The Balance Today: News You Need To Know on Oct. 24, 2022

All Eyes on Tech Earnings This Week

Close-up of male hands using mobile phone to check financial markets
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Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

Markets are mixed today ahead of more earnings from some of the world’s biggest companies. This week could be one of the busiest this earnings season, with a third of S&P 500 companies set to report earnings. Investors will pay particular attention to the tech sector, with Apple, Google parent Alphabet, Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft all reporting this week. Their results could give insight into how they have been performing in this rising interest rate environment

Tech stocks are particularly sensitive to higher interest rates because they tend to have higher price-to-earnings ratios and low or no dividend payments. Higher rates lower the present value of their expected cash flow, taking a bite out of expected future profits, and driving stock prices lower. Investors also tend to look for dividends or interest payments from fixed-income investments during times of economic uncertainty. 

Investors have loved tech stocks throughout the pandemic, and if you were one of those who snapped up some of these stocks, your portfolio has probably been struggling. So expect more volatility this week depending on what these companies report. And if your investments are all in the tech sector, this might be a good time to consider more diversification to spread out your risk. 

PMI Signals Possible Economic Slowdown

In what could be a sign of an economic slowdown, the private sector is putting the brakes on its manufacture of goods, according to today’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data from S&P Global. The PMI is a measure of business activity in the United States, and looks at a variety of things, from the number of new orders businesses are taking, to the cost of materials and items needed to manufacture new goods.

Today’s PMI output index dropped to 47.3 from 49.5 in September, a two-month low. That’s the second-fastest decrease since 2009 (during the Great Recession), with the exception of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers reported inflation, stock building earlier in the year, and weaker demand from clients as reasons for the drop in production. 

According to the data, inflation increased at the start of the fourth quarter (which began in September), weighing on producers. Interest rates, shortages of materials, and higher cost of wages were some of the reasons why so many manufacturers saw higher manufacturing costs. 

Interestingly, those costs weren’t passed on to us shoppers at the same rate—but it’s unlikely businesses can keep that up forever. If inflation doesn’t come down, shoppers will probably have to start paying even more for goods as manufacturers pass along higher costs to the consumer.

-Kristin

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. CME Group. "How Rising Rates Could Influence Tech Earnings."

  2. S&P Global. "S&P Global Flash US Composite PMI."

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