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US stocks muted as investors move into cautious mood

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1.25pm; US stocks muted

US benchmarks were relatively muted at mid-session Wednesday as investors were cautious buying into risk.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 16 points at 30,704. The S&P 500 was up 13 points, while the tech-laden Nasdaq index was up nearly 60 points at 13,672. 

“The February rally in equities has been deflated somewhat this afternoon, at least in the US, where the bounce from Friday’s lows has encountered its first real challenge after breezing higher for 48 hour,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading group IG.

“Undoubtedly some of the blame will get pinned on today’s ADP and ISM numbers, both of which came in stronger than anticipated, and in the case of the payroll report much stronger, with the argument being better data will strengthen the hands of the fiscal hawks on Capitol Hill and give them more firepower in their attempts to water down any Biden stimulus package.

This ‘good news is bad news’ thesis should get a further test on Friday with the non-farm payrolls report, added the analyst.

“The bottom line is that the damage to the US and indeed global economy is huge, and will need commensurately huge government efforts to effect repairs. Shying away from a big stimulus programme now would only store up trouble further down the road.”

10.10am: Proactive North America headlines:

Ximen Mining Corp (CVE:XIM) (FRA:1XMA) (OTCQB:XXMMF) acquires Running Wolf gold property in Cranbrook, British Columbia

Fireweed Zinc Ltd (CVE:FWZ) (OTCMKTS:FWEDF) (FRA:20F) encouraged by results of first drill hole into last year’s Boundary Zone West discovery

Victory Resources (CSE:VR) (OTCMKTS:VRCFF) (FRA:VR62) set for IP survey at Mal-Wen project in British Columbia

Gold Resource Corp (NYSEAMERICAN:GORO) (FRA:GIH) eyeing Mexico mine expansion after latest exploration drill results

Vuzix Corporation‘s (NASDAQ:VUZI) (FRA:V7XN) Smart Glasses adopted by food processing company TOMRA to improve worker safety, efficiency

Namaste Technologies Inc (CVE:N) (OTCMKTS:NXTTF) (FRA:M5BQ) says board approves launch of new nutraceutical division and expansion into psychedelics

Soma Gold Corp (CVE:SOMA) (OTCMKTS:PRSRF) says gold production at its Operadora subsidiary exceeded plan by 22.2% at 1,663 ounces

Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc (TSE:TBP) (OTCQB:TBPMF) (FRA:JAM1) creates wholly-owned subsidiary ENJOUCA for branded medical cannabis products

Champignon Brands Inc (CSE:SHRM) (OTCQB:SHRMF) CEO leads article on the Rapid Mood Screener

Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp (CSE:CANN) (OTCQX:HERTF) (FRA:2UE) Purefarma and Pura Vida products now available on genetics site

PlantX Life Inc (CSE:VEGA) (OTCQB:PLXTF) (FRA:WNT1) adds noted speaker and capital markets executive José Abbo to its advisory team

9.42am:  Wall Street mixed

The Wednesday session on Wall Street was off to a mixed start on Wednesday as investors digested the latest set of US ADP jobs figures and took heart from last night’s big tech earnings.

In the early minutes of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.23% at 30,618 while the S&P 500 climbed 0.29% to 3,837 and the Nasdaq rose 0.39% to 13,666.

The mostly positive start followed the ADP private sector jobs report for January, which showed that the US private sector added 174,000 jobs during the month, well ahead of consensus estimates of 70,000 and rebounding from a loss of 78,000 in December.

In light of the data, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics said the ADP data made an increase in non-farm payrolls data on Friday a “decent bet” and that looking ahead the reopening of some US states “ought to provide a modest lift to payrolls in February, with bigger gains likely from March onwards, assuming the vaccination rollout continues to gather pace and the more infectious UK variant does not force states into keeping restrictions in place for longer”.

Meanwhile, shares in Amazon made a subdued start to the session despite its blockbuster earnings overnight, down 0.2% at US$3,373 in early trading. Meanwhile, fellow overnight reporter, Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), saw better luck as it jumped 5.5% to US$2,025.

7:45am: Wall Street to start mostly higher

The main indices are all expected to open mostly in the green on Wednesday as a set of blockbuster earnings from tech giants lifted sentiment.

Spread-betters at IG expect the Dow Jones Industrial Average to open mostly flat, while the S&P 500 is expected to rise 12 points and the Nasdaq is predicted to jump 82 points.

Strong earnings data from Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) after yesterday’s close have likely boosted investor optimism over the market’s big hitters, while hopes for more stimulus from the federal government and the ongoing rollout of the coronavirus vaccine has also lifted hopes that the pandemic could be entering its final stages.

Another factor behind the higher start may be the reduction in volatility following last week’s trading frenzy over heavily-shorted stocks such as GameStop Corp (NYSE:GME) and AMC Entertainment Holding Inc (NYSE:AMC), providing some investors with greater confidence to jump back into the market.

US services PMI data later today could also provide some movement catalysts as traders get more clarity over the state of the US economy.

Meanwhile, other names in the earnings diary attracting attention today is music streaming giant Spotify Technology SA (NYSE:SPOT), which reported revenues that were above expectations in its fourth quarter but also delivered a more downbeat outlook for the first quarter of its current financial year.

Three things to watch for on Wednesday:

  • Notable names in the earnings calendar today include PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL), consultant and accountancy firm Accenture PLC (LON:NYSE:ACN) and medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp (NYSE:BSX)
  • While most of the frenzy may be over, some traders may still eye GameStop and AMC for any last gasps of a rise as the sharp pullback earlier this week may have led some to spy the stocks as a buying opportunity
  • Meanwhile, GameStop will also be continuing to make waves in the political arena as newly confirmed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is expected to meet the heads of US regulatory agencies this week to discuss the volatility

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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