Week Ahead on Wall Street

By: James Flippin · July 31, 2023 · Reading Time: 4 minutes

Amazon’s Record Prime Day

Amazon (AMZN), set to report quarterly earnings this Thursday, has at least one major selling point to impress upon investors: a record-setting Prime Day. The Amazon-centric shopping holiday recorded sales of $12.7 billion, up 6.1% from last year, as shoppers purchased 375 million items.

On the flip side, investors will want more answers about Amazon’s controversial “voluntary resignation” program. The leaked guideline for this program shows that Amazon is forcing employees to relocate to central “hub” offices. Refusal to move will apparently be considered a “voluntary resignation” and those employees will receive no severance.

Based on the instructions in the document, Amazon’s management expects this plan to face quite a bit of backlash internally. Will it receive backlash externally too? Or will the ecommerce giant’s latest smashed sales records alleviate investor concerns? We’ll find out in the week ahead on Wall Street.

Economic Data

Tomorrow, the JOLTS job openings report will be released for the month of June. The number of job vacancies fell by 496,000 to 9.8 million in May, slightly below expectations. Investors will also receive the June manufacturing PMI, a signal of business owners’ confidence. In May, this reading pointed to a faster rate of contraction in the manufacturing sector.

On Wednesday, investors will receive a flurry of mortgage-related reports including applications, average rate, and the mortgage refinance index. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage currently sits at 6.87%, while mortgage applications declined 1.8% for the week ended July 21.

On Thursday, the ISM Services PMI for June will be released. This metric jumped to 53.9 in June, implying the strongest growth in the services sector in four months. Investors can also expect reports for jobless claims, nonfarm productivity, and factory orders.

On Friday, the unemployment rate for July will be released. The rate hit 3.6% in June, signaling a still-tight labor market. As recessionary concerns abate, this may give the Federal Reserve confidence to continue increasing interest rates. Average hourly earnings will also be reported for July, with nonfarm payrolls increasing 4.4% in June.

Earnings Calendar

Today, major commercial real estate owner Cushman & Wakefield (CWK) will kick off the earnings week. Investors will be eager to hear about the state of the CRE market, which has been struggling thanks to the rise of remote work.

Investors will have a busy day tomorrow, with reports expected from Pfizer (PFE), Caterpillar (CAT), Starbucks (SBUX), and Uber (UBER). In particular, investors will want to hear the details behind Pfizer’s sale of its rare disease gene therapy portfolio to AstraZeneca (AZN) for $1 billion.

On Wednesday, CVS (CVS), PayPal (PYPL), and DoorDash (DASH) will all offer updates on their respective businesses. The former is locked in an ongoing battle with NYC on if it should pay its drivers a consistent minimum wage. A decision could set a new precedent across all sharing economy companies.

Thursday will be another jam-packed day, with reports coming in from Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Airbnb (ABNB), and Booking Holdings (BKNG). Apple shareholders will be interested to hear about its plans to crack down on apps that collect data on users via device fingerprinting — as well as any new information on the recently announced Vision Pro.

On Friday, Dominion Energy (D) will round out the week. The energy giant will likely give investors more insight into its sale of a Maryland gas plant to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) for $3.3 billion.

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