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Big Tech earnings will decide the fate of the stock market this week

Rapid-fire reports from Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta, Apple, and Amazon have investors hoping for the best but bracing for the worst.

Big Tech earnings will decide the fate of the stock market this week
[Source Images: Getty]

With the economy in questionable shape, all eyes are on earnings this week to try and get a sense of how well some of America’s corporate giants are faring in an increasingly tough economic environment. That includes a smattering of tech giants: Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta, Apple, and Amazon.

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We got an early preview last week when Netflix reported second-quarter earnings that largely beat expectations, despite showing that the streaming platform lost almost one million subscribers. While that was the largest drop in customer count in company history, it was also half of what the company expected to lose—and that could be a good sign for the tech sector, which has been taking measures to prepare for an economic slowdown or recession.

For good measure, both Snap and Twitter also recently reported earnings, and neither company’s numbers were as rosy as Netflix’s. So, so far, indications out of the tech field are mixed.

This week, however, we’ll get a much better idea of how the industry is faring, with several earnings releases on tap. Here are the tech earnings announcements coming up this week, and what to watch out for with each company:

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Alphabet

Announcing Q2 2022 earnings today (July 26) at 2 PM PT

  • What to watch for: Despite some PR snafus (the company was caught sharing user data with a sanctioned Russian company), Google parent Alphabet keeps chugging along. But many analysts will be eager to see how much TikTok is affecting YouTube’s ad revenue, as it has grown into a formidable competitor, especially among younger users. As of Tuesday, Alphabet’s stock is trading at around $105—a decrease of more than 25% year-to-date.

Microsoft

Announcing Q4 FY 2022 earnings today at 2:30 PM PT

  • What to watch for: Analysts are expecting Microsoft to show earnings growth, largely due to its burgeoning cloud computing business, Azure, according to the Wall Street Journal. There are signs of trouble, however, as PC sales have recently seen a big drop, and the growing strength of the U.S. dollar has made international sales less lucrative than in years past. Microsoft is also in the early stages of handling unionization efforts at Activision Blizzard, a video game company it recently acquired. That won’t have much or any impact on earnings, but it is something that the company may address.

Meta

Announcing Q2 2022 earnings tomorrow (July 27) at 2 PM PT

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  • What to watch for: Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram (among others), has reliably delivered strong growth and revenues to investors for years. But it could be losing steam, and paired with a more difficult economic environment, it’s possible that investors could be in store for a disappointing earnings report. Last quarter, Meta reported a decline in users for the first time ever, and a leaked internal memo reported by Reuters last month showed that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been warning employees to prepare for a deep economic downturn. Like Alphabet, Meta and its social media platforms are scrambling for ways to address growing competition from TikTok.

Apple

Announcing Q3 FY 2022 earnings on Thursday (July 28) at 2 PM PT

  • What to watch for: Apple’s bread and butter over the past few years has been its ability to get customers to buy its latest gadgets—iPhones, iPads, AirPods, etc.—but another thing to watch is how well customers are taking to Apple’s services, such as Apple TV+. Last month, Apple debuted new computers in the form of a fresh MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (featuring the new M2 chip), which may have spurred some excitement about the brand. But it also has plans to slow spending and hiring across the company, as reported by Bloomberg, which could be telling for its earnings release.

Amazon

Announcing Q2 2022 earnings on Thursday at 2:30 PM PT

  • What to watch for: Amazon is likely more at the mercy of inflation than most other tech companies, given its dominance as a retail platform; and that’s perhaps the main thing to keep an eye on when the company reports earnings on Thursday. (Fellow retail giant Walmart has already warned of a burgeoning inventory crisis.) It’s worth noting, too, that Amazon’s stock has effectively given up all of its pandemic-era gains, and since topping out at more than $180 per share a year ago (pre split), is now trading at less than $118 per share—a decline of more than 34%, and roughly equal to its value in April 2020.
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