The key market events for spread betting in the week of April 25th to the 29th.

Apple Earnings

 

Equities first, and on Wall Street the big event is earnings figures from Apple. The release has been pushed back a day to Tuesday, April 26th, as a mark of respect to former board member Bill Campbell, who died just a few days before.

Traders are eyeing a report from TrendForce that claims Apple shipped a meagre 42 million iPhones in the first quarter, which would be a 44% drop from the previous three months and down 20% from the first quarter of 2015.

Like the rest of the market, the stock has recovered well from its February low but remains some way off its peak of May 2015.

Facebook Earnings

 

Facebook versus Twitter comparisons are no longer that relevant – the former is racing away in terms of revenues and we get the latest performance report on Wednesday, April 27th.

Investors will be scrutinising some metrics in particular – in addition to revenues and EPS, look out for figures on average monthly active users (MAUs), the average revenue per user (ARPU) and the key to it all – advertising revenues. Daily average active users is also proving a key indicator as it’s rising faster than MAUs – meaning people are engaging more with the website.

Facebook shares are up 35% in the last year, with the firm ending the final quarter of 2015 on close to 1.6 billion active users, a 14% year-on-year increase.

 

Fed

 

The big events in forex trading are the two central bank meetings in the US and Japan. First up is the Federal Reserve, which convenes in Washington on Wednesday.

Expectations for further tightening have been significantly dialled back since the blue dots of December pointed to four hikes in 2016. Fed funds futures trading suggest the probability of rates rising is about 3%. A hawkish surprise would certainly roil markets.

Janet Yellen went extra dovish last time she spoke on monetary policy and there is a chorus of voices from Fed officials urging caution over the timing of the next rate hike. Markets are a lot calmer than they were earlier in the year, but the central bank doesn’t want to upset the apple cart.

BoJ

 

The other big central bank meeting is in Japan. The Bank of Japan is in a quandary – despite launching negative rates in January the yen has rallied sharply and the Nikkei has been slumped. The pressure is on to do more and officials appear warm to unleashing more stimulus.

BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda has said the bank is ready to act to defend the yen, prompting a rally in Japanese stocks as investors see more stimulus on its way.  “We would not hesitate to further ease our monetary conditions,” he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

Whether we get any from the bank now is another matter – a little jawboning may be all that the BoJ has stomach for just yet.

Bank Earnings – Europe

 

After the big US banks delivered a series of better-than-expected earnings reports, it’s now the turn of the major European institutions.

Reporting this week are Standard Chartered, Barclays, Lloyds, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Expectations are running very low, but as was evident from the US banks, a very low bar can be easy to clear.