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5 Things to watch in this week's markets

5 Things to watch in this week's markets
Published - Apr 25, 2022 @ 12:04 PM (EET)

With earnings season in full swing, a deluge of tech titans scheduled to post quarterly results, will keep investors' ears to the ground this upcoming week.

Elsewhere, the U.S. and the Eurozone are to release preliminary data on first-quarter growth and inflation readings. 

Here’s what you need to know to start your week:

1. Big tech earnings

Nearly 180 companies listed in the S&P 500 are due to report quarterly earnings results this week, including the four largest U.S. companies by market value, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

According to Refinitiv, aggregate S&P 500 gains are expected to increase by 7.3% in the first quarter, quelled by the recent selloff in Netflix after the company reported a subscriber loss of 200,000, which deepens concern about upcoming tech earnings. 

2. Market volatility

On Friday, the three main Wall Street benchmarks ended in negative territory for the week, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 posting three straight weeks of losses, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a decline for the fourth week in a row.

As traders adjust to new data points from earnings amid concerns over the potential of more aggressive rate hikes by the Fed, exaggerated trading swings have recently become more common.

Wall Street's CBOE Volatility Index jumped on Friday, ending at its highest level since mid-March.

3. China lockdowns

On Monday, fears about the economic toll of China's strict Covid Zero policy intensified following news that unprecedented lockdowns in the capital were spreading.  

China's coronavirus outbreak worsened amid rising cases over the weekend, with policymakers racing to avert a Shanghai-style crisis that's already wrought havoc on the financial hub.

The wider lockdown is alarming investors who already agonize over supply-chain snarls and inflation, with Chinese stocks dropping to the lowest in almost two years.

4. Stock of the week

On Friday, Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK) announced that it would sell its automatic door business, Access Technologies, to Allegion PLC (NYSE:ALLE) for $900 million cash.

Following the news, shares of the company, which makes hand and power tools for both consumer and professional customers, gained fractionally amongst a sea of losses last week.

Management believes the selloff will allow its remaining Tools and Operations to post several quarterly gains and margin expansion. In addition, all sale proceeds will go to repurchasing stock and paying down debt.

5. Bitcoin on six-week low

As investors shied away from risk assets amid a more hawkish outlook for Federal Reserve policy tightening, the largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, extended this month's losses in Monday trade.

Bitcoin slid as much as 3.2% to $38,236, down more than 20% from last month's high, while price charts are signaling that further declines are likely, technical analysts say.

For all its recent losses, the digital currency remains in the middle of a trading range of about $35,000 to $45,000, moving closely with tech-heavy Nasdaq 100. 

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