Weekly Outlook (25 - 29 May)

The global spread of coronavirus has led to lockdown in a high number of countries across the globe. Salesforce.com is expected to report Q1 2020 earnings on May 28. According to Zacks Investment Research, the consensus EPS forecast for the quarter is $0.25. The reported EPS for the same quarter last year was $0.58.

Approximately 70% of Salesforce’s total revenue stems from the US which has been the worst impacted by the outbreak. Lower consumer spending and consumption might lead to lower demand for customer relationship products as companies would focus solely on core expenditures. CRM’s stock is down by about 11% since January. The market expects a year-over-year decline in earnings on higher revenues.

US consumer confidence was near 20-year highs only a couple of months ago. However, it fell sharply in April to levels observed in 2014. Surprisingly, the index didn’t fall to levels in February 2009 during the storm of the financial crisis. On Tuesday, the data will show whether it will deteriorate further. It’s hard to imagine that the US consumer confidence will not decrease further on the backdrop of such economic situation.

On Thursday, we will see the second estimate of the US Q1 GDP based on more complete data. The US economy contracted by 4.8% annually in the initial Q1 GDP released in April. In Q4 of 2019, real GDP increased by 2.1 percent. This week’s figure will include more missing data from March which could make the figure even more gloomy than it was in April. The US economy entered into shutdown in the last two weeks of March, with jobless claims increasing by 10 million in the last two weeks of the Q1 2020. So far, we already know that retail sales and personal spending plunged heavily in March which makes the possibility of further downsize even more probable. Germany entered into recession at the start of 2020, with Europe’s biggest economy dwindling 2.2%, according to the preliminary data, in the first three months of the year. The economy’s decline reflects its biggest quarterly drop since the global financial crisis of 2009 and the second-largest decrease since German unification. There are little expectations that things will improve in the near future. Monday’s final Germany Q1 GDP number is expected to be confirmed at -2.2%, however, this could be revised lower as the final data for March is now available.

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