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Dow seesaws up and down ahead of Fed speech this afternoon

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12 pm: Markets shed promising start 

The Dow was up and down Wednesday morning and found itself down 34 points, 0.1%, to 31,342 at midday. The Nasdaq fell 76 points, 0.5%, to 13,391, and the S&P 500 dipped 12 points, 0.3%, to 3,899. Both indices opened higher.

Investors are waiting for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to speak this afternoon.

“Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, will be in focus as he is due to speak at [2 pm EST],” CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden wrote Wednesday. “The central banker is likely to say the Fed will continue to provide support for the economy. He will probably shy away from talking about a timeline to taper the bond buying scheme.”

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares rose after the social media company posted quarterly revenue of nearly $1.3 billion and EPS of $0.38, both of which beat Street expectations.

10 am: Proactive North America headlines:

Ximen Mining (CVE:XIM) (FRA:1XMA) (OTCQB:XXMMF) secures term sheet to finance Kenville gold mine

Namaste Technologies Inc (CVE:N) (OTCMKTS:NXTTF) (FRA:M5BQ) receives TSX approval for its US expansion plans

ImagineAR Inc (CSE:IP) (OTCQB:IPNFF) (FRA:GMS1) announces partnership with Blue United to help to launch its Augmented Reality platform in Japan

FansUnite Entertainment Inc (CSE:FANS) (OTCQB:FUNFF) (FRA:4UY) engages gaming law firm to pursue US licensing strategy

XPhyto Therapeutics Corp (CSE:XPHYU) (OTCQB:XPHYF) (FRA:4XT) adds mescaline production to its psychedelic medicine programs

Algernon Pharmaceuticals  Inc (CSE:AGN) (FRA:AGW) (OTCQB:AGNPF) mulls lung scarring as additional endpoint for Phase 2b/3 coronavirus trial of Ifenprodil

Fury Gold Mines (TSE:FURY) (NYSEAMERICAN:FURY) (FRA:AUN1) announces summer exploration plans for Eau Claire project in Quebec

Benchmark Metals Inc (CVE:BNCH) (OTCQB:CYRTF) continues to see good drill results from AGB zone at Lawyers project Group Inc (OTCQB:RCRT) launches partner program for its video recruiting platform

LexaGene Holdings Inc (CVE:LXG) (OTCQB:LXXGF) (FRA:5XS2) successfully configures its MiQLab system to detect mutant sequences unique to UK and South African coronavirus variants

9:44 am: Wall Street stocks start in green

The main Wall Street indices started in the green on Wednesday as market sentiment bounced back from Tuesday’s slide.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.35% at 31,486 while the S&P 500 climbed 0.44% to 3,928 and the Nasdaq rose 0.55% to 14,084.

Meanwhile, US inflation data for January released shortly before the open showed a 0.3% increase in the consumer price index (CPI) last month, in line with analyst expectations. Most of the inflation was caused by rising oil prices, however, core inflation was unchanged, below expectations of a 0.2% rise.

 The increase in inflation will mean it remains a topic into the spring, as some analysts have cautioned that the rate could increase further as US stimulus pumps more cash into the American economy as it rebounds from the effects of the pandemic.

However, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics said inflation numbers were “unlikely to shift up sustainably until the reopening of the economy is well advanced”.

The figures will also be taken in line with any comments from Fed chair Jerome Powell when he makes a speech later today.

7:55 am: Wall Street to start higher

US markets are expected to open cautiously higher after a reasonable start in Europe, helped by the prospect of President Biden’s stimulus package and hopes of an economic bounce-back now the vaccination programme is picking up pace.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is predicted to open around 87 points higher, while the S&P 500 is due to start 14 points better and the Nasdaq is predicted to rise 41 points.

Investors will be looking at a speech by Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell to the economic club of New York, while a number of big companies are reporting. The Coca-Cola Company has done slightly better than analyst expectations, with fourth quarter earnings edging up from $1.91bn to $2.02bn excluding special items. Net revenues declined by 5% for the quarter and 11% for the full year. James Quincey, chairman and chief executive, said: “The progress we made in 2020, including the actions taken to accelerate the transformation of our company, gives us confidence in returning to growth in the year ahead. While near term uncertainty remains, we are well-positioned to emerge stronger from the crisis.”

The company is cutting back its drink’s portfolio by about 50% to focus on its more mainstream brands.

Later Uber reports full year figures, with its shares up around 7% pre-market. Michael Hewson at CMC Markets UK said: “Even without the pandemic Uber had already been haemorrhaging cash, before the economic lockdowns hit its cash flow even further. The ride hailing part of the business makes up the lion’s share of overall revenue, while its delivery or “eats” business is the small relation. In Q2 the company posted a net loss of $1.8bn as taxi bookings declined 73%, while delivery bookings saw a 113% rise. In Q3 these losses shrank but were still over $1bn, while revenues also came in short at $3.13bn. The company reiterated its guidance that it expects to be profitable on an EBITDA basis by the end of 2021, however, given recent events it may well have to rethink that.”

On Tuesday Twitter unveiled better than expected advertising revenues in the fourth quarter, up 28%, and although it warned about slowing user growth this year its shares are expected to open around 5% higher.

Three things to watch for on Wednesday:

  • Other major companies making an appearance in the earnings diary include data centre operator Equinix Inc (NASDAQ:EQIX), petroleum refiner Equinor ASA (NYSE:EQNR) and online real estate marketplace Zillow Group Inc (NASDAQ:ZG)
  • Shares in stock exchange operators Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ:NDAQ) and NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc (NYSE:ICE) may also be in focus after the two firms filed lawsuits against the SEC to block plans to overhaul public data feeds of stock prices, which the companies said could jeopardise their revenues
  • There may also be some fireworks in the political arena as the impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump continues in the Senate

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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