The fourth quarter earnings season started in earnest on Friday, but the latest Wall Street performance indicators did little to reinvigorate the bulls and saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average finish in the red.
A host of blue-chip financial stocks posted generally strong fourth-quarter numbers before the opening bell, but other factors contributed to mixed results in their stocks.
Wells Fargo (WFC, +3.7%) posted an 86% year-over-year increase in quarterly net profit, while revenue and earnings per share both beat analysts’ expectations.
Dow component JPMorgan Chase (JPM, -6.2%) recorded similar beats on the back of a 28% rise in investment banking revenue, but investors flip-flopped after chief financial officer Jeremy Barnum said at a conference call that the company would likely miss its 17% target for capital returns thanks to headwinds including higher expenses and stabilizing trading revenue.
Citigroup (C, -1.3%) also beat revenue and net income estimates, although fourth quarter earnings were down 26%.
December retail sales also weighed on sentiment, with a 1.9% month-over-month decline much worse than expectations for a mere 0.1% slip.
“Most of this decline came from the control group (core) category, with sales down sharply by 3.1% month-on-month,” said Pooja Sriram, economist at Barclays. “These impressions follow downward revisions to November data and, in our view, suggest stronger sales growth in October as households likely ramped up their Christmas shopping amid widespread warnings in the press about merchandise shortages and shipping delays.”
But she adds that it’s hard to attribute the entire December drop to this effect.
“Instead, we believe there are likely transitory effects on in-game demand, due to the Omicron variant, which likely affected spending in categories such as restaurants and in-store purchases,” she says, adding that high inflation and falling government transfers have also weighed on household inflation-adjusted disposable income.
“The retail sales number was lousy, there’s no getting around it, especially since those numbers are nominal and not adjusted for inflation,” says Cliff Hodge, Chief Investment Officer of Cornerstone Wealth, adding that it is “difficult to say how much of the shortfall is related to the impacts of inflation.”
The Dow Jones gained the upper hand, falling 0.6% to 35,911. S&P500 managed a marginal gain to 4,662, and the Nasdaq Compound posted a decent 0.6% improvement to 14,893. All three indices ended in the red for the entire week.
A reminder: the exchange is closed on Monday, January 17, on the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Other news on the stock market today:
- Small cap Russell 2000managed a 0.1% improvement to 2,162.
- Growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine have contributed to the rise U.S. crude oil futures, which settled up 2.1% to $83.82 a barrel.
- Gold Futures Contracts settled down 0.3% to $1,816.50 an ounce.
- Bitcoin managed to post a 0.7% improvement to $43,125.86. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices shown here are as of 4 p.m.)
- Sherwin-Williams (SHW, -2.8%) was another earnings loser on Friday. The company reported preliminary fourth-quarter results that were lower than Wall Street was looking for. The company expects to earn $1.35 per share on revenue of $4.76 billion in its fourth quarter, but the pros are looking for EPS of $1.69 on sales of $4.77 billion. dollars. Additionally, the company is now looking for full-year earnings of $8.15 per share, which is lower than both its previous guidance of $8.35 to $8.55 per share and analyst expectations of 8.48. $.
What does 2022 hold for crypto?
The adrenaline junkies among us may want to keep a close eye on cryptocurrencies in 2022.
The asset class is emerging from a transformation in 2021 that has seen digital coins move from small speculative investments to much, much larger, but still primarily speculative investments. Cryptocurrencies have grown from a collective market capitalization of $800 billion at the start of 2021 to $2.25 trillion by the end of the year, roughly tripling in a short span of 12 months.
We’ve already explored the best opportunities in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds for the year ahead; as we near the end of our annual overviews, we turn to crypto. Will digital currencies have a nearly as productive 2022 as last year? And if so, which coins are most likely to generate these gains?
Read on as we explore the outlook for cryptocurrencies in 2022.
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