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Markets Tepidly Mixed Ahead of Big-Box Retailer Earnings: WMT, M, HD

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The blue-chip Dow 30 index rose for the second straight session this Monday, albeit by a very slim +0.08%. The other major market indexes were all down on the day, but only the tech-heavy Nasdaq sold off with any heft, -1.20% or -142 points. The S&P 500 and small-cap Russell 2000 dipped -0.39% and -0.52%, respectively.

Bitcoin suffered again, dropping another -3.8% on the day, although this was off the -5% lows we saw as of Monday’s closing bell. Year to date, the leading cryptocurrency has fallen -37%, which is still better than the -39% drop we’ve seen in Ethereum since the start of the year.

Meanwhile, the spot price for gold is +11.7 on the day to 1823.90. It would appear the move to crypto as a safe-haven investment is not quite where many thought it was, and it certainly hasn’t replaced investors’ flight to safety into gold.

And mortgage prices are now averaging 5.5% on a 30-year fixed loan — the highest they’ve been in many years. We’ll get new Housing Starts/Building Permits data as well as Existing Home Sales later this week; it may be a tad early to see the effects of higher mortgage rates on housing prices and availability, but it is a space we’re interested in tracking regarding overall inflation metrics.

In the Ahead of Wall Street column from this morning, we discussed a bit about what to expect from Walmart’s (WMT - Free Report) quarterly earnings report out early Tuesday. We also will hear from Macy’s (M - Free Report) and Home Depot (HD - Free Report) ahead of the opening bell, and here’s what to look for in their respective Q1s:

Both Macy’s and Home Depot have strung together an impressive past five years of earnings reports — each only having missed one quarter that whole time. From there, however, the fortunes are expected to diverge quite widely. While Home Depot’s earnings and sales in the quarter are both expected to be down low-to-mid single digits year over year, Macy’s is looking to make a big move beyond its year-ago Covid levels, with revenues expected +13.6% and earnings +110% from last year’s Q1.

In fact, the trailing four-quarter average earnings beat for Macy’s is a whopping +239%, while for Home Depot it’s a still-respectable +11%. Both retailers are taking Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) ratings into their earnings releases.

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