Morning bid: The consumer’s deep pockets and short arms

A look at the day ahead in markets from Anshuman Daga.

If markets were looking for more news to support the recent Fed-induced optimism, then earnings scorecards from Apple (AAPL.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) provided the boost.

The tech bellwethers pointed to resilient consumer demand and forecast strong sales despite runaway inflation, spurring a rise in their shares.

Still, consumers have been persnickety, as Walmart’s (WMT.N) results showed. We will know more about how deep their pockets are and where inflation pinched them on Friday when Colgate-Palmolive (CL.N) and Procter & Gamble (PG.N) reveal results.

There’s also a host of reports due from both sides of the Atlantic, including the U.S. consumer spending and wages data, and other consumer indicators from France and Germany.

The University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index reading for July is due, and likely stayed unchanged at 51.1.

While data on Thursday made for grim reading, with the U.S. economy contracting in the second quarter and consumer spending growing at its slowest pace in two years, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pointed to broad strength in the economy, especially in jobs.

In Europe, the focus will be on the eurozone’s second-quarter GDP numbers and CPI for July. This comes after German inflation edged up unexpectedly in July, driven by an energy supply crisis.

For now, the backdrop of an upbeat corporate results points to a stronger start for European stock futures, after Asian equity markets posted gains.Banks, a proxy of economic growth, will take the lead from Asia-focused Standard Chartered, which is set to report a a drop in second-quarter profit but attention will be on its outlook. BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) comes later.

The dollar is stuck near a six-week low versus the yen, dragged lower by a sharp retreat in Treasury yields.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Thursday:

Economic data – Eurozone Q2 GDP, U.S. Q2 employment cost index, personal income, June personal spending, France Q2 GDP and June consumer spending, Germany Q2 GDP and July unemployment data, UK Nationwide house price index, Spain flash July CPI & Q2 GDP

Major earnings: Exxon , Procter & Gamble , Chevron , AstraZeneca (AZN.L), Colgate-Palmolive , BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA)

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