Broadly speaking, stocks were somewhat listless Monday as traders await an absolute avalanche of marquee earnings reports this week.
The Nasdaq Composite was the leader among the major U.S. equity benchmarks to start the week, adding 0.71% while the S&P 500 gained 0.28%. Sapped by one of the largest members of the index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, finishing higher by just 0.07%.
When the closing bell rang, just over half the Dow’s 30 components were in the green for the day.
Boeing (NYSE:BA), the largest member of the price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average and a company that reports earnings later this week, was dinged Monday, falling 1.07% after Fitch Ratings trimmed its outlook on the aerospace company to “negative” from “stable.” Fitch cited regulatory uncertainty stemming from the grounding of the 737 MAX passenger jet, but the ratings agency is sticking with an “A” credit rating on Boeing.
“The MAX situation also presents significant public relations challenges, and the impact on Boeing’s reputation and brand will be a watch item for the next year or more,” said Fitch.
Boeing reports second-quarter results Wednesday before the open of U.S. markets with analysts forecasting a profit of $1.89 a share, down from $3.33 a year earlier.
More Earnings: UTX and KO
Sticking with the industrial sector for a moment, shares of United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) added 0.44% today in advance of the company’s Tuesday pre-market second-quarter earnings report. Wall Street expects UTX to post earnings of $2.05 per share on revenue of $19.6 billion.
The stock is inexpensive compared to other large-cap aerospace names, but that probably isn’t enough for investors over the near-term. United Technologies’ earnings call is likely to revolved around the company’s effort to merge with Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), one that has been met with some push back on Wall Street.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) traded slightly lower today ahead of its Tuesday morning earnings report. The shares are up a market-lagging 8.56% year-to-date, indicating the beverage giant better put some fizz in that earnings report and guidance. Analysts expect Coca-Cola to notch second-quarter earnings of 62 cents a share on revenue of $9.57 billion.
“Analysts are evenly split ahead of the report: Eleven think the shares are a Buy, while 11 have a Hold rating or the equivalent on the shares. Just one rates it at Sell. The average analyst price target is $52.48,” reports Barron’s.
Dow Jones Winners
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was one of the best-performing names in the Dow today, adding 2.29% amid some bullish analyst chatter. Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty boosted her price target on Apple to $247 from $231 in a note out today. Apple reports earning on July 30 after the close of U.S. markets.
Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) advanced 0.70% on reports that “The Lion King” saw a weekend box office haul of $185 million. That after Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame” became the highest-grossing film ever earlier this year. Yes, Disney is up about 31% this year, but its upcoming movie lineup indicates more upside could be had in this stock.
Dow Jones Today: Bottom Line
As was noted here last week, this week brings a slew of earnings reports with nearly a third of the S&P 500 reporting. Hopefully, the trend of positive surprises continues because this earnings season, so far, has been better than anticipated.
“To date, 16% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported actual results for Q2 2019,” according to FactSet. “In terms of earnings, the percentage of companies reporting actual EPS above estimates (79%) is above the five-year average. In aggregate, companies are reporting earnings that are 7.0% above the estimates, which is also above the five-year average.”