What to watch
Cadence Design Systems: CDS, a $28bn market cap electronics design and engineering services business, has enjoyed a share price gain of 44.5% in 2020 so far. During Q2, the firm announced a collaboration with Taiwan Semiconductor and Microsoft, in order to use cloud technology to reduce the signoff schedules for new semiconductor designs. The company reports its latest set of quarterly earnings on Monday after the market closes. Currently, Wall Street analysts are split evenly between buy and hold ratings on the stock.
Halliburton: Oil field service firm Halliburton’s share price has been hammered this year and remains down 47% overall despite a 73% rally over the past three months of lows. This year has been difficult for oil service stocks, given the huge drop-off in demand for oil products due to widespread lockdowns. In general, the more drilling there is going on, the better for firms such as Halliburton. The company reports its Q2 earnings on Monday, analysts are expecting a loss of $0.11 a share. One topic certain to be raised by analysts is the recent announcement from the Opec-Russia oil alliance that members will begin increasing production again in August following historic supply cuts to boost the price of oil. Currently, 11 analysts rate the stock a buy or overweight, 18 as a hold and two as a sell.
Consumer confidence and retail bankruptcies
On Friday, a preliminary reading from the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index showed a slump in July that would undo the past two months of gains. Consumer confidence is a critical measure of the health of the US economy, which is heavily dependent on consumer activity (versus the UK’s more service-based economy). If consumer confidence plunges once-more, and people cut back on spending as a result, that could lead to a longer recession in the US. Per Business Insider, economists had expected the index to tick up modestly to 79 for July, from June’s 78.1. Instead, the early reading shows it fell back to 73.2.
A drop off in spending could prove disastrous for an already struggling retail sector. In an interview with the Financial Times over the weekend, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh said that he expects the list of bankrupt retail businesses is “going to get longer.” He noted that those companies that have gone under so far have been sunk by too much debt, adding that “it’s payback for highly leveraged companies.”
Crypto corner: PayPal flies the flag for mass crypto adoption
Coindesk reports that PayPal has taken a step closer to facilitating crypto payments. Quoting sources familiar with the matter, the payment provider is expected to announce as early as this week a partnership with broker Paxos to supply its cryptoassets.
Given the number of retailers who already have an integration with PayPal, this move towards crypto could be pivotal for the industry and would be a huge step towards seeing cryptoassets, such as bitcoin and its forks, used to pay for everyday goods and services.
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