Markets

Apple and Facebook earnings reactions, more economic data: 3 things to watch Thursday

Here are the most important things to know about Thursday before you hit the door.

Apple CEO Tim Cook pose next to an image of the new iPhone 11 after opening the newly renovated Apple Store at Fifth Avenue on September 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Kena Betancur | AFP | Getty Images

1. Apple and Facebook reaction

Apple and Facebook each beat market expectations in quarterly results released after the market closed on Wednesday, and their stocks were moving higher in after hours trading.

For Apple's fourth quarter, the company posted earnings of $3.03 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings per share of $2.83, according to estimates from FactSet. Revenue came in at $64 billion vs. the $63 billion in revenue expected.

The report contains insight into demand for the company's new iPhones. The iPhone 11 models went on sale ten days before the company's quarter ended on September 30, so the quarterly report will include 10 days worth of sales data. Investors will also be watching guidance the company gives for its key holiday season.

Facebook also beat expectations with earnings that came in at $2.12 vs. the $1.91 forecast by Refinitiv. Revenue came in at $17.65 billion vs. Refinitiv's $17.37 billion forecast.

The revenue estimate was about 27% higher than the $13.73 billion the company reported in the same quarter a year earlier.

Facebook might be facing regulatory headwinds, but the Street remains bullish on the name. Estimates compiled by FactSet show that 42 analysts have a buy rating on the stock. Five have a hold rating, and only one analyst — from Societe Generale — says to sell.

James Lee from Mizuho said the stock is one of his top picks in the US internet space, but that potentially light guidance could pressure shares after earnings are released. "We would be buyers on any weakness post-guidance," he said.

2. More earnings

Once the Street digests Apple's and Facebook's numbers, there's a whole bunch of other earnings to get ready for.

Altria, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Estee Lauder, Fiat Chrysler, Kraft Heinz, Wayfair and Dunkin Brands are among the companies reporting earnings before the market opens.

Also reporting is backup-generator maker Generac Holdings. Shares are up 18% this month as fires and power cuts continue to plague California. CEO Aaron Jagdfeld told CNBC that demand for the company's products has increased three to four hundred percent in California, and that the power cuts caught the company "totally off guard."

Pinterest, Western Union and U.S. Steel are names to watch after the bell.

278 S&P 500 components have now reported quarterly results. 74% of companies have topped EPS estimates, and 59% have beat revenue expectations, according to estimates from Refinitiv.

3. Economic data

Tomorrow morning we'll get flash, or preliminary, data on the Eurozone's Q3 GDP numbers. Last quarter's 0.2% GDP marked a slowdown from the prior quarter's 0.4% growth.

Here in the US, we'll get personal income and spending data for September, as well as September jobless claims and Chicago PMI numbers.

Major events (all times ET):

6 a.m. Eurozone GDP

6 a.m. Eurozone CPI

8:30 a.m. US personal income/spending

9:45 a.m. US Chicago PMI

Major earnings:

Altria (before the bell)

Bristol-Myers Squibb (before the bell)

Estee Lauder (before the bell)

Clorox (before the bell)

Fiat Chrysler (before the bell)

Kraft heinz (before the bell)

Wayfair (before the bell)

Dunkin' Brands (before the bell)

AMC Networks (before the bell)

Pinterest (after the bell)

Western Union (after the bell)

U.S. Steel (after the bell)