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The Week Ahead & A Look Back - April 22-26

It's a huge week for corporate earnings as some of the biggest names across the technology, energy, payments, streaming and telecommunications sectors report their quarterly results. Here's a look at some of the most highly anticipated releases:

Monday, April 22

  • Verizon (VZ) - ★★★ : The telecom giant is expected to post solid results, buoyed by higher pricing and subscriber growth. However, investors will watch how elevated costs from network spending and rising wages impact profitability.

Tuesday, April 23

  • Spotify (SPOT) - ★★★★ : The music streaming leader needs to show it can keep adding paid subscribers at a healthy clip amid competition from Apple, Amazon and others. Ad revenue growth is also in focus.

  • Tesla (TSLA) - ★★★ : After slashing prices earlier this year, all eyes are on whether Tesla can reverse the decline they have experienced in the last year. Margins are another key watchpoint.

  • Visa (V) - ★★★★ : As a massive facilitator of global payments, Visa's results will provide a window into consumer spending health across retail, travel and other sectors.

Wednesday, April 24

  • AT&T (T) - ★★★★ : The telecom's top priorities are growing its fiber internet business while stemming losses in its legacy pay TV operations. 5G user growth rates are also important.

  • Boeing (BA) - ★★★★ : This is a critical quarter for Boeing as it aims to show recovering production levels and demand for the 737 MAX jet after its calamitous struggles in recent years.

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) - ★★★★ : Chipotle has been an outperformer this year as the stock is up 25% YTD. Can it maintain its impressive pricing power and traffic gains?

Thursday, April 25

  • Comcast (CMCSA) - ★★★★ : The cable and media giant's broadband internet business has been a bright spot offsetting cord-cutting declines in its pay TV segment. Another big question that people would like clarity is surrounding the future of Peacock streaming platform. Will they consolidate or expand the platform?

  • Microsoft (MSFT) - ★★★★ : The software behemoth continues riding its cloud computing wave, led by the rapidly growing Azure platform. Commercial bookings are a metric to watch. We will also be interested to see what guidance they give related to further A.I. investments and plans.

  • Alphabet/Google (GOOGL) - ★★★★ : Has cloud spending slowed down? Also, clarity of the current advertising market is of interest. We are also looking to hear about their results as they invest more into artificial intelligence.

  • Intel (INTC) - ★★★★ : The chipmaker has been dealing with intense competition and execution struggles as it tries to regain its footing in advanced manufacturing. Investors want to see its turnaround plan progressing.

  • NerdWallet (NRDS) - ★★★ : The personal finance site and app should offer insights into consumer lending and credit trends amid stubborn inflation and higher interest rate environment.

  • Snap (SNAP) - ★★★★★ : Despite new advertising products and AI efforts, Snap remains plagued by operating losses and executional missteps of late as it struggles to convert its large user base into profits.

Friday, April 26

  • Chevron (CVX) - ★★★ & ExxonMobil (XOM) - ★★★ : The two oil supermajors are sure to report massive profits amid elevated commodity prices. But investors want to see disciplined capital allocation to future projects as more EV adoption occurs globally.

  • T. Rowe Price (TROW) - ★★★★★ : As a major asset manager, T. Rowe's results will reflect trends in retail investment flows, fee revenues and market impacts on assets under management.

A Look Back

  • Salesforce Stock Falls 7% on Potential Informatica Acquisition, Options Traders Profit Big

Salesforce (CRM) - ★★★★ - Ranked #31 in Q2 2024 Large Cap Equity Rankings

Shares of enterprise software giant Salesforce (CRM) tumbled 7% on Monday, marking the company's worst single-day performance in over a year. The catalyst for the sell-off was a report that Salesforce is in advanced talks to acquire data management firm Informatica.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the potential deal price for Informatica is below its current market price, raising concerns about the financial impact on Salesforce's margins. Informatica's stock shed over 7% in morning trading.

The sharp decline in Salesforce's share price created a lucrative opportunity for options traders holding bearish put contracts. Specifically, the April 19 2024 expiration $280 strike put contract saw gains of as much as 1,000% in a single trading session. Other put options with higher strike prices also soared, with some contracts gaining up to 500%.

  • What Caused the Live Nation Stock to Drop 7% and How Did Put Contracts Gain 1,600% in One Day?

Live Nation Entertainment (LYV) - ★★★★ - Ranked #10 in our Q2 2024 SMID Equity Rankings

Live Nation Entertainment's (NYSE: LYV) stock price dropped 7% on Tuesday amid reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against the live events giant in the coming weeks.

The drop came after The Wall Street Journal reported that the DOJ is planning to sue Live Nation, alleging the company has "used its dominance in the ticket selling space to undermine competition." The potential lawsuit would represent a major escalation of the government's long-running investigation into Live Nation's business practices.

Notably, some options traders saw a huge one day return on the decline in Live Nation's stock price. Data shows that some options contracts with an April 19 2024 expiration and a $95 strike price saw gains of over 1,600% on Tuesday, as traders bet on downside for the stock. Those contracts closed at $0.18 ($18) on Monday and finished Tuesday trading at $3.08 ($308) per contract.

  • Is the Tech Stock Sell-Off Here to Stay? Analyzing the QQQ Support Level Breakdown

The technology-heavy Invesco QQQ ETF (QQQ) plunged below a critical technical level on Friday, signaling further downside could be in store for the former leadership sector.

The QQQ ETF tracks the Nasdaq-100 index of major tech stocks like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Nvidia. It fell as low as $414.05 intraday, decisively breaking below its 100-day moving average around $422. A drop below this key trendline is technically bearish and could foreshadow more losses ahead.

The breach comes after a 7% decline for the QQQ from its 52-week high of $449.11 set on March 21st. It has been a rocky stretch for tech following a banner 2023. Higher interest rates, recession fears, and lofty valuations have weighed on the growth-focused sector.

Our analyst team let our subscribers know that we were hedging the recent market run up in February 2024 by buying QQQ puts. In February, we purchased the May 17th $400 strike put option as a way to protect against downside.

That put option exploded higher by nearly 45% on Friday as the QQQ broke down. Johnson's firm was able to book a 20%+ gain by closing out that position intraday per their trading plan.

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The information provided in this report is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. The opinions expressed in the report are our own and are subject to change without notice. We may have a position in the securities mentioned in the report, and we may buy or sell such securities without notice. Any investment decisions made based on the information in this report are solely the responsibility of the recipient. We do not accept any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss arising from any use of this report or its contents.


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