London pre-open: Stocks seen flat ahead of US retail sales, earnings

by | Jul 18, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks looked set for a flat open on Tuesday as investors eyed the latest US retail sales data and big earnings releases.
Naeem Aslam, chief investment officer at Zaye Capital Markets, said: “Stock futures are trading a bit soft today as investors are hesitating to bet big ahead of some big earnings today.

“Basically, today is an action-packed day when it comes to earnings, and companies like Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon, and PNC Financial will be closely watched by investors and traders. So far, the banks that have reported earnings, have posted strong numbers as the higher interest rate environment has added more gains to their top line numbers.

“Having said this, traders and investors continue to trade very carefully as all the S&P 500 sectors closed in negative territory yesterday, but if you zoom out and look at the YTD performance of the index, it continues to unpack some stellar numbers. We are confident that as the odds of a soft landing continue to add up, there are greater chances that the US stock market is likely to perform well in the second half of this year as well.

“Traders will also be paying close attention to the US retail sales data, which will be released later today. The number is of high importance, as it will tell us the real conditions of US consumers and their ability to dig deep in their pockets. Due to the fact that recent inflation numbers have shown massive improvement, the odds are that we may actually see more improvement in consumer spending as the job market and wage earnings growth both remain stable to robust.”

In UK corporate news, online supermarket Ocado held annual guidance after swinging to a core profit in its first half and said its retail earnings would be “marginally positive” for the full year.

The company posted a core profit of £16.6m compared with a loss of £13.6m a year earlier. Shares in the firm spiked last month on rumours of a possible bid from online giant Amazon.

Updates were also out from Just Group, Wise, Synthomer and Darktrace.

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