It’s been a wild week as U.S. markets plunged after the U.S. Treasury yield curve — a key metric of the health of the global economy — inverted Wednesday morning for the first time since 2007. And there’s no sign that volatility is subsiding as markets continue to fall early Thursday. Today, investors will be looking to some key earnings reports and economic data for more clues on the health of the economy.
The U.S. Census Bureau will release retail sales data for July at 8:30 a.m. ET. As other parts of the economy, such as manufacturing, get hit by the trade war, consumer spending has remained a bright spot and the main driver of GDP growth in the U.S. However, the main question now is whether or not consumers will be able to continue doing the heavy lifting as the U.S. looks to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports September 1 and December 15.
Meanwhile, Walmart (WMT) is set to release quarterly results ahead of the market open. Walmart has been thrust into the spotlight recently on criticism of its gun sales and concerns over looming tariffs. Nevertheless, the retailer is expected to continue its strong momentum. Wall Street analysts are expecting the company to report same-store sales that are at least in-line with estimates and boost its fiscal 2020 outlook. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect Walmart to report adjusted earnings of $1.22 per share on $130.08 billion in revenue.
Investors will shift their focus to Nvidia (NVDA) after the bell when the chipmaker reports second quarter financial results. Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have rocked the chip stocks this week, and Nvidia shares have fallen 2.67% as of Wednesday’s close. Nvidia’s report will be closely monitored for any commentary from management on whether or not the company will see a negative impact from the escalating trade war. Nvidia is expected to report adjusted earnings of $1.14 per share on $2.54 billion in revenue during the quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Other notable earnings announcements scheduled for Thursday include Alibaba (BABA), JCPenney (JCP), Tapestry (TPR) before market open; Applied Materials (AMAT) after market close.