3 things to watch in the stock market this week

It was another tough time for investors last week as both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) and the S&P500 (SNP INDEX: ^GSPC) lose 5%. Most of the decline came after news broke that inflation was still near a 40-year high, suggesting further aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

However, many individual stocks performed better, especially in the case of positive earnings announcements. With that in mind, let’s preview reports on the way this week from Kroger (NYSE:KR), Jabil (NYSE:JBL)and Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE).

1. Kroger Profit Outlook

Kroger’s stock took a hit after rival walmart (NYSE: WMT) lowered its 2022 earnings outlook last month, and we’ll find out on Thursday whether the supermarket chain has avoided those earnings challenges.

There are good reasons to believe that Kroger can outperform its biggest rival. The chain closed the growth gap in the last quarter, thanks in part to the enthusiasm generated by its fresh produce and prepared food niches. Track comparable store sales to see if Kroger is gaining market share. This metric increased by 3% in Walmart’s latest report.

Kroger weathered soaring costs in early 2022, and investors hope to extend that positive momentum into this report with the help of its vertically integrated supply chain.

When costs rise, owning your own dairy farm, trucking company, and retail network comes in handy. Watch Kroger’s earnings outlook, which currently calls for a sharp increase in annual earnings, for evidence of continued pricing power.

2. Jabil’s operating margin

Electronics manufacturing specialist Jabil will announce its latest results on Thursday, and investors have big questions ahead of the report. The company exceeded expectations on its latest release, which showed an 11% increase in sales. Jabil’s 23% increase in earnings per share is even more impressive.

Track Jabil’s operating profit margin to see if the company is still benefiting from growing demand in the smartphone, cloud services and automotive niches. This metric was less than 5% of sales last quarter, but has the potential to increase as prices rise.

Jabil raised its outlook for 2022 in March, and management is now seeing its revenue land at $32.6 billion, about 11% more than in 2021. The big question is how its partnership with Apple could set it up for even faster wins down the line.

3. Adobe’s growth rate

Despite setting new sales and cash flow records last quarter, Adobe stock has fallen since that report in late March. Investors’ main concern is that growth will slow after two years of strong demand for its digital media products during the early stages of the pandemic.

This slowdown should not threaten the long-term prospects of Adobe, which announced Thursday the results of the second fiscal quarter. Executives in March forecast sales would rise about 15% for the period, compared with a 17% increase in the first quarter.

In addition to hitting those numbers, investors are hoping Adobe could project better earnings prospects over time as more businesses and consumers move their creative work to its cloud services platform.

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Demitri Kalogeropoulos holds positions at Apple. The Motley Fool holds posts and recommends Adobe Inc. and Apple. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: $420 long calls in January 2024 on Adobe Inc., $120 long calls in March 2023 on Apple, $430 short calls in January 2024 on Adobe Inc. and $130 short calls in March 2023 on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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