Today we are watching…
1. Walmart (#walmrt)
77% of the S&P 500 have already reported earnings, but not some of the biggest hitters. All eyes are on Walmart today as it goes before investors to report its numbers. It’s one of the few retailers that has got the internet right, the relentless growth of its e-commerce segment a major asset as it attempts to avoid a poor holiday season performance like Target recently delivered. Polled analysts are expecting profit per share of $1.44 on $142 billion in revenue. Keep an eye on ‘same-store sales,’ too, a key industry metric. It signals how well Walmart’s store concept is working, and market players will trade on it potentially reverting to its mean of 5.7% from 1.4% in November and December.
2. Amazon (#amzn)
Unfortunately, most companies don’t last very long. Most boardrooms see it as unrealistic to do more than simply pay lip service to go carbon negative in twenty or thirty years, instead maximizing next quarter’s profits. However, (touch wood) Amazon actually could last another twenty or thirty years. In a win for Planet Earth, Jeff Bezos has pledged $10 billion to fight climate change, on top of his company’s pledge to go carbon neutral by 2040. The move reflects a mass exodus of investor money into SRI (sustainably responsible investing) and ESG-based (environment, society, and governance) assets. With the ethical merits of those being subjective, some investors are worried about left and right-wing SRI categories. A possible culture war could emerge in markets. Could it happen?