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LGT Navigator: Tech heavyweights shine in the middle of the corona crisis

July 31, 2020

The quarterly results of Apple and Amazon showed that the two tech giants were able to benefit strongly from the online shopping boom during the corona crisis. Google's parent company Alphabet and Facebook, on the other hand, did not do quite as well, but their quarterly figures still largely exceeded market expectations. The unprecedented collapse of the world's largest economy, as well as the largest European economy, in the second quarter impressively demonstrated the extent of the corona crisis. Meanwhile, against the backdrop of the dramatic pandemic situation, US President Donald Trump tweeted about postponing the presidential election in November.

Quarterly earnings of tech giants in the spotlight

The major tech groups, Apple and Amazon, made billions in profits in the second quarter and in most cases significantly exceeded market expectations. Amazon in particular benefited massively in the last quarter from the lockdown-related Internet shopping boom. At USD 5.2bn, net income was roughly twice as high as in the same period of the previous year, despite the fact that Amazon had to invest USD 4bn in Q2 for corona measures such as protective equipment, cleaning and premiums. Apple's iPhone sales rose +1.7% year-on-year to USD 26.4bn, exceeding the market consensus of USD 21bn. Apple's consolidated sales rose +11% to USD 59.7bn in Q2, a record quarter. Net income grew +12% to USD 11.25bn. Facebook, on the other hand, grew at a much slower pace than before as customers placed less advertising on the platform during the crisis. This was compounded by a boycott call from civil rights groups, as a result of which large companies temporarily stopped advertising on the world's largest online network. Google's parent company Alphabet suffered a decline in revenues for the first time in Q2 and was primarily burdened by higher costs and declining advertising revenues.

Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress continue to argue over the design of the new corona aid package. Time is pressing, as the Corona grants for millions of unemployed Americans will expire at the end of this month ­ today, that is.

On the New York Stock Exchange, economic concerns prevailed after the US economy recorded a historic slump in the second quarter, according to initial estimates. The Dow Jones Industrial, the leading US index, closed -0.85% lower at 26 313.65 points. During the trading day, however, the leading index even lost around -2% at times. The negative trend on Asian stock markets continued at the end of the week. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 Index lost just under -2.5%.

US economy crashed in the second quarter

The US economy experienced an unprecedented slump in the second quarter. Gross domestic product collapsed by -32.9% extrapolated for the year as a first estimate by the Department of Commerce in Washington showed. Due to the lockdown, consumer spending in particular collapsed (-34.6%). Economic output had already fallen by -5% in the first quarter, meaning that the US economy is now in recession. In view of the escalating corona crisis in the United States, it is highly questionable whether the world's largest economy will be able to recover as early as the third quarter. The US labor market is not sending good news. The weekly number of first-time applications for government unemployment benefits rose by 1.434 million last week, up from 1.422 million the week before.

At the same time, Mexico's GDP fell by -17.3% in Q2 compared to the previous quarter.

Covid-19 causes historic slump of the German economy in Q2

The German economy recorded the sharpest slump ever measured, given the practical standstill during the corona-related lockdown. Between April and June, gross domestic product fell by -10.1% quarter-on-quarter, the sharpest decline since quarterly calculations began in 1970. Economists had assumed an average decline of around -9%. In Q2, both exports and imports as well as services had slumped massively. Since German economic output had already fallen by -2% in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter, Europe's largest economy is thus technically in recession.

Against the backdrop of the corona crisis, the Austrian economy also collapsed in Q2 by -12.8% compared to the previous quarter.

Economic Indicators July 31

MEZ Country Indicator Last
07:30 FR GDP Q2 (q/q) -5.3%
10:00 IT GDP Q2 (q/q) -5.3%
11:00 EZ GDP Q2 (q/q) -3.6%

Earnings Calendar July 31

Country Corporate Period
SZ Swatch H1
SZ Swiss Re H1
FR BNP Paribas H1
FR Vinci H1
FR GDF Suez H1
UK BT Group Q1
UK British American Tobacco H1
US Merck & Co Q2
US DuPont Q2

 

 

 

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Imprint
Publisher: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., Glärnischstrasse 36, CH-8027 Zurich
Editor: Alessandro Fezzi, +41 44 250 83 48, E-Mail: lgt.navigator@lgt.com
Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.

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