Earnings Previews: American Express, CSX, Schlumberger, Verizon

The three major U.S. equity indexes closed higher on Tuesday, a second consecutive day of higher equity prices. The Dow Jones industrials ended the day up 1.12%, the S&P 500 closed 1.14% higher and the Nasdaq rose 0.9%. All 11 sectors closed higher, with industrials (2.36%) and materials (1.91%) posting the biggest gains. Communications services (0.54%) and energy (0.75%) had the smallest gains.

The Census Bureau reported Wednesday morning that new housing starts fell by 8.1% month over month in September and new building permits rose by 1.4%. Single-family housing starts were down 4.7% month over month, and new permits for single-family units fell 3.1%. The monthly report on existing home sales is due Thursday.

All three major indexes were trading fractionally higher about an hour into Wednesday’s regular trading session.

After markets closed Tuesday, Netflix reported solid beats on both earnings per share (EPS) and revenue. Investors homed in on the new subscriber total of 2.4 million, however, the company’s first net add of the year. Even lowered guidance could not keep investors away. The stock traded up nearly 14% Wednesday morning.

United Airlines also beat top-line and bottom-line estimates. Demand for travel continues surging, and that is offsetting headwinds like labor and fuel costs. Shares traded up by almost 7% Wednesday morning.

Before Wednesday’s opening bell, ASML hammered estimates and issued in-line guidance for the fourth quarter. The semiconductor equipment maker said that it expects only a “limited” impact from the new U.S. policy banning shipments of advanced systems to China. Shares traded up about 4.3% Wednesday morning.

Baker Hughes posted an unadjusted loss of $230 million and adjusted EPS of $0.26, a penny better than expected. Revenue failed to meet the consensus estimate, but shares traded up by about 5.5% early Wednesday.

Abbott Labs beat on both the top and bottom lines, although sales were down about 4.7% year over year due to issues with the company’s Similac infant formula. The company raised fiscal year guidance, but investors are wary of continuing problems with Similac and lower revenue from COVID-19 test kits. Shares traded down more than 6.5% in the morning.

After markets close on Wednesday, look for results from IBM, Kinder Morgan and Tesla. First thing Thursday morning, American Airlines, AT&T and Freeport-McMoRan are due to report quarterly results.

Here is a look at three companies set to report results after U.S. markets close Thursday or before they open on Friday.

American Express

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) has posted a 12-month share price decrease of about 17%, all of it coming in the past five weeks. From the stock’s peak in mid-February, shares have dropped by nearly 26%.

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