US growth data, Fed, and Apple earnings in week aheadBusiness | 24 Jan 2021 9:51 pm
Stimulus euphoria may be waning, but investors will have plenty to focus on in the week ahead, as a blast of earnings news hits, the Federal Reserve meets and new data will show the state of the economy at the end of the year.
Stocks gained in the past week on optimism for a US$1.9 trillion stimulus package, proposed by President Joe Biden. But by Friday, the market lost steam amid increased concerns about the pandemic’s economic impact, and as it seemed Biden would not have an easy time getting the stimulus plan approved.
Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla and more than 100 other S&P 500 companies report earnings in the biggest rush of earnings reports this quarter.
As for the economy, the first look at fourth quarter real gross domestic product comes Thursday, and it is expected to show growth of 4.7 percent, according to the CNBC/Moody’s Analytics Rapid Update survey. For the year, the economists surveyed expect GDP contracted by 3.5 percent. The economists forecast 5 percent growth for 2021.
The Fed is also a powerful backstop for the market, and economists don’t expect the Fed to take any action or change in its dovish tone when it releases its statement Wednesday afternoon, following its two-day meeting.