What to watch
Square: Merchant services and mobile payments firm Square actually ended up reporting its earnings numbers a day earlier than planned following a leak from a media outlet, but will still be hosting its earnings call on Wednesday. The firm’s stock jumped more than 10% after the numbers were released, as it reported a 64% spike in second quarter revenue year-over-year. Analysts will likely probe management on how the merchant services business is faring as economies re-open – as Square offers contactless payment terminals that are likely to be popular among businesses adapting to Covid-19 safety measures. The stickiness of new customers to its mobile payments, and merchants using its e-commerce services, are also likely topics of discussion.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: Pharmaceutical firm Regeneron reports its latest set of quarterly earnings on Wednesday, a day after announcing that its combination antibody-drug combo has both prevented and treated the Covid-19 disease in animal testing. Analysts will likely probe for more information on timescales for new trials and data releases, as the market reaction to the animal trials was somewhat lackluster. Currently, 14 analysts rate the stock as a buy, one as an overweight, 11 as a hold and one as an underweight. Regeneron stock is up more than 70% year-to-date.
Glencore: London-listed commodity trading and mining company Glencore is expected to deliver a bumper set of results on Thursday, as chaotic oil markets and soaring commodity prices have provided ample opportunity for the firm to capitalise. Unlike straight miners, Glencore has multiple avenues to generate revenue, with its trading arm helping it out during volatile periods for commodity prices. The firm’s share price is still down 22.4% year-to-date, and a key piece of the Thursday earnings report will be whether Glencore intends to stick to its planned dividend payments.
Crypto corner: Old buy gold while young buy Bitcoin, says JP Morgan
Investing patterns have differed dramatically across age groups during the crisis, according to JP Morgan, with older investors backing gold while young ones turn to Bitcoin.
Millennials are also targeting stocks while their parents dump equities and turn to bonds, according to JP Morgan strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou. In a note written on 4 August, the strategist remarked:
The older cohorts continued to deploy their excess liquidity into bond funds, the buying of which remained strong during both June and July.
Both gold and Bitcoin ETFs have experienced strong inflow this year, hence the rally for the gold price in particular. But interest in Bitcoin is clearly on the up too, with the futures market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), one of the few regulated Bitcoin futures exchanges, at a record high with $830 million-worth of contracts in place.
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