t’s the last day of what has been a crazy month in financial markets. July was the worst month on China’s benchmark stock index in six years, gold is set for its largest monthly decline since 2013 but stocks have pulled back from Greece-induced losses in June.
A generally positive earnings outlook limited by a badly-received update from LinkedIn afterhours is setting US markets up for a small positive open on Friday ahead of earnings reports from oil majors Exxon and Chevron.
LinkedIn shares are expected to open lower despite exceeding EPS and revenue estimates. Just like with Facebook and Twitter, adrenalin was pumping in afterhours trading where wild fluctuations saw an initial gain of over 10% completely reversed. The net loss of $67.7m is much larger than last year’s $1m, largely because of costs associated with its recent acquisition of Lynda.com. The bigger worry is a trend of high expenditure not being matched by high enough growth to justify the very high valuation of social media stocks.
So far this week, reports from diversified oil majors have been well received with both BP and Royal Dutch Shell reporting cuts to capex, including 6,500 job losses at Shell, to offset lower revenues from the upstream business that has been hit by the drop in oil prices. More of the same can probably be expected from Exxon and Chevron. The huge drop in revenues has been priced in so a combination of beating estimates and cutting costs should be supportive of share prices.
Seagate Technology and Royal Caribbean Cruises also report on Friday
Futures suggest the:
will open 1 point higher at 2,109 with the
expected to open 14 points higher at 17,759 and the
5 points higher at 4,603.
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