The big banks have delivered to start off earnings season. And the financial sector has been a key source of strength for the uptrend in stocks since January 3.
Over the last month, the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) is up 5.4% as of the close on January 17.
But now the going gets rougher as earnings season transitions to the tech sector. And the earnings picture here doesn’t look nearly as positive. (Technology and financials, I’d argue, are the two essential sectors for a continued market advance. By weight they occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in the &P 500, with the top ranking switching back and forth as one sector or the other rallies.)
We’ve already had a big warning from Apple (AAPL) that hit its shares–and those of suppliers such as Broadcom (AVGO) and Skyworks Solutions (SKWS) hard. In the last month shares of Apple are off 5.81% and shares of Broadcom and Skyworks have tacked on meagre gains of 0.20% and 0.49%, respectively. Yesterday Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM), the company that makes the chips for just about every chip company except Intel and Samsung, warned on revenue for the first quarter of 2019. The shares are down -.66% over the last month. And today, January 17, Netflix (NFLX), the momentum star for 2019, announced a miss on fourth quarter revenue and warned on revenue for the first quarter. The shares fell 2.89% in after-hours trading.
That’s why the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) is off 0.02% for the last month.
Other technology bellwethers still to report include Texas Instruments (TXN) and Intel (INTC) on January 23 and 24, respectively, Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) on January 30, Amazon on January 31, and Alphabet (GOOG) on February 4.
As a reminder, the markets are closed Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday.