Why Intel, American Express, and General Electric Will Move the Dow Tomorrow

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

This week has opened the floodgates of earnings reports for members of the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , and the onslaught of quarterly releases will continue as Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) , American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) , and General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) deliver reports in the next 24 hours. Intel will give an important read on the tech industry, while American Express continues the rash of financial company reports and General Electric offers an industrial perspective to the still-young earnings season.


Sources: Intel; Wikimedia Commons; Flickr/Jeffrey Turner.

Intel will release its quarterly report after the market closes this afternoon, with a conference call scheduled for 5 p.m. EST to discuss the results. American Express has a similar schedule, planning to announce its results shortly after the close of trading at 4 p.m. EST and then follow up with a live audio webcast of its investor conference call at 5 p.m. EST. General Electric said only that it will release results before the market opens; last quarter it reported results at 6:30 a.m. EST, and it plans an 8:30 a.m. EST conference call tomorrow morning.

The most important thing on the line for Intel earnings this quarter is how the company has done in implementing efforts to bolster its presence in the mobile chip market. The PC chip giant has been slow in getting into the fast-growing mobile world, but recent initiatives have revealed a strategy that involves using its cost advantages to flood the market with offerings at every level, from low-end devices for use in emerging markets to high-end state-of-the-art products. Holiday results should tell investors whether some of those efforts are paying off.

Meanwhile, American Express earnings should give investors important information on the state of the high-income consumer. For years, luxury shoppers have seen their financial fortunes hold up better than their mainstream counterparts, and that has helped give AmEx greater growth opportunities than many card issuers. Yet AmEx is also working to expand its reach with products designed for less affluent potential customers, and it hopes to play a key role in the future of electronic payments and other innovations that have affected the industry recently.

With General Electric earnings, expect to hear the latest on the company's transformation into an industrial-focused giant, with special emphasis on GE's energy efforts. General Electric has greatly expanded its energy segment to cover not only alternatives like wind and solar but also conventional oil and gas and electrical applications, and its expansion has had a marked impact on its bottom line. Ideally, General Electric can begin accelerating revenue growth to take greater advantage of opportunities in the industries it serves.

With all three of these big companies reporting, Friday could be a key day for the Dow. With recent efforts to regain some of the ground it has lost early in 2014, the blue-chip index needs positive results from these companies in order to keep forward momentum going.

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