. This report is very interesting since Caterpillar is a great gauge of construction activity which may be hit hard due to cuts to capital spending all over the world.

Analysts expect that Caterpillar will report earnings of $1.67 per share and also predict that second-quarter earnings will dip to $0.69 per share. However, the company is expected to restore its earnings power by the fourth quarter.

Caterpillar shares are down about 20% year-to-date and their current price implies that the negative impact from coronavirus will be mostly a one-time event, and the company will soon return to business as usual.

In this light, the market will focus on management’s commentary as the risk of a prolonged downturn in the world construction activity is material.

Pfizer and Merck

Two healthcare giants will provide their first-quarter earnings reports today before the market open. Naturally, all big healthcare stocks are in spotlight during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pfizer is expected to report earnings of $0.71 per share, while Merck is expected to report earnings of $1.34 per share. The market will likely focus on commentary regarding the potential drugs and vaccine against COVID-19 but traders will also watch out for signs of dividend growth since both companies are solid dividend payers.

Advanced Micro Devices

AMD is one of the stocks which have performed very well during the current downturn and gained more than 20% of market capitalization since the beginning of this year.

AMD is trading just below its all-time highs, and a good earnings report can lead to a breakout to new levels and increased upside momentum. The company will report its earnings today after the market close.

Currently, analysts expect that AMD will report earnings of $0.18 per share and also expect continuation of earnings growth in the upcoming quarters. AMD is more expensive on a forward P/E basis than its competitor Intel since the market believes that AMD will increase its market share and expand its earnings power.

In case the first-quarter report confirms this consensus, AMD shares may have major upside, especially in case there’s no sell-off in the general market. I’d expect increased trading activity ahead of the report so AMD shares may be very volatile today.