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Apple results; Central bank actions; Earnings abound

1. Apple earnings: Apple is reporting results after the closing bell....

Posted: Jul 31, 2018 9:50 AM
Updated: Jul 31, 2018 9:50 AM

1. Apple earnings: Apple is reporting results after the closing bell.

Analysts expect that 42 million iPhones were sold during the fiscal third quarter, down from 52.2 million in the prior quarter. Many potential buyers appear to be waiting for new iPhones to launch in the fall.

Apple is expected to release three new iPhone models in the fall, though the precise timing of each is unclear.

2. It's raining results: Pfizer, Procter & Gamble and Ralph Lauren are among the main companies reporting results before the open.

Baidu.com and Cheesecake Factory will report after the close.

Investors have already heard from international firms including Sony, Nintendo, Honda, Samsung, BP, Lufthansa, Credit Suisse and Standard Chartered.

3. Central banks take center stage: There's plenty of central bank action to monitor this week.

The Bank of Japan opted to leave interest rates unchanged and continue its long-running stimulus program, surprising many investors who had expected the central bank to make substantial tweaks to its policies.

The Federal Reserve kicks off a two-day meeting on Tuesday. While the Fed is not expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday, investors will pay attention to the central bank's view on the economy and clues about future interest rate hikes.

The Fed has signaled that it's planning for two more rate hikes this year and three in 2019.

On top of that, the Bank of England is expected to announce an interest rate hike on Thursday.

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4. Global stock market overview: US stock futures were holding steady, but international markets were mixed.

Most European stock markets posted small gains in early trading, but many markets in Asia ended the day with losses.

July has been a good month for most stock markets. The Dow Jones industrial average has powered ahead 4.3% during the month. The S&P 500 has gained 3.1% and the Nasdaq posted a more modest increase of 1.6%.

Argentina's Merval and Brazil's Bovespa indexes have each rallied by more than 10%. Major European stock markets posted gains in July, with the benchmark Polish index notching a gain of 7.4%.

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5. Coming this week:

Tuesday - Eurozone second-quarter GDP released; Apple earnings
Wednesday - Federal Reserve announces interest rate decision; Sprint and Tesla earningsThursday - Bank of England announces interest rates decision; Yum Brands and Aetna earningsFriday - US jobs report released; Kraft Heinz and Toyota earnings

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