Markets Week Ahead: Nasdaq 100, US Dollar, Crude Oil, Fed, IMF, Tech Earnings

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Market sentiment ended on an upbeat note this past week, but it was not without some hiccups along the way. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 climbed as well as equities from the APAC region. The latter include the ASX 200, Hang Seng and Nikkei 225. Those in Europe traded mixed, with the DAX outperforming while the FTSE 100 underperforming.

The haven-linked US Dollar cautiously weakened as the Euro and British Pound pulled ahead. Growth-linked crude oil declined as gold prices gained slightly. Investors’ attention was on tech stocks this past week which outperformed the broader market. An earnings surprise from Netflix may have dominoed outward ahead of what is going to be a very busy week.

Earnings season will pick up the pace with key tech companies, such as Apple and Microsoft, reporting alongside Boeing and Caterpillar. So far, fourth-quarter results have been generally upbeat, opening the door to continuation. All eyes will also be on the Federal Reserve, which is expected to keep borrowing costs unchanged and continue asset purchases with a dovish bias.

The United States and Canada will release their latest growth figures for more insight into the state of the global economic recovery. This is as the IMF will update its World Economic Outlook in the same week global leaders will speak at the World Economic Forum’s “The Davos Agenda”. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping will speak at the latter.

For markets, ongoing updates about the state of Joe Biden’s USD 1.9 trillion fiscal package remain a key topic. Ever since the election and Georgia Senate runoffs, investors have been looking forward to a larger-than-expected package. This is as preliminary data from the UK warn that the new more-contagious Covid strain may have a higher mortality rate. What else is in store for markets ahead?

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