Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

3 Things to Watch in the Stock Market This Week

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - May 23, 2021 at 5:00AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

NVIDIA is one of several hot stocks set to announce results over the next few trading days.

It was a volatile trading week, but stocks ended up little changed last week. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.27%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.73%) shed roughly 0.5% and are sitting 11% higher so far in 2021. 

Several of the market's favorite stocks are reporting results over the next few trading days. That list includes NVIDIA (NVDA 4.28%), Okta (OKTA 1.62%), and Gap (GPS 2.50%), whose announcements we'll preview.

An engineer working on a chip.

Image source: Getty Images.

NVIDIA's outlook

Expectations are high for NVIDIA's Wednesday afternoon report. The chipmaker has seen explosive growth in recent months thanks to spiking demand in core niches such as gaming and data center infrastructure. Surging sales in both areas helped revenue cross $5 billion last quarter, compared with $3.1 billion a year earlier.

Investors are bracing for even bigger gains this week, with sales likely to rise 80% to $5.4 billion. Wall Street is eager to hear how NVIDIA's portfolio fared as enterprises rush to add high-performance computing power to their digital infrastructures.

But the bigger trend to follow is management's growing ambitions in the CPU industry. CEO Jensen Huang is likely to talk up NVIDIA's CPU, aimed at data center servers, this week. Executives will also issue a detailed outlook for the fiscal second quarter that might show hints of supply challenges in the gaming and automotive segments.

Okta's acquisition update

It's no surprise that Okta enjoyed strong growth in 2020 as the stampede toward at-home work lifted demand for its core identity management products. Sales rose by over 40% for a second straight year. But organic growth will only be part of the story around Wednesday's earnings report.

That's because this week's announcement will include management's first estimate of how its recent acquisition of Auth0 will affect sales and earnings in 2021. That $6.5 billion merger will bring a big new customer base under Okta's umbrella and is a key pillar in management's plan to go after a much bigger addressable market. But aggressive buyouts like this often bring surprise costs and integration challenges. And it might take time before the value of the merger is clear for shareholders.

Those factors help explain why Okta's stock has tread water heading into this week's announcement. But the slump implies a relatively low bar for the company to meet as it issues a major update to its fiscal 2021 outlook.

Gap's customer traffic

Wall Street is feeling giddy heading into Gap's first-quarter report on Wednesday. In early March, the apparel giant showed some encouraging hints of a post-pandemic rebound as comparable-store sales held flat for a second straight quarter. Booming demand in the e-commerce niche offset almost all of the pressure from temporary store closures in places like Europe. Executives praised this digital channel, which currently ranks second in the U.S. at over $6 billion in annual apparel sales.

There might be bigger gains to come. Gap announced in mid-May that it is resuming its stock buyback program after having paused it during the first phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. That upgrade suggests the retailer may be enjoying rising demand, firm prices, and increasing store traffic as it enters its fiscal second quarter.

Demitri Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Okta. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends NVIDIA and Okta. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

NVIDIA Corporation Stock Quote
NVIDIA Corporation
$187.09 (4.28%) $7.67
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$33,761.05 (1.27%) $424.38
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$4,280.15 (1.73%) $72.88
The Gap, Inc. Stock Quote
The Gap, Inc.
$10.64 (2.50%) $0.26
Okta Stock Quote
$104.15 (1.62%) $1.66

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/14/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.