Most American companies will report second-quarter results in the coming weeks, giving us the first chance to hear directly from a wide variety of businesses since the US and China agreed to resume trade talks.
And many of the US multinationals potentially caught up in the trade conflict have substantial facilities and employ thousands of people in Ireland.
The truce followed months of tension that has caused uncertainty and logistics headaches for manufacturers, which have born the brunt of the dispute so far. Many warned in April that the worst was yet to come.
The five bellwethers whose earnings will be closely watched for trade war trouble or triumph include Apple, which reports on July 30. It relies on a global supply chain and had a lot to lose if President Donald Trump had proceeded with his threat to impose stiff tariffs of on a new slate of imports from China.
The renewed talks, which forestalled that prospect, should support the iPhone maker’s outlook.
Boeing was also caught in the fray. The planemaker, which reports on July 24, has been negotiating one of the largest orders ever of wide-body jetliners with Chinese airlines even as tension escalated, according to people familiar with the matter.
Caterpillar took Wall Street by surprise twice this year with a downbeat outlook on China. Its results on July 24 may give insight into the world’s second-largest economy’s construction sector.
Global carmakers are among the biggest losers of tariffs and a slowdown in the Chinese market.
Ford Motor’s results on July 24 and General Motors’ on August 1 will likely provide valuable insights into the trade fallout, while Harley-Davidson is another company to watch for any fallout.
China is a major market for the semiconductor industry.
Intel, which reports on July 25, said in April that a drop in orders had been more pronounced in the country. The chip industry was also hit by the Trump administration’s sanctions on Huawei Technologies, dealing a blow to suppliers like Micron Technology.
Meanwhile, in the US, the oil price skidded below $60 a barrel as a tropical storm that shut almost three-fourths of US passed through, while China data on a weak economy also weighed.
Brent crude futures dropped 12 cents to $66.60 a barrel in London. Gulf of Mexico production moved inland while concerns lingered about demand growth.
- Bloomberg. Additional reporting Irish Examiner