On February 17, American stock exchanges closed in different directions. The S&P 500 index dropped by a purely symbolic 0.03%, to 3931 points, the NASDAQ lost 0.58%, and the Dow Jones added 0.29%. Retail sales rose sharply in January thanks to direct payments to the public, which supported the bullish sentiment. The market saw a capital flow from growth stocks to value stocks, which made the IT sector an outsider, losing 1.03%. The energy sector remained among the leaders and grew by 1.45% amid rising oil prices.
QuantumScape (QS: + 31.4%) announced a breakthrough in the development of next generation solid state batteries.
Popular website builder Wix.com’s quarterly results (WIX: + 8.1%) exceeded expectations, as did the company’s forecasts for 2021.
Shopify’s (SHOP: -3.3%) revenue and operating numbers were above consensus, but the stock is up more than 25% YTD, so investors have taken profits.
Today, global stock exchanges are showing mostly negative dynamics. The published minutes of the FRS meeting, held on January 26-27, fully coincided with the expectations of investors. The meeting participants did not discuss the reduction of the asset purchase program, since macroeconomic indicators do not allow even considering such a possibility. The factor of ultra-soft monetary policy has been in the field of view of investors for a long time, so the degree of its influence is gradually decreasing.
Note that positive data on retail sales in January (+ 5.3% mom) confirmed the effectiveness of fiscal stimulation by direct payments to the population. The stimulus package currently under discussion includes direct payments of $ 1,400, more than double the previous subsidy. In this regard, a similar increase in consumer spending can be expected in April and May.
In the short term, a correction in the S&P 500 index is not ruled out, since a sharp rise in bond yields and the prospects for an early opening of the economy may lead to some capital outflow from the US tech sector. Cyclical sectors can look stronger than the market.
The data on the issued building permits for January will be published today. A slight decrease is expected compared to the previous month, when the highest level in more than 10 years was recorded (forecast: 1.678 million, previous value: 1.704 million). The real estate market remains in excellent shape, so a slight slowdown in construction growth will only protect it from overheating.
The Freedom Finance Sentiment Index remains at 78 out of 100. The indicator reflects the hope of market participants for a recovery in the global economy in 2021. Concerns about the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic are gradually diminishing thanks to the prospects for mass vaccinations.
Technically, the S&P 500 is still in an uptrend. The upper limit of this trend still limits the growth potential of the broad market index. On the eve of the “bulls” showed weakness, which, however, turned out to be short-lived. In the short term, a correction or consolidation is likely, as the RSI indicator is forming a bearish divergence near the overbought zone.
Today Top Movers
Tilray Inc (TLRY) stock ascended 8.19% at $34.09 in the pre-market trading today after the company declared financial results for the full fiscal year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020.
Avinger Inc (AVGR) gained over 58.58% at $2.68 in pre-market trading on Thursday. Avinger, Inc. to be issued US Patent No. 10,932,670 by the US Patent and Trademark Office on 3/2, titled: OPTICAL PRESSURE SENSOR ASSEMBLY.
Onconova Therapeutics Inc (ONTX) grew over 15.23% at $1.74 in pre-market trading today following the closing of a $28.75 million public offering of common stock.
Luokung Technology Corp (LKCO) stock moved up 14.02 percent to $2.52 in the pre-market trading. The firm recently declared a $100 million registered direct offering priced at the market under Nasdaq Rules.
Top Upgrades & Downgrades
Berenberg turned bullish on STMicroelectronics N.V. (STM), upgrading the stock to “Hold”.
Mohawk Industries Inc. (MHK) has won the favor of Credit Suisse’s equity research team. The firm upgraded the shares from Underperform to Neutral and moved their price target to $180.
Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) received an upgrade from analysts at JPMorgan, who also set their one-year price target on the stock to $37. They changed their rating on WFC to Neutral from Underweight in a recently issued research note.
Earlier Thursday Kepler Cheuvreux reduced its rating on TechnipFMC plc (FTI) stock to Hold from Buy and assigned the price target to 8.21.
Credit Suisse analysts reduced their investment ratings, saying in research reports covered by the media that it’s rating for Noble Midstream Partners LP (NBLX) has been changed to Neutral from Outperform and the new price target is set at $13.5.
Analysts at Baird downgraded Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. (KTOS)’s stock to Neutral from Outperform Thursday.
Latest Insider Activity
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) VP Controller & Financial Rptg WHITMIRE C DONALD JR announced the sale of shares taking place on Feb 12 at $30.84 for some 48,240 shares. The total came to more than $1.49 million.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL) CEO and President MURPHY MATTHEW J sold on Feb 16 a total of 282,328 shares at $53.20 on average. The insider’s sale generated proceeds of almost $0.4 million.
New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYCB) Director Rosenfeld Ronald A. declared the purchase of shares taking place on Feb 09 at $10.63 for some 5,000 shares. The transaction amount was around $53,169.
CVS Health Corporation (CVS) Director LUDWIG EDWARD J bought on Feb 17 a total 14,334 shares at $72.00 on average. The purchase cost the insider an estimated $216,000.
Top US earnings releases scheduled for today include Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD). It will announce its Dec 2020 financial results. The company is expected to report earnings of $0.31 per share from revenues of $3.27B in the three-month period.
Analysts expect Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) to report a net income (adjusted) of $1.51 per share when the company releases its quarterly results shortly. Revenue for the fiscal quarter ended Jan 2021 is predicted to come in at $148.47B.
Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (HST), due to announce earnings after the market closes today, is expected to report earnings of -$0.42 per share from revenues of $243.28M recently concluded three-month period.