By Peter Nurse
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening lower Monday, as investors cautiously await quarterly earnings from the big tech sector as well as important growth and inflation data.
This week marks the halfway point of the first quarter earnings season, and it's the turn of some of the biggest names in tech to release their numbers.
Three out of the four largest U.S. companies by market value - Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ), Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ), and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) - are all scheduled to report, with Microsoft and Alphabet due out Tuesday followed by Amazon on Thursday. Facebook parent Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META ) is due on Wednesday.
These stocks have posted strong gains so far this year, and these results will be a key test to see if these are justified, particularly as growth slows.
Elsewhere, soft drinks giant Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) is due to report Monday before the open and could provide clues over the extent of discretionary spending, while Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY ) will also be in the spotlight after the troubled home goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it failed to secure the funds needed to continue.
The main indices posted losing weeks last week, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 0.2%, ending a four-week positive streak, the broad-based S&P 500 ended down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.4%
The Dallas Fed manufacturing activity survey is due for release Monday, but the major focus this week will be on the first reading of U.S. GDP on Thursday, which is forecast to slow to 2.0% for the March quarter, from 2.6%.
The Fed's preferred gauge of inflation, the core personal consumption expenditure measure, is due on Friday and will help provide more clues for the likely path of interest rates following next week's policy-setting meeting .
The U.S. central bank is widely expected to sign off a 25 basis point hike at its May policy meeting, but many expect the policymakers to start cutting rates later this year as the economy weakens.
Oil prices slumped Monday, trading close to a five-week low on concerns that rising interest rates will result in slowing economic growth, particularly in the U.S. economy, the largest consumer of crude in the world.
Crude markets saw their first weekly loss in five weeks last week, with prices once again close to falling below the $80 a barrel level.
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