Today we are watching…
1. Apple (#aapl)
Apple CEO Tim Cook has become Chairman of “China’s Harvard,” which is money for old rope. What’s the big deal, then? The timing. Tensions between the US and China are at fever-pitch and Apple’s prospects rely heavily on its Eastern connections. On the one hand, investors are buying Cook’s efforts to cozy up to the Chinese. On the other hand, investors are selling on fears that Cook will forget where home (and 45% of iPhone sales) is. There are actually oodles of American CEOs sitting on the boards of other companies. Investors have been cool with it so far, so we’ll see what happens.
2. Twitter (#twit)
Expect the unexpected as Twitter shows off its earnings results today. Investors are always surprised by the inconsistency of the numbers, but that doesn’t mean the stock can’t jump when they come out above expectations. How many monthly active users Twitter hosted will be in the spotlight as a measure of popularity, as well as the user retention rate as a measure of “stickiness!” In a nutshell, only the marketers matter. They want a sense of customer lifetime value from folks they advertise to on Twitter, which these metrics size up. In terms of profitability, the company is aiming to beat $0.20 in earnings per share on $876 million in revenue.