Wall Street Ends Sharply Lower in Broad Sell-Off

The Nasdaq fell to its lowest level in about a month, and Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Tesla Inc were among the biggest drags on the index as well as the S&P 500.

All 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with economically sensitive groups like energy down the most.

Investors also were nervous ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting this week.

The banking sub-index dropped sharply while U.S. Treasury prices rose as worries about the possible default of Evergrande appeared to affect the broader market.

“You kind of knew that when there was something that caught markets off guard, that it was going to lead to probably a bigger sell-off and you didn’t know what the reason would be,” said Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

“I guess it’s the China news but… it’s not altogether surprising given how bullish people were.”

Wednesday will bring the results of the Fed’s policy meeting, where the central bank is expected to lay the groundwork for a tapering, although the consensus is for an actual announcement to be delayed until the November or December meetings.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 620.22 points, or 1.79%, to 33,964.66, the S&P 500 lost 75.28 points, or 1.70%, to 4,357.71 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 325.95 points, or 2.17%, to 14,718.02.

The S&P 500 is down sharply from its intra-day record high hit on Sept. 2 and is on track to snap a seven-month winning streak.

Strategists at Morgan Stanley said they expected a 10% correction in the S&P 500 as the Fed starts to unwind its monetary support, adding that signs of stalling economic growth could deepen it to 20%.

The CBOE volatility index, known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, rose.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; additional reporting by Devik Jain and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru and by Noel Randewich in San Francisco; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Lisa Shumaker)

Biden Enlists Disney, Microsoft CEOs In Push For Vaccine Mandates

Participants in the meeting included the chief executives of Walt Disney Co, Microsoft Corp and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc .

Biden last week announced vaccine mandates for nearly all federal employees, federal contractors, and larger companies as the number of U.S. infections continued to rise, hospital beds in some parts of the country filled up and mask requirements returned. After months of trying to persuade Americans to get free vaccinations, the White House is pushing state and local governments, companies and schools to adopt mandates requiring them instead.

Biden said at the beginning of the meeting that it would take some time to get the new requirements in place.

“It’s about beating this virus and saving lives,” he said.

Some Republican-led states and a sizable minority of Americans have defied vaccine recommendations from health officials, citing economic or freedom-of-choice arguments. With just 63% of the population having received at least one dose, the U.S. vaccination rate now lags  developed economies.

Opinion polls have shown a majority of Americans support some form of vaccine mandate.

Biden told reporters on Tuesday that he had seen “positive support for mandates, by and large,” although he conceded that there would always be a small percentage of people who would refuse to get inoculated.

The White House hopes Wednesday’s meeting will serve “as a rallying cry for more businesses across the country to step up and institute similar measures,” an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The meeting involves business leaders and chief executives who have instituted vaccine requirements or are working to implement the new rules, the person said.

The policies announced last week require nearly all federal workers and federal contractors to get COVID-19 vaccinations and push large employers to have workers inoculated or tested weekly. The new measures would apply to businesses with more than 100 employees, about two-thirds of all U.S. workers.

Also among those meeting with Biden were the CEOs of the Kaiser Permanente healthcare system, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Josh Bolten, president of the Business Roundtable representing employers of 20 million workers, also attended. The Business Roundtable has welcomed Biden’s announcement on mandates. Bolten was a chief of staff to Republican former President George W. Bush.

The fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus has sparked a new wave of sickness and death, posing increased risk not just to the country but to a president who as a candidate promised to get control of the pandemic.

Some small employers have voiced frustration with the mandate. Large employers like U.S. automakers General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co and rare-earths producer MP Materials Corp said they are encouraging employees to get the vaccine, but they were quiet about Biden’s executive order.

Raytheon Technologies Corp, a weapons maker and aerospace company that does extensive business with the U.S. government, said on Wednesday that it expects Biden’s vaccine mandate will strengthen their business outlook heading into the fourth quarter.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, Doina Chiacu and Jeff Mason; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Jonathan Oatis)

S&P 500 Ends Down After Jobless Claims Hit 18-Month Low

The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 35,000 to a seasonally adjusted 310,000 for the week ended Sept. 4, the lowest level since mid-March 2020. That suggested that job growth could be hindered by labor shortages rather than cooling demand for workers.

Microsoft, Apple and Amazon each declined, all three among the stocks weighing most on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 real estate and healthcare indexes were among the poorest performers of 11 sectors, while financials and materials made modest gains.

JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Citi Group and Morgan Stanley each rose, tracking a slight rise in benchmark bond yields following the claims data.

“The problem with the market these days is it’s rotating more than it’s moving. Today, because of the jobs claims report, everyone is buying cyclical stocks,” said Jay Hatfield, chief executive of Infrastructure Capital Management in New York. “We see it as a rangebound market, between 4,400 and 4,600 (on the S&P 500).”

Investors have become more worried in recent sessions after a recent monthly jobs report showed a slowdown in U.S. hiring, suggesting the economic recovery may be losing steam faster than expected. Also dragging on sentiment has been uncertainty about when the U.S. Federal Reserve’s will scale back massive measures enacted last year to shield the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 147.25 points, or 0.42%, to 34,883.82, the S&P 500 lost 20.44 points, or 0.45%, to 4,493.63 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 38.17 points, or 0.25%, to 15,248.46.

Lululemon Athletica soared after providing a strong annual forecast, as demand for its yoga pants remains strong despite the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Reports that Beijing slowed down approval for all new online video games sent shares of U.S.-listed gaming stocks Activision Blizzard Inc, Electronic Art Inc, and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc down more than 1%.

Digital Realty slid after the data center REIT announced a public offering of 6.25 million shares.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Additional reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Arun Koyyur and Aurora Ellis)

Best ETFs For September 2021

That’s why I spend my time crafting portfolios chock full of outlier stocks. If you choose right, you’ll have enormous gains on your hands in the years to come.

Now, I pick my ETFs perhaps a bit differently than other people. I can find outlier ETFs by tracking the Big Money. But that alone isn’t enough: when I catalog the components and find outlier stocks underneath… that’s the winning recipe.

First, I looked at all ETFs making Big Money signals by going to MAPsignals.com and scanning the Big Money ETF Buys and Sells chart. I looked for recent days with heavy buying (the bright blue spikes):

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Source: www.mapsignals.com

Once I knew which ETFs Big Money was buying, then I wanted the best opportunities. Remember: ETFs are just baskets of stocks. MAPsignals specializes in scoring more than 6,000 stocks daily. Therefore, if I know which stocks make up the ETFs, I can apply the stock scores to the ETFs. Then I can rank them all strongest to weakest.

So let’s get to the 5 best ETF opportunities for September.

#1 Real Estate Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLRE)

First off, real estate is hot. We can see that Big Money has been plowing money into this ETF over the last year. We saw a few fresh buy signals recently too:

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XLRE holds some awesome stocks and one great example is Prologis, Inc. (PLD). Below we see the Big Money signals for PLD:

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#2 iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF (IVW)

Next, I’m looking for growth. IVW has it and lots of green signals, too:

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One great stock that IVW holds is Microsoft Corp. (MSFT). It has awesome fundamentals and some recent big money buying:

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#3 Global X Cloud Computing ETF (CLOU)

The cloud is a big area for growth this year. CLOU holds some phenomenal stocks. It’s also collecting lots of green:

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One big winner that caught my eye inside of CLOU is Netflix, Inc. (NFLX). It’s starting to get its mojo back:

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#4 ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK)

Cathie Woods, the star of Wall Street last year has hit some head winds. The ARKK saw huge buying through February then hit a wall. But the pullback, I believe, is an opportunity because it holds some terrific companies:

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It holds a monster growth stock, Square, Inc. (SQ). Big Money has been consistent for years:

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#5 iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB)

The biotech space has been booming. Big Money has been flowing into IBB:

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It holds some great stocks too. One that I have my eye on is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN), which has benefited from the COVID pandemic:

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Here’s a reminder for what to look for in the charts above:

  • When Big Money buying pours in, stocks tend to go up
  • Repeated buying usually means outsized gains

Let’s summarize here:

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IVW, XLRE, & CLOU rank high. ARKK and IBB however, rank lower on our list, mainly due to weaker technicals. That’s why I think these weaker ETFs represent great potential bargains.

The Bottom Line

IVW, XLRE, CLOU, ARKK, and IBB are my top ETFs for September 2021. Growth, REITs, & cloud stocks have performed well lately. My bet is they continue.

To learn more about MAPsignals’ Big Money process please visit: www.mapsignals.com

Disclosure: the author holds no positions in XLRE, IVW, CLOU, ARKK, IBB, PLD, SQ, or NFLX, but holds long positions in MSFT & REGN in managed accounts at the time of publication.

Investment Research Disclaimer

https://mapsignals.com/contact/

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Nasdaq Ekes Out Record Finish as Wall St Ends Higher

The energy sector rose, reversing most of the losses suffered during the first three days of the week. Thursday’s performance was fueled by U.S. crude prices jumping 2% on a sharp decline in U.S. inventories and a weaker dollar.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp and Occidental Petroleum Corp were among the largest risers, with oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp also posting solid gains.

The technology index slipped into negative territory, as some of the industry’s largest companies saw their recent upward momentum stall.

Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Facebook Inc and Google-owner Alphabet Inc were all under water. A notable exception was Netflix Inc, which hit an all-time high intraday.

U.S. stocks have regularly hit record highs over the past few weeks as a solid corporate earnings season and hopes of continued central bank support underpinned confidence as data showed the country’s post-pandemic economic growth was beginning to slow.

Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, although the focus will be on the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report on Friday to set the stage for the Fed’s policy meeting later this month.

The report is likely to show job growth slowed to 750,000 in August from 943,000 the previous month.

“You have to see very wide beats or misses in this data to really change people’s minds,” said Greg Boutle, U.S. head of equity and derivative strategy at BNP Paribas.

“Investors are either in this renormalization camp that thinks inflation will not happen, or they believe there will be some persistence to inflation. Really, it will be a collection of beats or misses that will move the needle for investors and the Fed, rather than a single data point.”

Unofficially, the S&P 500 gained 12.92 points, or 0.29%, to end at 4,537.01 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average  gained 129.38 points, or 0.37%, to 35,441.91. The Nasdaq Composite  rose 21.15 points, or 0.14%, to 15,330.53.

Despite deadly flash floods in New York City, trading on Wall Street was operating normally.

Wells Fargo rose after three straight sessions of losses. The lender had been weighed by a report it could face further regulatory sanctions over the pace of compensating victims of a years-long sales practice scandal.

Contracting services company Quanta Services Inc jumped to a record high after saying it would buy privately held Blattner Holding Company in a deal valued at about $2.7 billion.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru and David French in New York; Editing by Aditya Soni and Lisa Shumaker)

Stocks Charge Ahead on U.S. Data, Dollar Eases Ahead

Economic data from Asia and Europe was largely disappointing but the Labor Department report showed the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to a pandemic-era low.

The decline in layoffs to their lowest in more than 24 years helped ease concerns about the state of the U.S. economy even if the closely watched employment report for August on Friday shows a slowdown in nonfarm payrolls growth.

MSCI’s all-country world index climbed to a new peak, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also set new intraday highs. Energy-led value, up about 0.44%, outpaced a 0.09% decline in growth as Microsoft and Facebook fell, the latest twist in an ever-changing market leadership.

“We don’t really have anything that you can hang your hat on and say this is where we’re going, this is the sector that I need to be involved in,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

“You’re going to continue to see this back-and-forth type of trade,” he said.

MSCI’s world stock index, which measures equity performance in 50 countries, rose 0.19% after paring earlier gains, and was still on track to post its fifth consecutive closing high.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.23%, the S&P 500 added 0.16% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.07%.

Overnight in Asia, uncertainty over still-low vaccination rates in many economies and China’s zero-tolerance COVID-19 strategy kept Chinese blue-chips flat, though speculation about more fiscal stimulus offered some support.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.16%. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.3%, South Korea fell 1%, whereas Hong Kong’s battered tech index enjoyed a fourth day of unbroken gains.

The euro traded near a one-month high versus the greenback after German central bank chief Jens Weidmann cautioned against inflation risks and urged slowing the European Central Bank’s bond buying.

Also on Wednesday, ECB President Christine Lagarde said the euro zone economy was recovering and only needed “surgical” support targeted at sectors that still struggle.

The euro was up 0.27% at $1.1869.

The hawkish comments were in contrast to the Bank of Japan, which has shown no sign of tapering its massive purchases as the economy remains mired in a decades-long battle with deflation.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, fell 0.262% to 92.247. The yen last traded down 0.02% at $109.9700.

U.S. Treasury yields drifted lower as the market remained on hold ahead of the government’s closely watched employment data on Friday, which could break yields out of a tight range.

The benchmark 10-year yield fell 0.7 basis points to yield 1.295%.

Aluminium prices rose to a 10-year high on growing concerns that restrictions on Chinese production of the metal are causing supply shortages.

Oil rose more than $1, supported by optimism about the pace of the economic recovery from the pandemic, a sharp decline in U.S. crude stocks and a weaker dollar.

Brent crude settled up $1.44 at $73.03 a barrel. U.S. crude rose $1.40 to settle at $69.99 a barrel.

U.S. gold futures settled down 0.3% at $1,811.50 an ounce.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Additional reporting by Sujata Rao in London; Editing by Catherine Evans, Nick Tattersall and Sonya Hepinstall)

Best Dividend Stocks September 2021

The hallmark way I go about finding the best dividend stocks…the outliers, is by looking for quiet Big Money trading activity. Oftentimes, that can be institutional activity. I’ll go over why following the Big Money is so important in a bit. But, the 5 stocks I see as long-term dividend growth candidates are LOW, MSFT, RMD, EXR, & ABBV.

Over decades, I’ve learned that the true tell on great stocks is that big money consistently finds its way into the best companies out there… especially dividend paying stocks. Some of the biggest returns ever have come from holding stocks for many years and reinvesting dividends.

I want the odds on my side when looking for the highest quality dividend stocks…and I own many of them.

So, let’s get into it.

Up first is Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW), which is a large home improvements retailer. They’ve been raising their dividend for years.

Let’s first start with the technical picture.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, I look for stocks leading in price:

  • 1 month performance (+2.6%)
  • Historical Big Money buy signals

Below are the Big Money signals Lowe’s has made since 2015. Blue bars are showing that LOW was seeing big buy activity according to MAPsignals. Typically, the more Big Money signals, the stronger the stock:

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Source: MAPsignals.com

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, you should look under the hood to see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. As you can see, Lowe’s has a strong dividend history:

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+13.3%)
  • Current dividend per share = .80
  • Forward yield = 1.57%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (+34.66%)

Next up is Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), which is a leader in software, cloud computing, and gaming. They’ve also been a dividend grower for years.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, it’s a good idea to look for many years of dividend increases.

Now let’s look at recent performance:

  • 1-month performance (+5.37%)
  • Historical big money signals

Below are the big money signals that Microsoft has made since 2015. I expect more buy signals in the years to come.

Source: MAPsignals.com

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, you should look under the hood to see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. As you can see, Microsoft has a nice dividend history. Their earnings growth has been stellar as well:

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+9.9%)
  • Current dividend per share = .56
  • Forward yield = .74%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (+63.68%)

Next, I’m looking at ResMed, Inc. (RMD), which is a medical device company. They have a solid dividend history.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, I look for strong recent performance:

  • 1 month performance (+10.18%)
  • Historical Big Money signals

Below are the big money signals that ResMed has made since 2015. It’s been quiet recently:

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Source: MAPsignals.com

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, you should look under the hood to see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. ResMed has been slow to raise their dividend, but they did recently:

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+4.3%)
  • Current dividend per share = .42
  • Forward yield = .59%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (+18.68%)

Next, I’m looking at Extra Space Storage, Inc. (EXR), which is a leading storage real estate firm. They recently raised their dividend.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, recent outperformance is great:

  • 1 month performance (+3.49%)
  • Historical Big Money signals

Below are the Big Money signals that Extra Space Storage has made since 2015.

Chart, histogramDescription automatically generated
Source: MAPsignals.com

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, let’s check up on the fundamentals. As you can see, Extra Space Storage has a solid dividend picture.

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+13.2%)
  • Current dividend per share = 1.25
  • Forward yield = 2.83%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (+0%)

Lastly, I’m looking at AbbVie, Inc. (ABBV), which is a leading pharmaceutical drug company. They’ve been growing their dividend for years.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, I like to look for recent leaders:

  • 1 month performance (+.99%)
  • Historical Big Money signals

Below are the Big Money signals that ABBV has made since 2015.

Source: MAPsignals.com

The last signal they made was a sell signal, but I don’t put much stock into that since it’s the only one.

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, you gotta see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. AbbVie has been a steady grower:

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+22.6%)
  • Current dividend per share = 1.30
  • Forward yield = 4.35%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (+2.25%)

The Bottom Line

LOW, MSFT, RMD, EXR, & ABBV represent solid dividend choices. Given the strong historical dividend growth and Big Money signals, these stocks could be worth an extra look for a dividend investor.

Disclosure: the author holds long positions in MSFT, RMD, EXR, & ABBV in personal and managed accounts but no position in LOW at the time of filming.

To learn more about the MAPsignals process, click here: www.mapsignals.com

Disclaimer

Why Microsoft Stock Is Trading At All-Time Highs

Microsoft Stock Rallies After Company Increases Office Subscription Prices For Businesses

Shares of Microsoft gained strong upside momentum and moved above the $300 level after the company announed that it wold change its commercial pricing for Microsoft 365.

According to Microsoft, this is “the first substantive pricing update” since Office 365 was launched a decade ago. The pricing of Microsoft 365 Business Basic will increase from $5 to $6 per user, while the price of Microsoft 365 Business Premium will grow from $20 to $22. Other offerings will see similar price increases. Microsoft has also stated that there were no changes for education and consumer products.

It should be noted that while the price increases look small on a dollar basis, they are material on a percentage basis. For Microsoft 365 Business Basic, the price will grow by as much as 20%. Not surprisingly, the market is happy to see such news.

What’s Next For Microsoft Stock?

It is fairly easy to switch between various Office-like products for an individual consumer who typically needs a limited number of features. Meanwhile, migration from one system to another may be a true nightmare for a big organization.

In this light, Microsoft has great pricing power in the commercial segment. According to the company, Office 365 has more than 300 million commercial paid seats, which means that the recent price increase will have a material impact on Microsoft’s revenues.

Currently, analysts expect that Microsoft will report earnings of $8.76 per share in 2022 and $10.01 per share in 2023, so the stock is trading at about 30 forward P/E.

However, earnings estimates have been moving higher in recent weeks, and they will soon be updated as analysts react to the new announcement. Analysts’ price targets will get updated as well. In this light, Microsoft stock has decent chances to continue its upside move as the company begins to extract more value from existing products.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

How Options Are Fueling The Markets

First, let’s look at the covid crisis and how it played a role. As a result of the shutdowns, the FED took a really aggressive stance with its quantitative easing measures.  Lots of money printing to pay for massive stimulus payouts.  The worse news we hear historically is that the markets will react sharply to the downside.

In this market, they did the opposite because many in the market viewed the bad news as a sign the FED will keep its foot on the gas with their aggressive quantitative easing.  The markets love this as they see it as huge economic growth with less risk, even when things were shut down.  Many people were at home and had nothing to do but spend their stimulus money.  The markets loved this.  That is why we saw massive growth in AMZN, FB, GOOGL, and MSFT.  Other stocks favored from staying at home were ZM, NFLX, and TTD.

Now how do options fuel the markets?  Well, when an underlying stock has options there is a secondary derivative market that has its own supply and demand outside of the stock.  This can cause market makers to balance those demands.  How do they do this?

They do this by taking the difference of the total contracts bought and sold and adjust accordingly.  So for example let’s look at SPX.  In the below picture you can see Put volume is roughly half the call volume.  In this case, the market maker would engage in an activity called delta hedging where they would buy shares of stock to offset the difference between the Put and Call contract volume.  Since the market maker is only interested in the arbitrage between the bid and ask of these contracts, they want to stay delta neutral or, in other words, not be affected by stock price movement.

When they buy to offset, this can drive the price of an underlying stock up.  This is one reason why so many traders watch unusual options activity.

Every day on  Options Trading Signals we do defined risk trades that protect us from black swan events 24/7.  Many may think that is what stop losses are for.  Well, remember the markets are only open about 1/3 of the hours in a day.  Therefore, a stop loss only protects you for 1/3 of each day.  Stocks can gap up or down.  With options, you are always protected because we do defined risk in a spread.  We cover with multiple legs which are always on once you own.

Enjoy your day!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Chris Vermeulen
Founder & Chief Market Strategist
www.TheTechnicalTraders.com

 

Week In Review: Market Caution, China Crackdown, Dovish Fed

On Tuesday, market sentiment remained shaky as investors kept a close eye on China following the multiple crackdowns. It was a big day for big tech as Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet released their quarterly earnings. Earnings and revenues from the tech titans crushed market expectations.

In the currency space, we set our sights on the dollar ahead of the Federal Reserve policy meeting. There were other key data points such as second-quarter GDP and core PCE inflation that were likely to influence the currency’s performance.

Our trade of the week for the Social media index which tracks the overall performance of social media companies via Twitter, Facebook, Snap, and Alphabet all in equal weights.

It was all about the Federal Reserve policy meeting on Wednesday. As widely expected, the central bank left monetary policy unchanged and maintained a dovish stance. Anyone who was expecting a hawkish surprise was left empty-handed after Chair Powell stated that rate increases were “a ways away”. A cautious Fed dealt a heavy blow to the dollar while injecting equity bulls with a renewed sense of confidence.

In fact, stocks across the continent were painted green on Thursday thanks to the Fed’s dovish message overnight. The US Senate voting to move ahead on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan and robust earnings in Europe also supported the risk-on mood.

One of the major talking points near the end of the week for the US GDP report for Q2. The largest economy in the world grew at a 6.5% annualised rate in the second quarter of 2021. Although this was below the 8.5% expectations, it was still the biggest increase in growth seen since the third quarter of 2020.

Caution was the name of the game on Friday as China’s regulatory crackdown continued to spook investors. U.S stocks fell, registering losses for the week after e-commerce giant Amazon late Thursday reported disappointing quarterly results. Nevertheless, the S&P 500 has ended July with another month of gains.

In other news, the core PCE which is the Fed’s favoured measure of inflation edged higher to 3.5% in June from 3.4% in May – its biggest increase since July 1991.

Looking at commodities, gold found itself under pressure at the end of the week thanks to a strengthening dollar. However, the precious metal was able to end July with a monthly gain. Renewed signs that the Federal Reserve may not taper anytime soon may sweeten appetite for the precious metal in the new month. With prices back below the 200-day Simple Moving Average, bears could steal return to the scene.

By Lukman Otunuga, FXTM Senior Research Analyst

For more information, please visit: FXTM

Disclaimer: The content in this article comprises personal opinions and should not be construed as containing personal and/or other investment advice and/or an offer of and/or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments and/or a guarantee and/or prediction of future performance. ForexTime (FXTM), its affiliates, agents, directors, officers or employees do not guarantee the accuracy, validity, timeliness or completeness, of any information or data made available and assume no liability as to any loss arising from any investment based on the same.

Microsoft Could Hit New All-Time High on Strong Q4 Earnings; Target Price $308

The Redmond, Washington-based global technology giant, Microsoft, is expected to post its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $1.91 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of over 30% from $1.46 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The world’s largest software maker would post revenue growth of over 15% to around $44.1 billion, up from the $38.03 billion a year earlier. In the last four consecutive quarters, on average, the company has delivered an earnings surprise of over 15%.

Microsoft’s better-than-expected results, which will be announced on Tuesday, July 27, would help the stock hit new all-time highs. Microsoft shares have surged more than 30% so far this year.

Analyst Comments

“Channel work and our CIO survey point to building momentum across the Cloud, Hybrid and On-premises portfolio, which should power a solid Q4. While investors seek reassurances margin expansion continues into FY22, our model suggests durable high-teens EPS growth and upside in the shares,” noted Keith Weiss, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Strong positioning for public cloud adoption, large distribution channels and installed customer base, and improving margins support a path well beyond $1T mkt cap. Durable double-digit NT rev growth is supported by Azure (winning in public cloud), data center (share gains and positive pricing trends), O365 (base growth and ARPU uplift) and LinkedIn. GM % improvement, continued opex discipline and strong capital return lead to durable teens total return profile. At ~29x CY22e GAAP EPS, Microsoft (MSFT) trades at a premium to the S&P, warranted due to MSFT’s premium return profile. Multiple expansion will likely come from gaining comfort in the durability of commercial business gross profit dollars.”

Microsoft Stock Price Forecast

Twenty-five analysts who offered stock ratings for Microsoft in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months of $308.65 with a high forecast of $378.00 and a low forecast of $270.00.

The average price target represents a 6.78% change from the last price of $289.05. All of those 25 analysts rated “Buy”, none rated “Hold” or “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave the stock price forecast of $300 with a high of $380 under a bull scenario and $195 under the worst-case scenario. The firm gave an “Overweight” rating on the global technology giant’s stock.

Several other analysts have also updated their stock outlook. Microsoft had its target price lifted by Barclays to $325 from $288. The brokerage currently has an overweight rating on the software giant’s stock. Citigroup reissued a buy rating and issued a $378.00 price target. Jefferies Financial Group lifted their price target to $310 from $290 and gave the company a buy rating.

Microsoft’s (MSFT) been a significant outperformer YTD, up 30% vs software index up 15% (IGV), setting the bar slightly higher for MSFT shares going into the F4Q print. F4Q expectations are achievable, supported by MSFT’s diverse portfolio including Azure and Teams driving up selling. Key items to watch are FY22 margin pressure, elevated expectations and more color on recent M&A and broader aspirations. Maintain Buy, Raise PT to $335,” noted Brent Thill, equity analyst at Jefferies.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Monstrous Earnings Week Ahead: Tesla, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Amazon in Focus

Earnings Calendar For The Week Of July 26

Monday (July 26)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: TESLA, LOCKHEED MARTIN

TESLA: The California-based electric vehicle and clean energy company is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $0.94 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of over 113% from $0.44 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The high-performance electric vehicle manufacturer would post revenue growth of about 90% to around $11.4 billion. The electric vehicle producer has beaten earnings three times in the last four quarters.

“A double-fly-wheel. We believe Tesla can leverage its cost leadership in EVs to aggressively expand its user base, over time generating a higher % of revenue from recurring/high-margin services revenue. Services drives the upside. We forecast Tesla’s network services EBITDA as a % of total TSLA EBITDA to reach 11% by 2025, ~18% by 2030 and ~35% by 2040. Tesla Service revenue includes automated driving, infotainment, upgrades, supercharging, maintenance, telematics, etc,” noted Adam Jonas, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Valuation supportive vs. tech. Including Network Services, Energy & Insurance to our core auto fcst, at $900 Tesla trades at ~29x EV/EBITDA in 2025 and ~6x 2025 sales. Expensive vs. auto but not vs. software/tech comps.”

LOCKHEED MARTIN: The Bethesda, Maryland-based global security and aerospace company is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $6.53 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of about 13% from $5.79 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The world’s largest defense contractor would post revenue growth of over 4% to around $16.9 billion. It is worth noting that the aerospace company has beaten earnings in all last eight quarters.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JULY 26

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
PSON Pearson £8.40
LMT Lockheed Martin $6.53
PHG Koninklijke Philips $0.47
CHKP Check Point Software Technologies $1.56
LII Lennox International $4.39
RPM RPM International $1.26
BOH Bank of Hawaii $1.31
DORM Dorman Products $1.04
TSLA Tesla $0.94
KOF Coca Cola Femsa Sab De Cv $14.53
ARE Alexandria Real Estate Equities $0.62
AMP Ameriprise Financial $5.20
SUI Sun Communities $0.57
BRO Brown & Brown $0.40
UHS Universal Health Services $2.69
PKG Packaging Of America $1.77
FFIV F5 Networks $2.46
AGNC American Capital Agency $0.65
ACC American Campus Communities -$0.07
AMKR Amkor Technology $0.45
CR Crane $1.39
ADC Agree Realty $0.47
SSD Simpson Manufacturing $1.61
AXTA Axalta Coating Systems $0.46
TNET TriNet $0.81
HXL Hexcel $0.01
RRC Range Resources $0.25
PCH Potlatch $2.55
JJSF J&J Snack Foods $0.76
IBTX Independent Bank $1.31
CATY Cathay General Bancorp $0.83
AIN Albany International $0.73
CALX Calix $0.27
IBA Industrias Bachoco Sab De Cv $1.22
ARI Apollo Commercial Real Est Finance $0.36
PPERY PT Bank Mandiri Persero TBK $0.18
CDNS Cadence Design Systems $0.76
OTIS Otis Worldwide Corp $0.72
RYAAY Ryanair -$1.46
HAS Hasbro $0.48
WWD Woodward $0.98
ACKAY Arcelik ADR $0.46
GT Goodyear Tire & Rubber $0.16
TTM Tata Motors -$0.31
CBU Community Bank System $0.80
SANM Sanmina $0.91
BDN Brandywine Realty $0.01
FRME First Merchants $0.91

Tuesday (July 27)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: GOOGLE (ALPHABET), MICROSOFT, APPLE

GOOGLE (ALPHABET): The parent of Google and the world’s largest search engine that dominates internet search activity globally is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $19.33 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of about 90% from $10.13 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The Mountain View, California-based internet giant would post revenue growth of more than 45% to around $56.16 billion. It is worth noting that the company, on average, has delivered an earnings surprise of over 43% in the last four quarters.

Alphabet’s better-than-expected results, which will be announced on Tuesday, July 27, would help the stock hit new all-time highs. Alphabet shares surged more than 50% so far this year. On Friday, the stock closed at a fresh record high at $2,660.30, up 3.57%.

MICROSOFT: The Redmond, Washington-based global technology giant would report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $1.91 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of over 30% from $1.46 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago. The world’s largest software maker would post revenue growth of over 15% to around $44.1 billion, up from the $38.03 billion a year earlier.

“Channel work and our CIO survey point to building momentum across the Cloud, Hybrid and On-premise portfolio, which should power a solid Q4. While investors seek reassurances margin expansion continues into FY22, our model suggests durable high-teens EPS growth and upside in the shares,” noted Keith Weiss, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Microsoft’s better-than-expected results, which will be announced on Tuesday, July 27, would help the stock hit new all-time highs. Microsoft shares have surged more than 30% so far this year.

APPLE: The consumer electronics giant would post its fiscal third-quarter earnings of $1.01 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of over 55% from $0.65 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The iPhone manufacturer would post revenue growth of over 20% to around $73.3 billion up from $59.69 billion a year earlier. It is worth noting that the company has beaten earnings in all last eight quarters.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JULY 27

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
SIRI Sirius XM $0.07
IEX IDEX $1.62
PCAR PACCAR $1.40
MMM 3M $2.29
MSCI Msci $2.31
ENPH Enphase Energy $0.42
LSXMK Liberty Media SiriusXM C $0.36
LSXMA Liberty Media SiriusXM A $0.48
CVLT Commvault Systems $0.52
LOGI Logitech Internationalusa $0.90
MXIM Maxim Integrated Products $0.85
ST Sensata Technologies $0.88
CNC Centene $1.22
UPS United Parcel Service $2.79
TRU TransUnion $0.91
SHW Sherwin-Williams $2.67
IVZ Invesco $0.70
FELE Franklin Electric $0.80
LW Lamb Weston Holdings Inc $0.42
IQV IQVIA Holdings Inc $2.07
RTX Raytheon Technologies Corp $0.93
ENTG Entegris $0.79
LECO Lincoln Electric $1.48
FISV Fiserv $1.28
DTE DTE Energy $1.36
GE General Electric $0.03
ROK Rockwell Automation $2.09
WM Waste Management $1.19
SWK Stanley Black & Decker $2.88
ADM Archer-Daniels Midland $1.02
HUBB Hubbell $2.16
PNR Pentair Ordinary Share $0.79
BSX Boston Scientific $0.37
ECL Ecolab $1.21
PPBI Pacific Premier Bancorp $0.71
GPK Graphic Packaging $0.28
PHM PulteGroup $1.73
AWI Armstrong World Industries $1.05
RGEN Repligen $0.52
SFNC Simmons First National $0.52
SSTK Shutterstock $0.68
ABG Asbury Automotive $4.60
MPWR Monolithic Power Systems $1.69
CHRW C.H. Robinson Worldwide $1.33
MANH Manhattan Associates $0.43
GOOG Alphabet $19.33
CB Chubb $3.00
AMD Advanced Micro Devices $0.54
PGRE Paramount Group -$0.05
SBUX Starbucks $0.77
CAKE Cheesecake Factory $0.72
EGP EastGroup Properties $0.67
AXS Axis Capital $1.42
WSBC WesBanco $0.75
HIW Highwoods Properties $0.33
STAG STAG Industrial $0.12
VIST Vista Oil Gas $0.15
NAVI Navient $0.85
EHC Encompass Health Corp $0.98
OMAB Grupo Aeroportuario Del Centro Nort $11.31
NOV National Oilwell Varco -$0.13
V Visa $1.34
GOOGL Alphabet $19.24
BXP Boston Properties $0.57
AAT American Assets $0.11
MSFT Microsoft $1.91
JNPR Juniper Networks $0.39
BYD Boyd Gaming $0.90
MASI Masimo $0.90
MTDR Matador Resources $0.75
CSGP CoStar $0.23
FIBK First Interstate BancSystem $0.72
OLN Olin $1.44
EQR Equity Residential $0.19
EXR Extra Space Storage $1.06
EPR EPR Properties $0.06
USNA USANA Health Sciences $1.72
THG Hanover $2.38
UMBF UMB Financial $1.75
CHE Chemed $4.29
SYK Stryker $2.13
MDLZ Mondelez International $0.65
MAT Mattel -$0.06
PFG Principal Financial $1.52
AAPL Apple $1.01
TER Teradyne $1.75
VIV Telefonica Brasil $0.13
ASH Ashland $1.31
GLW Corning $0.51
PII Polaris Industries $2.15
JBLU JetBlue Airways -$0.74
RDY Drreddys Laboratories $0.55
XRX Xerox $0.40
CIT CIT $0.86
SID Companhia Siderurgica Nacional $0.86
RNST Renasant $0.77

Wednesday (July 28)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: FACEBOOK

The world’s largest online social network is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $3.04 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of about 70% from $1.80 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago. The Menlo Park, California-based social media conglomerate would post revenue growth of over 49% to around $28.0 billion.

“Monetization Potential: We are positive on FB’s monetization roll-out of Instagram as well as FB’s ability to continue to innovate and improve its monetization (Canvas Ads, Dynamic Ads, video). Combined with the high and growing engagement we see monetization upside going forward,” noted Brian Nowak, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Investing from Position of Strength to Drive Faster Long-Term Growth: We are modeling ~33% GAAP opex (excl. one-time items) growth in 2021, implying an incremental ~$18bn in opex. Our base case model implies opex per employee moderates in ’21 while FB hiring remains roughly flat on an absolute basis. We believe FB will grow EPS at a ~39% CAGR (2019-2022).”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JULY 28

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
PTC PTC $0.63
URI United Rentals $4.90
ENSG Ensign $0.88
ALKS ALKERMES $0.12
TYL Tyler Technologies $1.63
AMG Affiliated Managers $3.85
SF Stifel Financial $1.38
FIX Comfort Systems USA $0.91
MSA MSA Safety $1.04
CBD Companhia Brasileira De Distrib $0.04
ALGT Allegiant Travel $2.55
GD General Dynamics $2.55
HES Hess $0.11
PFE Pfizer $0.97
QCOM Qualcomm $1.68
HP Helmerich & Payne -$0.56
UMC United Microelectronics $0.14
BA Boeing -$0.81
EQIX Equinix $1.87
DB Deutsche Bank $0.33
RJF Raymond James Financial $2.27
SAN Banco Santander $0.13
HNP Huaneng Power International $0.86
LRCX Lam Research $7.59
APH Amphenol $0.55
EVR Evercore Partners $2.71
PPC Pilgrim’s Pride $0.52
R Ryder System $1.38
NSC Norfolk Southern $2.97
FORM FormFactor $0.33
SHOO Steven Madden $0.31
SCI Service International $0.67
ADP ADP $1.14
MNRO Monro Muffler Brake $0.52
SLAB Silicon Laboratories $0.93
BXMT Blackstone Mortgage $0.60
PAG Penske Automotive $2.76
ROL Rollins $0.18
BCS Barclays $0.54
CAJ Canon $0.33
XLNX Xilinx $0.78
HUM Humana $6.82
AVY Avery Dennison $2.05
NYCB New York Community Bancorp $0.30
SCL Stepan $1.84
GSK Glaxosmithkline $0.55
CME CME $1.61
TEVA Teva Pharmaceutical Industries $0.59
MCD McDonalds $2.11
BSBR Banco Santander Brasil $0.20
EXP Eagle Materials $2.07
DT Dynatrace Holdings $0.15
EEFT Euronet Worldwide $0.65
SPOT Spotify -$0.38
OC Owens Corning $2.14
FMX Fomento Economico Mexicano Sab $14.29
BMY Bristol-Myers Squibb $1.89
VRTS Virtus Investment Partners $8.11
GRMN Garmin $1.26
SIX Swiss Exchange -$0.22
CCJ Cameco USA -$0.05
TDY Teledyne Technologies $2.70
IART Integra LifeSciences $0.66
GNRC Generac $2.30
MCO Moody’s $2.77
VRT Veritas Pharma $0.24
EPD Enterprise Products Partners $0.50
GIB CGI Group USA $1.08
TMO Thermo Fisher Scientific $5.47
TEL TE Connectivity $1.58
SLGN Silgan $0.83
PB Prosperity Bancshares $1.39
ODFL Old Dominion Freight Line $2.17
BG Bunge $1.62
LFUS Littelfuse $2.24
CNMD CONMED $0.62
CP Canadian Pacific Railway USA $1.00
AVB AvalonBay Communities $0.74
ALGN Align Technology $2.52
AM Antero Midstream Partners $0.19
CNO CNO Financial Group $0.54
CINF Cincinnati Financial $0.99
SSNC SS&C Technologies $1.14
MTH Meritage Homes $3.28
TTEK Tetra Tech $0.88
MKSI MKS Instruments $2.95
ROIC Retail Opportunity Investments $0.06
SIGI Selective $1.23
VAC Marriottacations Worldwide $0.89
PDM Piedmont Office Realty $0.05
IRBT Irobot $0.32
UDR UDR $0.01
EXAS Exact Sciences -$0.75
MOH Molina Healthcare $3.39
EQT EQT $0.04
MXL MaxLinear $0.50
IR Ingersoll Rand $0.42
AGI Alamos Gold $0.11
MAA Mid-America Apartment Communities $0.55
KGC Kinross Gold USA $0.13
ESRT Empire State Realty -$0.01
BSMX Santander Mexico Fincl Gp Sab Decv $0.17
CRUS Cirrus Logic $0.39
MUSA Murphy USA $3.21
RE Everest Re $8.58
VALE Vale $1.47
DRE Duke Realty $0.19
PYPL PayPal $1.12
NOW ServiceNow $1.21
CCS Century Communities $2.84
NLY Annaly Capital Management $0.27
TROX Tronox $0.52
XPO XPO Logistics $1.66
SAVE Spirit Airlines -$0.86
PAC Grupo Aeroportuario Del Pacifico $1.14
CHX ChampionX Corp $0.10
NUVA NuVasive $0.44
FBHS Fortune Brands Home Security $1.39
NOVA Nova Mentis Life Science Corp -$0.24
FB Facebook $3.04
ACGL Arch Capital $0.84
CONE CyrusOne $0.04
AR Antero Resources $0.20
AEM Agnico Eagle Mines USA $0.59
RBC Regal Beloit Corporation $2.07
PEGA Pegasystems -$0.18
AFL Aflac $1.28
PKI PerkinElmer $2.44
CHDN Churchill Downs $2.51
PEB Pebblebrook Hotel -$0.65
CTSH Cognizant Technology Solutions $0.96
HOLX Hologic $1.12
KRC Kilroy Realty $0.29
ALSN Allison Transmission $0.93
F Ford Motor -$0.04
ASGN On Assignment $1.29
HIG Hartford Financial Services $1.34
ORLY O’Reilly Automotive $7.51
ISBC Investors Bancorp $0.31

Thursday (July 29)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: AMAZON.COM

The eCommerce leader for physical and digital merchandise is expected to report its second-quarter earnings of $12.24 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of about 19% from $10.3 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The Seattle, Washington-based multinational technology giant would post revenue growth of about 29% to around $115 billion. The company has beaten earnings per share (EPS) estimates at all times in the last four quarters.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JULY 29

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
RLGY Realogy $1.08
VSTO Vista Outdoor $0.90
AGCO AGCO $2.20
PCG PG&E $0.28
MATX Matson $2.96
PRFT Perficient $0.79
NATI National Instruments $0.05
GPI Group 1 Automotive $7.59
CFX Colfax $0.53
CMS CMS Energy Corporation $0.46
LYG Lloyds Banking $0.14
MHK Mohawk Industries $3.59
EBS Emergent BioSolutions $1.41
TXT Textron $0.65
AUOTY AU Optronics $0.56
CMCSA Comcast $0.66
VLO Valero Energy $0.17
CG Carlyle $0.60
ABEV Ambev $0.02
NLSN Nielsen $0.36
MTD Mettler Toledo International $7.62
ADS Alliance Data Systems $3.68
FTNT Fortinet $0.88
FTV Fortive Corp $0.60
ASX Advanced Semiconductor Engineering $0.16
LKQ LKQ $0.75
ERJ Embraer -$0.26
TFX Teleflex $2.87
CARR Carrier Global Corp $0.55
CX Cemex Sab De Cv $0.16
ORAN Orange $0.18
CVE Cenovus Energy USA $0.26
MT Arcelormittal $2.52
MA Mastercard $1.74
KBR KBR $0.50
HOCPY Hoya Corp $0.85
YUM Yum Brands $0.96
EIX Edison International $1.02
EME EMCOR $1.58
AGIO Agios Pharmaceuticals -$1.35
KPELY Keppel Corporation $0.18
BUD Anheuser-Busch $0.87
CS Credit Suisse $0.22
DANOY Danone PK $0.45
SNY Sanofi $0.77
AZN Astrazeneca $0.45
TEF Telefonica $0.14
STM Stmicroelectronics $0.37
GRFS Grifolsbarcelona $0.26
THRM Gentherm $0.65
WWW Wolverine World Wide $0.49
CNX Consol Energy $0.24
CBRE CBRE Group Inc $0.77
TAP Molson Coors Brewing $1.35
VC Visteon $0.05
KEX Kirby $0.14
TREE LendingTree -$0.63
SAH Sonic Automotive $1.38
HSY Hershey $1.42
AMT American Tower $1.27
TW Towers Watson $0.39
OSK Oshkosh $2.25
MAS Masco $1.04
MO Altria $1.18
TROW T. Rowe Price $3.19
CTXS Citrix Systems $1.22
SPGI S&P Global Inc $3.26
BAX Baxter International $0.75
ICE Intercontinental Exchange $1.16
SO Southern Co. $0.79
NTCT Netscout Systems $0.18
GOL Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes -$0.91
CFR Cullen/Frost Bankers $1.56
CWT California Water Service $0.41
FSS Federal Signal $0.45
AER AerCap $1.37
COLB Columbia Banking System $0.66
COR CoreSite Realty $0.45
WEX WEX $1.95
TMHC Taylor Morrison Home $0.96
XEL Xcel Energy $0.56
FLEX Flextronics International $0.38
SAIA Saia $2.05
OSTK Overstock $0.67
IDA IdaCorp $1.21
FCN FTI Consulting $1.52
LAWS Lawson Products $0.60
WST West Pharmaceutical Services $1.74
MLM Martin Marietta Materials $3.85
MTSI MACOM Technology Solutions $0.53
LH Laboratory Of America $5.62
EXLS ExlService $1.01
BSAC Banco Santander Chile $0.50
AOS A.O. Smith $0.65
TPX Tempur Sealy International $0.56
HBAN Huntington Bancshares $0.32
WAB Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies $0.96
NOC Northrop Grumman $5.83
MMP Magellan Midstream Partners $1.02
HLT Hilton Worldwide $0.39
KDP Keurig Dr Pepper $0.37
OMCL Omnicell $0.82
BC Brunswick $2.14
MRK Merck & Co $1.40
TRP Transcanada USA $0.77
KIM Kimco Realty $0.12
IP International Paper $1.06
MDC MDC $1.99
PRLB Proto Labs $0.44
SGEN Seattle Genetics -$0.61
CPT Camden Property $0.34
SIMO Silicon Motion Technology $1.25
CUBE CubeSmart $0.21
DLB Dolby Laboratories $0.28
BIO Bio-Rad Laboratories $2.66
CC Chemours Co $0.94
ZEN Zendesk $0.16
FWRD Forward Air $0.97
AJG Arthur J. Gallagher $1.08
SPSC SPS Commerce $0.40
ROG Rogers $1.89
ERIE Erie Indemnity $1.51
CUZ Cousins Properties $0.20
WELL Welltower Inc $0.15
PTCT PTC Therapeutics -$1.81
AUY Yamana Gold USA $0.06
LPLA LPL Financial $1.67
WWE World Wrestling Entertainment $0.25
WRE Washington Real Estate Investment -$0.04
TXRH Texas Roadhouse $0.98
ATR AptarGroup $0.97
GLPI Gaming And Leisure Properties $0.57
OFC Orate Office Properties $0.14
RSG Republic Services $0.95
TEX Terex $0.60
X United States Steel $3.08
LBTYA Liberty Global Class A Ordinary Shares $0.46
KLAC KLA-Tencor $3.99
SWKS Skyworks Solutions $2.14
DXCM Dexcom $0.44
HUBG HUB $0.70
VCYT Veracyte -$0.25
POWI Power Integrations $0.75
LGND Ligand Pharmaceuticals $1.38
FHI Federated Hermes Inc $0.66
FSLR First Solar $0.55
CWST Casella Waste Systems $0.24
DLR Digital Realty $0.24
MTX Minerals Technologies $1.25
VRTX Vertex Pharmaceuticals $2.37
PFPT Proofpoint $0.49
ESS Essex Property $0.88
GILD Gilead Sciences $1.73
WERN Werner $0.87
MMSI Merit Medical Systems $0.45
LBTYK LIBERTY GLOBAL $0.46
AMZN Amazon $12.24
QGEN Qiagen $0.65
EW Edwards Lifesciences $0.55
NRZ New Residential Investment $0.31
MSTR Microstrategy $0.81
SM SM Energy -$0.26
SWN Southwestern Energy $0.21
TMUS T-Mobile Us $0.51
DECK Deckers Outdoor -$0.15
CORT Corcept Therapeutics $0.17
TWOU 2U -$0.16
SBH Sally Beauty $0.62
MPW Medical Properties $0.29
CACC Credit Acceptance $10.36
SJW SJW $0.64
SHEN Shenandoah Telecommunications $0.86
ES Eversource Energy $0.80
KMPR Kemper $1.33
WRI Weingarten Realty Investors $0.10
OPK Opko Health $0.02
SU Suncor Energy USA $0.39
APELY Alps Electric $0.11
ACI AltaGas Canada $0.69
EXPO Exponent $0.42

Friday (July 30)

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
KMTUY Komatsu $0.40
VFC VF $0.11
ABR Arbor Realty $0.42
PEXNY PTT Exploration & Production $0.16
LAZ Lazard $0.89
HRC Hill-Rom $1.35
XOM Exxon Mobil $1.00
COG Cabot Oil Gas $0.29
MFG Mizuho Financial $0.08
GCTAY Siemens Gamesa ADR $0.02
TU Telus USA $0.21
JCI Johnson Controls $0.83
CL Colgate-Palmolive $0.80
BAH Booz Allen Hamilton $0.97
TOTDY Toto $0.25
ASEKY Aisin Seiki Co $1.13
BBVA Banco Bilbaoizcaya Argentaria $0.06
E ENI $0.33
FMS Fresenius Medical Care $0.48
SMFG Sumitomo Mitsui Financial $0.21
SBGSY Schneider Electric SA $0.63
PG Procter & Gamble $1.09
CHD Church Dwight $0.70
ALNPY ANA Holdings ADR -$0.20
CVX Chevron $1.58
BNPQY BNP Paribas ADR $1.07
NMR Nomura $0.17
CHT Chunghwa Telecom $0.34
HUN Huntsman $0.81
LIN Linde PLC $2.55
AON AON $1.85
PNM PNM Resources $0.46
CAT Caterpillar $2.41
CPRI Capri Holdings Ltd $0.79
BLMN Bloomin’ Brands $0.66
CHTR Charter Communications $4.79
DAN Dana $0.50
ITW Illinois Tool Works $2.09
GWW Grainger $4.59
CERN Cerner $0.76
NWL Newell Brands Inc $0.45
POR Portland General Electric $0.37
ENB Enbridge USA $0.45
LYB LyondellBasell Industries $5.30
ABBV AbbVie $3.08
SHLX Shell Midstream Partners $0.35
WPC W. P. Carey $0.56
AVNT Avient Corp $0.81
WY Weyerhaeuser $1.37
IDXX Idexx Laboratories $2.02
BCPC Balchem $0.82
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Earnings vs Inflation – What Is The Right Bet?

As investment money will always be looking for a place to roost many stocks still look like the best opportunity for alpha, especially some of your bigger high-tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc… who don’t face the same headwinds created by supply chain dislocations, higher commodity prices, etc.

Fundamental analysis

Bulls are hoping to see more money lured into the market by strong Q2 earnings which have so far failed to ignite a meaningful rally. Analyst expectations for S&P 500 company earnings is still around +65%, something stock bears argue is lofty considering the extreme level of supply chain dislocations and labor shortages.

There is also a lot of debate about whether corporate profit gains are “peaking” in the face of slower growth in the quarters ahead as the reopening boom begins to fade. Remember, investors place bets on the future, not what happened last quarter.

The earnings pace really picks up next week with highlights including IBM on Monday; Chipotle and Netflix on Tuesday; ASML, CocaCola, Novartis, and Verizon on Wednesday; Abbott Labs, AT&T, Biogen, Capital One, Dow Inc., Intel, Snap, Southwest Airlines, Twitter, and Union Pacific on Thursday; and American Express, Honeywell, and Nextera on Friday.

Inflation

One of the biggest factors that seem to be weighing on investor sentiment continues to be inflation. The latest indication of rising costs was reflected last week in U.S. Import Prices, which climbed for an eighth straight month in June.

However, the year-on-year increase slid to +11.2%, down from +11.6% in May is an encouraging sign that some inflationary pressures might be starting to ease. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, testifying before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, repeated the script he’s stuck with for months, saying inflation will likely remain elevated in the coming weeks and months before moderating.

Powell also told lawmakers that the Fed is not in a hurry to start paring its monthly asset purchases but he stressed that the central bank is prepared to adjust policy if they see signs of inflation moving “materially and persistently beyond levels consistent with our goal.” Wall Street increasingly expects the Fed to start trimming asset purchases later this year and even start lifting rates as soon as Q4 2022.

The Fed meets next on July 27-28 but most analysts think Powell will wait to make any big policy change announcements at either the annual Jackson Hole symposium at the end of August or possibly the FOMC’s September policy meeting. Central banks in Canada and New Zealand this week scaled back their asset purchase schemes which some worry could start to put pressure on central bankers in other developed countries to also tighten.

The European Central Bank releases its latest policy decision next Thursday. Bulls still largely believe that U.S. growth will be able to outpace “transitory” inflation pressures but the outlook for some companies could dim if the Fed starts reining in its “easy money” policies sooner than investors have been anticipating.

sp500 analysis forecast 18 july 2020

SP500 technical analysis

SP500 pulled back last week after another attempt to break out. There is no surprise we see such choppiness in the middle of summer. Moreover, very likely this price activity will stay for a few more weeks. We are still in a bull market. However, the risk of deep pullback is rising. If that happens, SP500 will target to close the gap near 4000.

On the other hand, if the price sustains above Gann resistance 4400, bulls will target 4500 at least. Two of my favourite indicators are giving opposite signals now. So, I don’t have any strong bias at the moment. Advance Decline Line remains bearish. At the same time, Insider Accumulation is bullish. In general, swing traders have to focus on daily support and resistance. Likely it will take few more weeks to see a real direction. Short-term traders can use Gann levels and Cycles on 4h charts to find trading opportunities.

U.S. Tech Companies Disappointed with DACA Ruling, Urge Congress to Act

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on Friday sided with a group of states suing to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, arguing that it was illegally created by former President Barack Obama in 2012.

“We have long argued in support of this program, filing an amicus brief in this case, and we are very disappointed by the decision (from the judge)”, Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said.

“Dreamers and immigrants make the United States — and Twitter — better”, a spokesperson from social media platform Twitter said in an emailed statement.

Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Photoshop maker Adobe urged the U.S. Congress to come together to protect Dreamers, with Google saying they wanted DACA to be “cemented” into law.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said that the “disappointing” ruling created “uncertainty yet again for Dreamers.”

The judge ruled on Friday that the program violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it was created but said that since there were so many people currently enrolled in the program – nearly 650,000 – his ruling would be temporarily stayed for their cases and their renewal applications.

Biden, who was vice president when Obama created the program, has said he wants to create a permanent pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, known as “Dreamers.”

On Saturday, Biden vowed to preserve the program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, promising to appeal the judge’s ruling invalidating it and urging Congress to provide a path to citizenship.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru, Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Best Dividend Stocks July 2021

The hallmark way I go about finding the best dividend stocks…the outliers, is by looking for quiet Big Money trading activity. Oftentimes, that can be institutional activity. I’ll go over why following the Big Money is so important in a bit. But, the 5 stocks I see as long-term dividend growth candidates are DPZ, LRCX, MSFT, SBUX, & EXR.

Over decades, I’ve learned that the true tell on great stocks is that big money consistently finds its way into the best companies out there… especially dividend paying stocks. Some of the biggest returns ever have come from holding stocks for many years and reinvesting dividends.

I want the odds on my side when looking for the highest quality dividend stocks…and I own many of them.

So, let’s get into it.

Up first is Domino’s, Inc. (DPZ), which is a large pizza chain. They’ve been raising their dividend for years.

Let’s first start with the technical picture.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, I look for stocks leading in price:

  • 1 month performance (+8.82%)
  • Historical Big Money buy signals

Below are the Big Money signals Domino’s has made since 2015. Blue bars are showing that DPZ was seeing big buy activity according to MAPsignals. Typically, the more Big Money signals, the stronger the stock:

Chart, histogramDescription automatically generated
Source: MAPsignals, End of day data sourced from Tiingo.com

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, you should look under the hood to see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. As you can see, DPZ has a strong dividend history:

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+19.2%)
  • Current dividend per share = .94
  • Forward yield = .82%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (+28.28%)

Next up is Lam Research Corp. (LRCX), which is a leading semiconductor company. They’ve also been a dividend grower for years.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, it’s a good idea to look for many years of dividend increases.

Now let’s look at recent performance:

  • 1 month performance (-.24%)
  • Historical big money signals

Below are the big money signals that Lam Research has made since 2015. I expect more buy signals in the years to come.

Chart, histogramDescription automatically generated
Source: MAPsignals, End of day data sourced from Tiingo.com

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, you should look under the hood to see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. As you can see, Lam Research has a nice dividend history. Their earnings growth has been stellar as well:

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+40.7%)
  • Current dividend per share = 1.30
  • Forward yield = .82%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (+15.48%)

Next, I’m looking at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), which is a leading software company. They have a solid dividend history.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, recent performance in the shares is important:

  • 1 month performance (+7.63%)
  • Recent Big Money signals

Below are the big money signals that Microsoft has made since 2015. It’s clear the stock has been in a nice uptrend:

Chart, histogramDescription automatically generated
Source: MAPsignals, End of day data sourced from Tiingo.com

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, you should look under the hood to see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. As you can see, MSFT has a strong dividend history:

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+9.2%)
  • Current dividend per share = .56
  • Forward yield = .84%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (+43.33%)

Next, I’m looking at Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), which is a global coffee chain. They operate over 32,000 restaurants globally.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, recent muted performance is not a bad thing:

  • 1 month performance (-1.44%)
  • Historical Big Money signals

Below are the Big Money signals that Starbucks has made since 2015.

Chart, histogramDescription automatically generated
Source: MAPsignals, End of day data sourced from Tiingo.com

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, let’s check up on the fundamentals. As you can see, Starbucks has a strong dividend history.

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+17.9%)
  • Current dividend per share = .45
  • Forward yield = 1.61%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (-6.23%)

Lastly, I’m looking at Extra Space Storage, Inc. (EXR), which is a leading storage company. They’ve been a leader in the Real Estate sector for years.

When deciding on a strong candidate for long-term dividend growth, I like to look for recent leaders:

  • 1 month performance (+11.22%)
  • Historical Big Money signals

Below are the Big Money signals that EXR has made since 2015.

Chart, histogramDescription automatically generated
Source: MAPsignals, End of day data sourced from Tiingo.com

On top of technicals, when deciding on the best dividend stock, you gotta see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. EXR has been a steady grower:

  • 3-year dividend growth rate (+4.9%)
  • Current dividend per share = 1.00
  • Forward yield = 2.40%
  • 3-year earnings growth rate (-.11%)

The Bottom Line

DPZ, LRCX, MSFT, SBUX, & EXR represent solid dividend choices. Given the strong historical dividend growth and Big Money signals, these stocks could be worth an extra look for a dividend investor.

Disclosure: the author holds long positions in personal accounts in LRCX, MSFT, SBUX, & EXR and long positions in managed accounts in DPZ, LRCX, SBUX, & EXR.

To learn more about the MAPsignals process, click here.

Disclaimer

Microsoft, Becomes the Second Company after Apple with $2 Trillion Valuation

The software giant settled at $265.51 at the end of Tuesday’s trading session to close at exactly $2 trillion as it posted decent gains of about 1.1%.

This was the first time ever Microsoft will be reaching the $2 trillion milestones slightly after two years after it first passed the $1 trillion market valuation.

The Nasdaq listed stock closed at a record high Tuesday as macros revealed the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in his most recent testimony before Congress downplayed fears over the sharp pace of inflation, triggering tech stocks like Microsoft benefiting from the weakness in Treasury 10-Year bond yields, remaining below 1.5%.

The tech juggernaut has outperformed Apple and Amazon.com Inc. with year-to-date gains of 19% as global investors piled into the prized stock asset on expectations of decent earnings and revenue, in sectors such as like cloud computing and machine learning.

The valuable tech giant co-founded 46 years ago by Bill Gates, the fourth richest man, and his close confidant Paul Allen has seen its cloud-computing business becoming a central force with about 34% accounted of Microsoft’s 2020 revenue with remote work becoming the norm in the global economy.

Recent fundamentals show the stock is about to smash its 52-week high of $265.79, posting yearly gains of about 34% with corporate Information Technology spending gaining momentum at the post- COVID-19 pandemic.

A growing number of global investors have increased their buying pressures on the stock amid last week’s appointment of CEO Satya Nadella as chairman of Microsoft’s board further giving credence to his visionary leadership the digital transformation that came to play since his reign began in 2014.

The business leader is known for giving Windows away for free and shutting down Microsoft’s failing subsidiaries like Nokia, further freed up energy for promising domains (cloud computing and artificial intelligence) seems to pay off with the focus on empowering its customers.

Tech-Heavy Nasdaq Ignores Hawkish Fed News to Advance

The performance of the tech-heavy Nasdaq was in stark contrast to the S&P 500 and Dow, which slumped as investors reacted negatively to the Fedeignoral Reserve’s unexpectedly hawkish message on monetary policy on Wednesday.

Chipmaker Nvidia Corp jumped 5.4%, leading the charge among technology behemoths after Jefferies raised its price target on the stock.

Technology shares, which generally perform better when interest rates are low, powered a rally on Wall Street last year as investors flocked to stocks seen as relatively safe during times of economic turmoil.

The group has come under pressure this year on fears that rising inflation would lead the Fed to hike interest rates sooner than expected. The central bank on Wednesday moved its first projected rate increases from 2024 into 2023.

Still, shares of Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook Inc reversed premarket declines to rise between 1.4% and 2% as investors bet that a steady economic rebound would boost demand for their products in the long run.

“Yes there is rising inflation but the market is focusing more on the positives of improving earnings, robust GDP growth and the wider economy getting stronger,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

“Today’s action is indicative that the Fed hasn’t said anything that the market didn’t already know.”

The Nasdaq briefly advanced to within 16 points of its lifetime peak achieved on April 29, before pulling back a touch.

By 1:55PM ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 198.57 points, or 0.58%, to 33,835.1, the S&P 500 gained 0.24 points, or 0.01%, to 4,223.94 and the Nasdaq Composite added 127.04 points, or 0.9%, to 14,166.73.

Interest rate-sensitive bank stocks slumped -3.8% as longer dated U.S. Treasury yields dropped.

The strengthening dollar, another by-product of the previous day’s Fed news, pushed U.S. oil prices down from the multi-year high hit earlier in the week. The energy index, in turn, fell more than 3%, the biggest laggard among the 11 main S&P sectors.

Other economically sensitive stocks including materials and industrials fell 2.4% and 1.5% respectively, as data showed jobless claims rising last week for the first time in more than a month. Still, layoffs appeared to be easing amid a reopening economy and a shortage of people willing to work.

“In the balance of June and into the summer we anticipate continued volatility as we get more signals from economic data, Fed policy and as we get into the earnings season,” said Greg Bassuk, chief executive officer at AXS Investments in New York.

In corporate news, U.S.-listed shares of CureVac NV sank 41.5% after the German biotech said its COVID-19 vaccine was 47% effective in a late-stage trial, missing the study’s main goal.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

(Reporting by Shashank Nayar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Anil D’Silva, Maju Samuel and Dan Grebler)

 

Microsoft To Introduce Xbox Gaming On TVs Without The Console

Tech giant Microsoft is currently developing streaming hardware that people can hook up to their televisions to use its Netflix-like cloud gaming service. With this technology, Xbox gaming will now be available on TVs without using a console.

Connect Your Xbox To Your TV Without A Console

US-based Microsoft wants to make it easier for people to access their Xbox games on their televisions. Microsoft announced earlier today that it is developing dedicated streaming hardware that users can hook up to their televisions and access Xbox games directly without using a console.

The tech giant believes that the future of gaming is subscription-based. People will pay money and gain access to a wide range of games per month. The Xbox Game Pass is designed to offer such a service. It allows users to access games developed by Microsoft and by third-party studios. The introduction of the Xbox Cloud Gaming last year has turned it something like Netflix for games. The service allows gamers to play games hosted on remote servers and stream to users over the internet.

The company is now pushing its cloud gaming products to other platforms. Microsoft wants to make it possible for people to access its cloud gaming services via iPhones, iPads, PC and now televisions.

Microsoft is still working on ways to make this happen. One way the company proposes is to partner with manufacturers to add cloud gaming to smart TVs. The tech giant is also developing streaming devices that users can plug into their television or computer monitor to stream games directly from the cloud. However, Microsoft is yet to provide details on how the device will look like.

Microsoft Is Expanding Its Xbox Subscription Reach

Microsoft’s stock is up by 1% at the moment. It is currently trading at $256 per share. Despite the positive news, Microsoft’s stock price has been trading around the $250 region since the start of the week.

Microsoft
MSFT stock chart. Source: FXEMPIRE

Microsoft said is currently working with mobile carriers like Telstra in Australia in a bid to offer a new Xbox subscription model. Its cloud gaming service is also expected to launch in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan before the end of the year.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

France Fines Google $267 Million for Abusing Position. The Probes in Europe Continues

France’s competition regulator has fined search engine giant Google $267 million after accusing it of abusing its market power in the online advertising sector. This latest development follows a tradition of US tech companies getting into trouble with European regulators.

France fines Google $267 million

The French Competition Authority announced earlier today that it had fined Google 220 million euros ($267 million). The search engine giant was accused of abusing its position in the market by unfairly sending business to its own service and discriminated against competitors in the online advertising industry.

According to the report, Google has agreed to pay the fine and is set to end some of its selfish practices. The investigation conducted by the regulatory agency revealed that Google favored its DFP advertising server and SSP AdX listing platform. By so doing, publishers of sites and applications favored doing business with Google. They also sold their impressions to the search engine giant. Hence, causing suffering to Google’s rivals and publishers.

Isabelle de Silva, head of the French Competition Authority, said this decision is the first of its kind in the world. France is the first country to critically look at the complex algorithmic auction processes that the online advertising space works with. She added that Google’s act has made it tough for competitors in the online advertising sector and increased the company’s dominant position.

Thanks to the fine and Google changing its policies, France is sure to create a level playing field for all advertisers and to enable publishers to make the most of their advertising spaces. The sanction came after French newspaper Le Figaro, the Belgian press group Rossel and US-based News Corp filed a complaint against the Alphabet Inc. company.

GOOG stock price. Source: FXEMPIRE
GOOG stock price. Source: FXEMPIRE

The stock price of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, is down by two points during Monday’s pre-market session. The Alphabet shares are currently trading at $2,449.70.

US Tech Giants can’t seem to catch a break in Europe

European regulators are clamping down on major US tech companies due to the massive control they have within the EU. The need to regulate the activities of tech companies led to the roll-out of the GDPR in the region.

Last week, social media giant Facebook faced two antitrust probes in the United Kingdom and the EU. In recent months, EU regulators have also looked into the activities of Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google.

Microsoft, Mastercard Sign on to Vp Harris’s Central America Strategy

By Nandita Bose

President Joe Biden has tasked Harris with leading U.S. efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, to deal with an increase in migration into the United States. Since then, Harris has taken a series of steps to improve conditions and lower migration from the region.

During the meeting on Thursday, Harris will urge businesses to make “new and significant commitments” to boost economic opportunities in the region, said the White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The meeting will be attended by top executives from yogurt maker Chobani, food giant Nestle’s Nespresso unit, financial companies Bancolombia and Davivienda as well as language-learning website Duolingo.

Non-profits Accion and Pro Mujer, along with the Tent Partnership for Refugees and Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health will also attend.

The 12 companies will announce measures to support such efforts, the official said. For example, Microsoft has agreed to expand internet access to as many as three million people in the region by July 2022 and Nespresso plans to begin buying some of its coffee from El Salvador and Honduras with a minimum regional investment of $150 million by 2025, the White House official said.

Chobani has agreed to bring its incubator program for local entrepreneurs to Guatemala while Mastercard will aim to bring five million people in the region who currently lack banking services into the financial system and give one million micro and small businesses access to electronic banking.

The U.S. vice president’s push to spur regional economic growth will focus on six areas.

These include expanding affordable internet access, combating food shortages by boosting farm productivity and backing regional efforts to fight climate change and make a transition to clean energy.

It will also aim to expand job training programs and improve public health access.

In April, Harris unveiled an additional $310 million in U.S. aid to Central America. She is expected to visit Guatemala and Mexico on June 7 and 8 – her first overseas trip as vice president.

U.S. officials see corruption as a major contributor to a migrant exodus from the region, along with gang violence and natural disasters, issues that represent hurdles for companies investing in the region.

Some Central American leaders recently pushed back on the Biden administration’s anti-corruption strategy, which included releasing a list labeling 17 regional politicians as corrupt.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Chizu Nomiyama)