On Friday, U.S. stocks failed to impress and broke a 4-day winning streak to end lower. Meanwhile, Europeans stocks continued to rally on Friday after the European Central Bank (ECB) unveiled fresh stimulus measures on Thursday. At the close of U.S. trading, the S&P 500 index (SPX) declined 0.6 percent to 2,051.82. This index advanced 1.6 percent last week which marked its strongest move since the 19th of December. Boosting the index on Friday were positive earnings reports from Starbucks Corp. and E-Trade Financial Corp. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) also lost 0.8% on Friday to close at 17,672.60. This index rose 0.9 percent on the week. Breaking the downward trend was the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) which continued its 5-day winning streak by gaining 0.2 percent at 4,757.88. This tech-heavy index gained 2.7 percent on the week.
On Monday, the euro (EUR) dropped in early Asian trading. This came after the anti-austerity part Syriza won the national elections in Greece on Sunday. Despite the win, the party might still fall short of obtaining an absolute majority in the 300-seat parliament. As a result, the EUR/USD currency pair traded down 0.44 percent at 1.1155, while the AUD/USD also traded down 0.42 percent at 0.7875. Against the Japanese yen (JPY), the greenback traded lower by 0.11% on safe-haven demand, trading at 117.66. Investors are now focusing on the December trade balance from Japan which is due at 0850 local time. Economists are expecting a deficit of ¥740 billion yen which is narrower than the November deficit of ¥829 billion deficit. Also, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) will publish the minutes of its latest policy meeting which will also contain the bank’s perspective regarding economic conditions in the country.
This week, all eyes are on earnings with Apple Inc., Google, Facebook and Microsoft Inc. all expected to report. Apple (AAPL) will report first quarter fiscal 2015 results on the 27th of January and according to analysts, this tech giant will be carrying the weight of the tech sector on its shoulders on Tuesday. According to forecasts, Apple is expected to beat expectations as a result of record iPhone sales and the company is likely to report record EPS and revenue. The current consensus estimate for Apple's revenue for the first quarter is $67.3 billion while earnings per share are estimated at $2.59. Compared to last year, this would mean that Apple is up 17 percent and 25 percent respectively. According to a panel of Apple analysts from Fortune, the consensus is that Apple made 66.5 million iPhone sales in the first quarter. This would be a 30 percent increase since the first quarter last year. The reason that these iPhone sales are central to the company’s earnings report is that it is the most profitable segment for Apple and it also accounts for the largest portion of the revenue, 56 percent, with Mac and iPad accounting for 15.7% and 12.6% of revenue, respectively. Apple shares are currently trading at $112.98 per share.
On Monday, in Asian trading, crude oil prices experienced a sharp drop. This came in response to the national elections which took place in Greece on Sunday. The winning anti-austerity party is hoping to form the next government and to push for new terms with creditors of the country. Crude oil for March delivery dropped to $44.57 a barrel, down 1.66 percent on the NYMEX. Meanwhile on Friday last week, West Texas Intermediate oil prices also fell sharply. This came in response to the rally in the greenback while concerns over a supply glut and decreased demand weighed on the commodity. Elsewhere, Brent for delivery in March on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, advanced 0.56 percent or 27 cents to trade at $48.79 a barrel.