Three Things to Know & Watch

Feb 5, 2024

By Bill Hornbarger, Chief Investment Officer
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Three Things to Watch

  • It’s another big week for earnings with over 1,300 U.S. companies on the docket. Big names include McDonald’s, Caterpillar, Alibaba, Pepsi and Phillip Morris. To date, earnings have been characterized as slightly below expectations. Roughly half (230) of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported, with an aggregate sales (revenue) surprise of just 1% and an aggregate earnings surprise of 7%.
  • The economic calendar is relatively light, highlighted by Monday’s Institute for Supply Management Services Index (expected at 52) and the Senior Loan Officer Survey on Bank Lending Practices. The service side of the economy continues to grow, although news reports of slower hiring trends in the services sector and reduced December discretionary spending are of concern.
  • There are 14 separate U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) speakers on tap, including Fed Chairman Powell’s appearance on 60 Minutes. The market-priced odds of a March rate cut continue to decline after last week’s Fed meeting; look for more guidance on rate cuts from multiple sources this week.

Three Things to Know

  • Members of the so-called Magnificent Seven companies, the biggest firms in the S&P 500—Apple Inc., Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia Corp., and Tesla Inc.—carry a 33% premium to the index in terms of forward price-to-earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show. (Source: Bloomberg)
  • Mardi Gras, also called Fat Tuesday, is a Christian feast day that occurs during a period of time known as Carnival. Carnival begins on January 6 (known as Epiphany or Three Kings Day) and concludes with Mardi Gras, which is a day of extravagant feasts and partying that occurs the Tuesday before Lent begins. (Source: Always the Holidays)
  • Meta has seen ups and downs over the years, but it all got started 20 years ago on February 4, 2004, when a Harvard student by the name of Mark Zuckerberg, along with some of his college roommates and fellow students, launched “The Facebook” from their dorm room. Initially, it was just limited to Harvard students, aimed at creating a network that connected people through a web of friends. (Source: Bespoke)


The above information reflects the current opinion of the author. It is based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward-looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security mentioned.