CNBC Daily Open: Treading Water Before the Tech Wave Hits

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This report is from today's CNBC Daily Open, our new, international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

This earnings season is showing which companies can weather the economic storm, and which ones are at risk of being swept away.

What you need to know today

  • U.S. markets traded mixed Monday. The Nasdaq Composite fell as investors prepared for a barrage of earnings from big technology firms this week. Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly lower Tuesday. South Korea's Kospi sank 1.67% after the country reported a lower-than-expected 0.8% growth in first-quarter GDP, compared with a year earlier.
  • Coinbase sued the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday. The cryptocurrency exchange wants the SEC to share whether the regulator would allow the crypto industry to be regulated using existing SEC frameworks. The legal tussle is a sign of how crypto has been increasingly enforced by U.S. regulators, which prompted bitcoin bull Chamath Palihapitiya to declare, "crypto is dead in America."
  • ByteDance's Lemon8, a new app that combines Instagram and Pinterest, was the second-most downloaded lifestyle app in the U.S. in the last 30 days. Analysts think ByteDance might be positioning Lemon8 as an alternative to TikTok if lawmakers decide to ban the video-sharing app.

The bottom line

This earnings season is showing which companies can ride out — or, indeed, benefit from — the economic storm, and which ones are at risk of being swept away.

Struggling regional banks like First Republic aside, there's already one prominent casualty: Bed Bath and Beyond. The home goods merchant has been struggling for years, but things took a turn for the worse in 2023. In January, the company warned investors it's running out of cash and is considering bankruptcy. On Sunday, its warning became reality as the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It's a stunning reversal for the shares: A year ago, Bed Bath and Beyond shares traded around $20; yesterday, they were $0.2, one-hundredth of last year's value.

Samsung, likewise, is warning its profit for the first quarter might be its lowest in more than a decade amid a slump in the memory chip market.

Economic troubles, however, didn't put a dent in the profits of LVMH. The luxury conglomerate became the first European company to surpass $500 billion in market value on the back of record-breaking sales and revenue figures — which will only grow, if the company's prediction that China's Covid reopening will boost its sales further comes true.

Fast-moving consumer goods didn't fare too badly either — at least for Coca-Cola, which saw net sales rise 5% to $10.98 billion, beating estimates. The company is also optimistic for the rest of the year, expecting revenue to continue growing 7% to 8%.

Despite those big pieces of news, stocks in both the U.S. and Europe were flat. The S&P barely moved, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.29%.

Investors are waiting for more earnings report from major companies, particularly big tech, before making moves. Alphabet and Microsoft will be first up later tonight in the U.S., followed by Meta on Wednesday and Amazon on Thursday. Investors will want to assess those reports alongside economic data, such as first quarter's GDP growth (or lack thereof) and April's consumer sentiment, coming out this week.

"Everyone's just waiting for tech earnings," said Chris Harvey, head of equity strategy at Wells Fargo Securities. "This is a very, very busy week for earnings, so we're just treading water." But traders should brace themselves. A big wave is coming; some companies will sink, but some will ride the wave.

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