Before the clock: Before the technical earnings week, warning signs are everywhere

In previous years, optimism was high for the technology industry's seemingly unlimited potential to sell more products and ads to consumers. Now, warning signs are everywhere.

Apple began unofficially in the technical earnings season at the beginning of this month with a strong warning that it would miss the revenue target for the quarter 2018 due to weak iPhone sales, mainly due to a decline in China.
The announcement shook Apple's stock and the overall market, and reignited fears that even corporate giants might be faced with wider global economy challenges. It includes trade war between the US and China.
Intel ( INTC ) added the concerns last Thursday when it reported disappointing results. In a conference call with analysts, Intel's interim CEO Bob Swan noted that "trade and macro concerns, especially in China, have intensified." Separately, Intel updated its list of risk factors to include the possibility of a "recession or slowdown growth."

"We continue to believe that the China tariff negotiations and tensions remain a black cloud over technological space as shown by Intel's comments," Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush, wrote in an investor note Friday.

The engineering sector's problems do not stop there.

The Federal Trade Commission allegedly considers a "record" fine against Facebook after months of data security scandals. Law groups have also pushed the FTC to break up Facebook.

With democrats now in full control of the House of Representatives, this year can see an increase in hearings and attempts to regulate technology companies such as Facebook.

Amazon, meanwhile, spooked investors in October by forecasting weaker sales for the holiday quarter than investors expected. Since then, the conversation has turned into a new unknown to the company: how the divorce of the founder and CEO Jeff Bezos could affect his ownership and control of the company.
And then, Microsoft, which regained its title as the world's most valuable company in the quarter of 201[ads1]8, partly by avoiding the latest regulatory and hardware sales problems from its industry teachers.
Now the question is whether Microsoft can stay on top. Key to Microsoft's late-success is its huge commitment to the lucrative cloud computing market. Azure, Microsoft's cloud industry, is seeing growth slowing slightly in the three months ending in October, but Ives says Microsoft still appears to be "winning share" against market leader Amazon.

2. Lack of financial reports: Even thought the government is re-opening, the financial reports this week may still be delayed. Fourth quarter GDP is scheduled for Wednesday, and a report on personal income and payments expires on Thursday. But employees who return to work may need to complete the collection and analysis of the data before publishing the reports.

3. The work report: Investors will still receive the January job report, which is scheduled for Friday. It is published by the Department of Labor, which is still funded. The agency has said furloughed government workers, as well as those who work without being paid, will be counted as employees because they will receive a refund when the government reopens. Economists expect 168,000 new jobs, 3.9% unemployment and 3.2% wage growth.

4. Just how & # 39; patient & # 39; is the Fed? The Federal Reserve statement and Jerome Powell's press conference on Wednesday are likely to signal that the central bank is on hold for now due to slowing growth. The financial markets broke out last year, partly because of the fear that the Fed is increasing interest rates too quickly.
Two main questions remain: Will the Fed statement explicitly say that officials will be "patient" on future interest rate increases? Such wording would telegraph no rate go for at least the next two meetings, according to HSBC. And will the statement say the Fed is willing to adjust or even stop the balance on the balance sheet? Some investors believe that Fed's shrinking balance contributes to market turbulence.
5. GE's Great Expectations: After a horrible last two years, GE ( GE ) shares are up a fantastic 21% so far in 2019. The rally reflects the hope that Under new CEO Larry Culp, GE has finally traded a corner.
But hype will be difficult to live up to when GE reports results Thursday. GE Power keeps bleeding cash. Landmines continue to wonder GE Capital. And it's on top of long-standing surveys by the SEC and Justice Department.

Other big income this week: Caterpillar, Verizon, AT&T, Alibaba, Boeing, McDonald's, Mondelez, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Exxon.

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