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Apple soars, Twitter in holding pattern

 

Friday, October 28, 2022, 8.45am GMT

The news shaping the markets today

Russian President Vladimir Putin said there were no intentions of using nuclear weapons in the ongoing war against Ukraine. The US dollar index traded slightly lower on the news.


Singapore’s unemployment rate fell to 2.0% in the third quarter, from 2.1% in the previous quarter. The country recording the lowest jobless rate since Q3 2016 lent support to the SGD/USD forex pair.


The Bank of Japan held its key short-term interest rate at -0.1%, but increased its 2022 inflation estimates from 2.3% to 2.9%, which sent the JPY/USD pair lower in forex trading this morning.


Australia’s final demand producer price index rose by 1.9% during the third quarter, following a 1.4% increase in the second quarter. Despite this, the AUD/USD forex pair remained elevated.


New Zealand’s ANZ Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index came in unchanged at 85.40 points in October. The NZD/USD pair rose in forex trading this morning.

 

What’s happening: Shares of Apple edged higher in after-hours trading on Thursday, while investors awaited Elon Musk’s next moves in his takeover of Twitter.

What happened: The iPhone maker managed to beat both sales and earnings estimates at a time when the tech sector was significantly impacted by rising inflation.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk fired Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, as well as the company’s CFO and head of legal policy.

How were Apple’s results: The Cupertino, California-based company reported growth in both sales and earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter.

  • Revenues grew 8% year-over-year to $90.1 billion, topping the consensus estimate of $88.9 billion.
  • Earnings rose to $1.29 per share, from $1.24 per share in the year-ago quarter, exceeding market expectations $1.27 per share.

Why Apple’s results matter: The strength in the greenback has impacted several companies like Apple, which generate a substantial amount of revenues outside the US. The rising US dollar has made the price of new devices more expensive for buyers in foreign countries. However, Apple’s results showed more resilience than other tech giants.

Apple’s iPhone sales rose 9.7% year-over-year to $42.63 billion, although the figure was below the consensus estimate of $43.21 billion. Mac sales came in at $11.51 billion, up 25.4% year-over-year, much better than market views of $9.36 billion, following the introduction of its redesigned MacBook laptops. iPad sales declined 13.1% from a year ago to $7.17 billion.

The company’s revenue in the Americas rose 8.12% from a year ago to $39.81 billion, while Europe revenues came in at $22.8 billion, up 9.62% year-over-year. Revenues in Greater China, which has seen a sharp economic slowdown, rose 6.23% to $15.47 billion, while Japan sales declined 4.86% year-over-year to $5.7 billion.

Gross margins expanded to 42.3%, versus 42.2% in the year-ago period. Apple generated operating cash flows of $24 billion and returned $29 billion to shareholders in the quarter. The company’s board announced a cash dividend of 23 cents per share, payable on November 10.

Why Musk’s moves matter for Twitter: On Thursday, Elon Musk took control of Twitter to take it private. Tesla engineers met with Twitter’s product leaders and reviewed the company’s code.
In a bold move, Musk fired Twitter’s top executives, Parag Agrawal, as well as the company’s CFO and head of legal policy, trust and safety. Agrawal had been the one to approach the courts to hold Musk to the terms of the Twitter takeover deal.
Musk tweeted a picture of himself at a coffee bar in Twitter’s headquarters on Thursday. The Tesla chief said he was buying Twitter as “it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.”

How shares responded: Apple’s shares rose 0.4% to $145.30 in the after-hours trading session on Thursday, following the release of quarterly results. The stock has lost around 20% year to date. Shares of Twitter rose 0.66% to $53.70 on Thursday amid plans to suspend trading today.

What to watch: Investors will keep an eye on the major holiday season, when the company generates around a third of total annual sales. Analysts are projecting Apple to record revenues of $128.38 billion in the final quarter of 2022, up around 3.6% from a year ago.

The markets today

Crude oil will be in focus today after recording gains on Thursday

Context: Oil futures settled higher on Thursday, rising for the third straight session.

Details: Oil prices extended gains from the prior session on Thursday, despite the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting a big increase in US crude inventories. Supplies of gasoline fell last week, while US crude exports grew.

The EIA also said on Thursday that domestic natural gas supplies had risen by 52 billion cubic feet in the week ended October 21, compared to market estimates of a rise of 61 billion cubic feet.

The pullback in the US dollar on Wednesday also provided support to oil prices. Any sharp rally in the greenback generally impacts commodities that are priced in the US dollar, making them more expensive to foreign currency users.

The US dollar moved higher on Thursday. The ICE Dollar Index, which measures the currency’s performance versus a basket of six major peers, gaining around 0.8% to 110.59. However, the index is still on course to record losses for the week.

Markets are also keeping an eye on the European Union ban on Russia’s oil, which is set to come into effect in December.

Benchmark US crude oil for December delivery gained $1.17, or 1.3%, to settle at $89.08 per barrel on Thursday, while Brent crude for December delivery added $1.27 to $96.96 per barrel.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline for November delivery gained 11 cents to $3.01 a gallon, while November natural gas declined 42 cents to $5.19 per 1,000 cubic feet on Thursday.

What to watch: Traders await the release of data on crude oil rigs from Baker Hughes today. The number of active US rigs drilling for oil rose by 2 to 612 in the previous week. Markets will also keep an eye on US dollar movements.

Markets will also focus on the OPEC+ (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies), which is expected to begin reducing output in November.

Other Markets: European trading indices closed mixed on Thursday, with the FTSE 100 and the DAX 40 up by 0.25% and 0.12%, respectively, and the CAC 40 and STOXX Europe 600 lower by 0.51% and 0.03%, respectively.

Support & resistances for today

Technical Levels News Sentiment
USD/JPY  – 145.92 and 146.69 Positive
GBP/USD – 1.1577 and 1.1594 Negative
Gold – 1667.46 and 1670.21 Positive
Copper  – 3.4800 and 3.4930 Negative
S&P 500 – 3809.41 and 3822.11 Positive

Market snapshot

Futures at 0400 (GMT)
EUR/USD (0.9984, 0.18%) Dow ($32,096, 0.07%) Brent ($93.98, -1.1%)
GBP/USD (1.1571, 0.05%) S&P500 ($3,802, -0.46%) WTI ($87.94, -1.3%)
USD/JPY (146.37, 0.04%) Nasdaq ($11,152, -0.74%) Gold ($1,668, 0.1%)

What else to watch today

France’s gross domestic product, household spending, inflation rate and producer price inflation, Spain’s GDP growth rate, inflation rate and industrial confidence indicator, Germany’s GDP growth rate, inflation rate, Bavaria CPI and Saxony CPI, Italy’s producer prices and inflation rate, Eurozone’s economic sentiment indicator, industry confidence indicator, selling price expectations, services confidence indicator, consumer confidence indicator and inflation expectations index, Central Bank of Russia’s interest rate decision, India’s foreign exchange reserves, Canada’s monthly GDP and government budget value, as well as US personal income, personal spending, employment cost index, personal consumption expenditure price index, pending home sales and University of Michigan consumer sentiment.

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