This week’s inflation data will be key to sustaining market rally, UBS says
The pressure is on for this week’s economic data releases to deliver some good news, according to UBS.
A strong earnings season has propelled a market rally so far in 2024, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average cinching another record close on Monday afternoon. UBS’ Mark Haefel believes the rally has so far been “well supported by healthy economic fundamentals and profit growth,” but there’s still no guarantee that it will last.
“Inflation data this week could help determine whether market confidence in the health of the US economy should mount further,” he wrote. “We will be looking for further evidence of slowing US inflation and resilient economic growth before concluding markets should price in a ‘Goldilocks’ scenario rather than a soft landing.”
Traders will also keep a close eye on January’s retail sales data — set for release on Thursday morning — to track the strength of the U.S. consumer.
“The S&P 500 is now trading close to the 5,000 level where we would expect it to end the year in the event of a soft landing. To reach our upside outcome of 5,300 by the end of 2024, we would need to see further positive signs on inflation, Fed policy, and growth, including from data and earnings releases this week,” Haefele added.
— Lisa Kailai Han
Hasbro falls as earnings underwhelm Wall Street
Hasbro tumbled more than 12% in premarket trading after the toymaker missed financial expectations for the fourth quarter.
The company behind My Little Pony and Dungeons & Dragons earned 38 cents per share, excluding items, on $1.29 billion in revenue. Those figures came in below the forecasts of analysts polled by LSEG, who anticipated 66 cents per share and $1.36 billion.
Hasbro also said to brace for a weak gross margin and drop in full-year revenue tied to consumer products.
Shares have underperformed in 2024, adding just about 0.5% since the new year began.
— Alex Harring
Coca-Cola posts mixed fourth-quarter results
Coca-Cola shares were little changed after the beverage giant posted mixed results for the fourth quarter.
The company earned an adjusted 49 cents per share, matching an LSEG estimate. Revenue came in at $10.85 billion, beating a forecast of $10.68 billion. The stronger-than-expected sales were driven in part by higher prices.
— Fred Imbert
A cautious open in Europe
European markets were mostly lower on Tuesday morning, as investors assessed incoming corporate earnings reports and awaited a key U.S. inflation print.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.3% in early trade, with tech stocks shedding 1.9% to lead losses while health care stocks added 0.4%.
Nikkei briefly surpasses 38,000 mark for the first time since 1990
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 crossed the 38,000 mark on Tuesday, marking the first time the index was at these levels since 1990.
The index surpassed 38,000 points just minutes before its close, but slipped slightly to end the day at 37,963.97 with a 2.89% gain.
The broad-based Topix also gained 2.12% to close at 2,612.03, also at a 34-year high.
India’s weightage on MSCI Global Standard index rises to record high: Reuters
Index provider MSCI has raised India’s weightage in its Global Standard index to 18.2% in its February review, a record high, according to Reuters.
The report added that India’s weightage in the index has nearly doubled since November 2020.
MSCI said that it had added five Indian securities to the index in the February review. In total, MSCI will add 24 securities to the index and remove 101 securities.
Most notably, 66 China securities were taken off the index, with only five added. The changes will take effect on Feb. 29, after market close.
— Lim Hui Jie
SoftBank rises as much as 10% as Arm rally continues, leads Nikkei
Shares of Japanese investment holding company SoftBank jumped as much as 10.2% as Arm shares continued their rally into a second week.
The chip designer saw its shares soar 29% on Monday. It has gained 93% since it reported quarterly financials on Feb. 8. SoftBank holds about 90% of Arm’s outstanding stock.
With the rise, SoftBank is the largest gainer on the Nikkei on Tuesday, with the index also gaining almost 2% and leading gains among Asian markets.
January slowdown in credit card spending is normal, Bank of America says
Credit card spending may have declined in January, but this is normal behavior, according to Bank of America.
January spending activity dropped 0.8% year-over-year and 10.6% from December.
“While there have been headlines about January softness, we note that our data suggests spending historically declines by 14.6% m/m in January. As such, we view the data as better than expected,” analyst Mihir Bhatia wrote.
— Lisa Kailai Han
Small-cap benchmark Russell 2000 pops for a 3rd straight day
The Russell 2000 index just wrapped up its third consecutive winning session.
The small-cap benchmark closed higher by 1.75% on Monday, its best day since Jan. 22. That follows gains of 1.53% on Friday and 1.5% Thursday. Over the past week, the Russell 2000 has surged more than 5%.
Even with the recent string of positive days, the Russell 2000 continues to lag the three major averages for the year. It’s up 0.9% in 2024, while the S&P 500 has a 5.3% gain. Tech continues to dominate, with the Nasdaq Composite up more than 6% this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up just shy of 3% in the period.
–Darla Mercado, Chris Hayes
Stocks making the biggest moves after hours
Check out some of the companies making headlines in extended trading.
JetBlue Airways — The airline’s stock jumped more than 15% after activist Carl Icahn reported a nearly 10% stake in the company. He said JetBlue shares are undervalued.
Avis Budget Group — Shares slipped about 1% after the rental car company’s fourth-quarter revenue of $2.76 billion in the fourth quarter missed estimates. Analysts polled by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv, forecast $2.81 billion.
ZoomInfo Technologies – Shares of the market intelligence company soared nearly 23%. ZoomInfo posted adjusted earnings of 26 cents per share on revenue of $316 million in the fourth quarter. Analysts polled by LSEG called for earnings of 25 cents a share and revenue of $311 million.
Read the full list here.
— Brian Evans