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5 Things to watch in this week's markets

5 Things to watch in this week's markets
Published - May 16, 2022 @ 12:03 PM (EET)

Friday's end-of-week bounce in equity markets came following hopes that markets are near the bottom after a brutal slide.

However, the tumble might not be over. Here's what to watch as we head into this week's markets:

1. Retail earnings

This week's spread of retail earnings reports and economic data will be good indicators for investors to see how much the cost of living squeeze could erode consumers' spending power.

The largest U.S. retailer Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and home improvement giant Home Depot (NYSE:HD) will kick off the earnings calendar on Tuesday, with Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Target (NYSE:TGT) to report the following day.

2. Crypto crash

After a volatile week, dominated by the collapse in the value of the stablecoin TerraUSD, investors will be closely watching crypto assets in the week ahead.

Stablecoin tokens are the main medium for moving money between cryptocurrencies and converting balances to fiat cash and are tied to the value of traditional assets.

With TerraUSD breaking its 1:1 peg to the U.S. dollar, cryptocurrencies and digital finance could face "significant negative repercussions" if investors lose confidence in stablecoins, said ratings agency Fitch.

3. Joining NATO

Parliament of Finland and Sweden announced their plans to join the NATO alliance in another dramatic change in Europe's security architecture triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war.

A team of diplomats will be sent to Ankara by Sweden for talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, saying he expects to work through the last-minute wrinkles in the enlargement plan.

Currently, the only country voicing concerns over the pair, particularly Sweden, was Turkey.

4. Stock of the week

Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV), a global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, has strong operating momentum with its revenue increase of 3% from a year ago to $3.91 billion.

Led by its Acceptance segment, organic revenue growth was 11% in the period, showing signs that the stock has the potential to continue its relative outperformance into the second half of 2022.

Earlier this month, Loop Capital started coverage of Fiserv with a Buy rating and a $125 price target that reflects an upside potential of 30% to current levels.

5. Surging gas

Soaring natural gas prices have raised manufacturing and transportation costs across many U.S. industries.  The situation could persist as the United States exports more gas to Europe to account for lost Russian supplies.

Some businesses are also worried that heating bills could skyrocket next winter, noting that this year has not had the usual decline in prices in the spring as heating demand dips, while many industrial company executives believe the United States should stop exporting gas and prioritize its own needs.

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