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How To Approach Q4 Earnings: The Technical Perspective

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How To Approach Q4 Earnings: The Technical Perspective

Earnings season is in full swing and the market has seemingly been unfazed by what might otherwise be impactful report deliveries. Things like a disappointing bottom line report from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and extremely mixed signals from financials like Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE: C) have done little to disrupt the overall momentum that has carried the market higher through most of January.

Technically, the S&P 500 is in a very interesting spot relative to its long term pattern. In mid-January, the index approached to within a percent of its 2018 entrance price after losing all of last year’s gains over the final months of 2018.

January’s gains put the index at a level its gotten very familiar with, a phenomenon that becomes clear in the chart below, taken stock research platform Finscreener.

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The S&P 500 revisited that level, just under 2670, several times throughout 2018. In those times, volatility skyrocketed, but the index ultimately lurched forward until the next dramatic fall. That trend is seemingly repeating itself, with the volatility index climbing about 10 percent in the week starting in the approach to 2670.

Its difficult to predict what hitting this level once again might mean for the broad market, but individual stocks could provide an indication of the patterns forming around this larger trend. With the help of Finscreener’s technical summary tools, we’ll take a look at the technical health of a few S&P stocks set to report in the final week of the month.

Below is a list of companies due to report the week of January 27, alongside their technical ratings based on moving averages and overall technical health.

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The strongest positive technical signals emerging from the chart are the daily and weekly moving averages. Within that trend, there are a couple pairs of companies that share same industry, like Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), whose technical health puts them in a strong position to react to their counterparts’ results.

However, the technical outlook on traditional market leaders like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is decidedly negative across the board. While earnings beat could likely help to shift the near-term chart trend, the overall trajectory of these stocks might still be negative should volatility persist.

On the other hand, mega caps Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), which are up YTD 10.4 and 13 percent respectively, both have an overall “Buy” rating based on their weekly technicals. Strong numbers from either will likely reverberate through the broad market, although growth prospects for Amazon have diminished in recent quarters, which might be reflected in their Q4 report, and Boeing has already felt a lift from United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX) strong report the previous week that could mute even a solid set of results.

While the broad market's long term trend might pose some resistance as the last leg of earnings roll out, those numbers might tip the scale as to whether the market can break its historical levels, or if equity is in store for more uncertainty as 2019 unfolds.

Posted-In: FinscreenerEarnings Fintech News Technicals Markets Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

 

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