The Week Ahead on Wall Street

Economic Data Points

Dismal economic data continued to inundate Wall Street last week. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that another 2.9 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance. The latest figures show that nearly 36.5 million Americans have filed for jobless claims over the past two months. On Friday, retail sales numbers came out showing a 16.4% drop in April. Saving grace came in the form of better-than-expected consumer sentiment figures, which landed at 73.7 for May. That figure was higher than April’s 71.8 reading and better than the estimate of 65 that economists were expecting. The week ahead will continue to outline just how much damage is being done to the US economy as it confronts the coronavirus.

Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) index is released for May. The figures will highlight builder sentiment as it relates to the development of future single-family homes. Any reading above 50 indicates a favorable outlook. A reading below 50 represents a negative outlook. In April, the reading came in at 30.

Following up on Monday’s real estate data, investors get a glimpse of housing starts and building permits for March tomorrow. Given how much has happened over the past two months, these figures may be slightly dated, but are important nonetheless.

On Wednesday, the MBA Mortgage Applications Index and EIA Crude Oil Inventories figures are released. In regards to the former, last week’s data showed that applications to purchase a home rose 11%. It was the fourth consecutive week of gains.

On Thursday, investors will continue to watch the initial jobless claims report. If there is any silver lining to these heartbreaking reports is that they are steadily decreasing week over week. Service and manufacturing PMI data for May will also be published.

As of now there are no economic releases scheduled for Friday.

Earnings to Keep an Eye On

Let’s take a quick trip overseas and look at Ryanair (RYAAY) earnings today. Similar to the rest of the airline industry, the low-cost carrier has faced significant headwinds due to the coronavirus. Reports surfaced last week that the company is attempting to restore 40% of its flights by July 1. Passengers will have to ask to use the toilet when flights resume—one of many new safety precautions that will be put in place.

Tomorrow, Walmart (WMT) reports its latest results. The world’s largest retailer is expected to show an annual revenue increase because sales for essential items have gone up during the coronavirus pandemic. The company also just launched Express Delivery, a new service that will deliver items to customers in less than two hours. Wall Street will be watching to see how Walmart performed through the bizarre circumstances over the past month.

On Wednesday Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW) reports before the bell. The home-improvement giant is still maintained as “Overweight” and “Buy” from Wall Street analysts like Piper Sandler and Jefferies. Lowes has been investing heavily in technology to build out a strong digital presence. Investors will be watching to see if these enhanced online capabilities helped shoppers during the outbreak.

On Thursday, Intuit (INTU) reports after markets close. The creator of TurboTax may be affected by the coronavirus’ impact on small businesses, specifically as it relates to the tax-filing extension. Because the tax-filing deadline was moved to July 15, some revenue may not be realized until the final quarter of the year.

On Friday, Deere & Co. (DE) reports before the bell. From 2017 to 2019, revenues in the machinery company’s Construction & Forestry Equipment division grew from $5.9 billion to $11.5 billion. The company’s Wirtgen acquisition and higher shipment volumes helped propel sales into the new decade, but 2020 may be a different story. Due to the pandemic, construction activity has been suppressed and job losses may weigh on capital investment. Additionally, farmers are facing labor headwinds and volatile crop prices. Wall Street will be watching to see how the Moline, Illinois-based company maneuvered its way through the early stages of the pandemic.

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