Week Ahead on Wall Street

By: James Flippin · May 22, 2023 · Reading Time: 4 minutes

Layoffs Beyond Tech

It seems selling phones isn’t the only similarity between Best Buy (BBY) and the tech sector. The electronics retailer — one of America’s biggest — recently announced its decision to lay off hundreds of store workers across the country.

The decision was blamed on shifting consumer spending habits, with about a third of Best Buy’s sales coming from online. The electronics retailer declined to specify exactly how many roles it plans to remove. But as of January its employee count is already down to 90,000 from 125,000 in early 2020.

This week, Best Buy will also report earnings, allowing investors to look for clues as to whether the layoff decision was a wise one from a business perspective. Layoff announcements typically lead to share price spikes or stronger earnings in subsequent quarters. But some research suggests widespread layoffs can have a net negative impact on long-term performance.

Here’s what else to watch for on Wall Street this week.

Economic Data

The week will feature a number of speeches by members of the Federal Reserve, with the St. Louis Fed’s Jim Bullard kicking things off today. Bullard will offer commentary on the Fed’s decision to raise the fed funds rate to 5% to 5.25% during its May meeting. This marked 10 straight months of rate increases and the highest level seen since 2007.

Tomorrow, Lorie Logan of the Dallas Fed will follow up Jim Bullard’s comments with a speech of her own. The new home sales report will also be released. This metric surged 9.6% month-over-month in March 2023.

On Wednesday, the minutes from the FOMC’s meeting will be released, giving investors greater insight as to the Fed’s thinking regarding future rate hikes. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate will also be updated. It currently sits at 6.57%.

Thursday will be another busy day, with the releases of reports like jobless claims, pending home sales, and the US GDP growth rate. There will also be yet another speech from a Fed president — this time from the Boston Fed’s Susan Collins.

On Friday, another flurry of reports will be released, including personal income, personal spending, and durable goods orders. On top of that, investors will get an update on the current trade deficit, which sat at 84.6 billion in March.


Today, Zoom (ZM) will deliver an earnings report most likely focused on – you guessed it – AI. Last March, Zoom announced a partnership with ChatGPT-owner OpenAI, following a trend across the tech sector. Recently, it also announced it’s teaming up with Anthropic, a startup in which Google (GOOGL) has invested. Zoom plans to integrate AI to improve its customer service functionality.

Tomorrow will be the busiest day of the earnings week, with reports expected from AutoZone (AZO), Lowe’s (LOW), Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), and Intuit (INTU). Notably, Intuit-owned TurboTax has come under fire recently after announcing a $141 million-dollar settlement for using deceptive marketing to steer low-income Americans away from free tax-filing services.

On Wednesday, Nvidia (NVDA) will report earnings from the previous quarter. As one of the largest producers of GPU chips, investors will be eager to get better insight into the company’s performance over the past few months. These chips are integral to many AI tools, and rising demand for that emerging technology has already helped Nvidia’s stock to double this year.

Thursday will round out the earnings week with reports from Costco (COST), Workday (WDAY), and Best Buy. Best Buy will face investor scrutiny after announcing a round of layoffs.

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