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Big Day for Q2 Earnings, Econ Data

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

It’s a big day for news items relating to the stock market: economic reads, the start of a new Fed meeting, and a slew of Q2 earnings on the hottest day of earnings season yet is already underway. Let’s get to it:

Durable Goods Orders for June came out this morning — a classic “good news/bad news” scenario. Though the headline numbers was expected to be +2.0% for the month, it only made it to +0.8%. That’s the bad news. Revisions to May’s headline, however, were significant: +3.2% versus the +2.3% originally reported. Averaged out over two months, today’s headline doesn’t look nearly so bad.

Stripping out Transportation costs, this figure drops to +0.3% for last month, but May was revised up to +0.5%. Ex-Defense orders was +1.0%. And the durable goods proxy for normal business spending — non-Defense, ex-Aircraft — reached +0.5%, the same as May’s big upward revision. Shipments versus Orders was +0.6%. These numbers are all preliminary, meaning subject to change over time.

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for May is also out this morning, setting a new all-time record: +16.6% in home prices is the highest annual rate ever recorded, going back to the start of this index in 1987. This follows a slightly downwardly revised +14.8% for the month of April, as continued low mortgage rates met high demand for short supply in housing. However, these figures are in arrears; have high prices cooled this market in real time?

Reporting Q2 earnings after today’s close is a veritable who’s-who of major corporations in 2021: Apple (AAPL - Free Report) , Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) , Starbucks (SBUX - Free Report) and Visa (V - Free Report) . Earnings season, by and large, has been very good so far with about 25% of the S&P 500 already reported — even with heightened expectations related to the Great Reopening. There are also plenty of companies out with Q2 numbers this morning, as well:

General Electric (GE - Free Report) topped earnings estimates, reporting 5 cents per share versus 3 cents expected. This is a big improvement from the -15 cents per share reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $18.28 billion also surpassed expectations of $17.75 billion. This is the third earnings beat for the company in the last four quarters. Shares are up nearly 3% in pre-market trading, and have outperformed the S&P 500 year to date. For more on GE’s earnings, click here.

United Parcel Service (UPS - Free Report) also posted beats on both earnings and revenues for its Q2 this morning: $3.06 per share versus $2.75 expected (and $2.13 per share a year ago), on sales of $23.42 billion which outperformed estimates by 1.47%. This makes four-straight earnings beats for the delivery and logistics giant, though shares are down -2.3% in pre-market trading, though up 24% year to date. For more on UPS’ earnings, click here.

3M Co. (MMM - Free Report) also reliably beat estimates on both top and bottom lines: $2.59 per share posted a 15% surprise from the $2.25 in the Zacks consensus (and well above $1.78 per share from the June quarter last year) on $8.98 billion in revenues which outpaced expectations by +4.82%. Shares of 3M have been underperforming the S&P 500 through the first half of the year, though the stock is up on the Q2 beat. For more on MMM’s earnings, click here.

American homebuilder PulteGroup (PHM - Free Report) met estimates exactly on its bottom line this morning at $1.72 per share, stronger than the $1.15 reported a year ago. Revenues came in at $3.36 billion for the quarter, down -4.5% from the Zacks consensus. Homebuilders have been feeling the headwinds of supply constraints and subsequent input costs. Shares are positive in the pre-market, however. For more on PHM’s earnings, click here.

Market indexes are treading lightly in today’s pre-market. In fact, the Dow is cashing in a bit, down 95 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on opposite sides of breakeven, -6 points and +5 points, respectively. But there is plenty of grist for the mill today, meaning plenty of opportunities to take things in a definitive direction.

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