The stock market rally rebounded from Monday’s lows, with the Nasdaq recovering below its 200-day line. But the market rebound hit resistance mid-week, with major indices all down for the week. Growth stocks, especially software and popular growth stocks, continued to struggle. Taiwan semiconductor (TSM) broke out on bullish earnings and forecasts. JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (VS) and Wells Fargo (WFC) kicked off bank earnings as stocks diverged. Energy stocks surged as crude oil prices hit a two-year high.
Stock market rally in trouble
The stock market rally rebounded from lows on Monday, but then broke down on Wednesday and reversed at the end of the week. The major indexes all pulled back solidly during the week, with the Nasdaq testing its 200-day line while the Dow Jones and S&P 500 hovered around their 50-day lines. Growth stocks were once again hammered, although Taiwan semiconductor (TSM) exploded. The energy, fertilizer and raw materials games led. Financials performed well, with Treasury yields trading around two-year highs, although JPMorgan and Citigroup fell on earnings.
Fed Hawkish, Warm Inflation
Hawkish news from the Fed dominated the week, with the CPI inflation rate hitting 7% for the first time since 1982 and even relatively dovish members signing a rate hike in March. However, an increase in unemployment insurance claims and an unexpected drop in retail sales in December reported on Thursday and Friday clouded the picture of economic strength somewhat. Fed Chief Jerome Powell, appearing before a Senate hearing on his nomination for a second term, preached the same message revealed by the minutes of the Fed’s December meeting. After concluding its asset purchase program in March, the Fed could move “sooner and faster” to unwind its balance sheet than it did after the previous crisis.
Crude oil rebounds on strong demand, tight supplies
Crude oil prices and energy stocks continued to climb as investors bet the omicron Covid variant won’t derail a strong global recovery, while natural gas prices surged. The US Energy Information Administration reported a 4.6 million barrel drop in domestic crude supplies for the week ended Jan. 7. Gasoline supplies jumped 8 million barrels. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had expected crude supplies to fall by 1.6 million barrels and gasoline inventories to rise by 3 million barrels. The EIA also gave a bullish forecast for global oil demand on Tuesday, but it also expects U.S. oil production to average a record 12.4 million barrels per day in 2023.
Taiwan Semi beats fourth quarter targets
Semiconductor manufacturing in Taiwan (TSM) reported that fourth-quarter EPS rose 19% while sales rose 24% to $15.74 billion, both beating views. The world’s largest chip foundry posted first-quarter sales of $16.9 billion, also better than expected. It also targeted capital spending for 2022 of $40 billion to $44 billion from $30 billion last year. Taiwan Semi manufactures chips for fabless semiconductor companies and consumer device manufacturers such as Apple (AAPL), AMD (AMD), Nvidia (NVDA) and Qualcomm (COMQ). Smartphone chips accounted for 44% of Taiwan Semi’s fourth-quarter revenue, while high-performance computer chips accounted for 37% of sales. TSM stock hit a new high on Thursday.
Banks’ best views on earnings
JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (VS) and Wells Fargo (WFC) all announced better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. JPMorgan EPS fell 7% as revenue rose. Earnings were flattered by the fact that JPMorgan released $1.3 billion in loan loss reserves. Citigroup EPS rose slightly as revenue rose 1%, but expenses rose solidly. Citi also sold operations in four Southeast Asian countries. Wells Fargo GAAP earnings and revenue grew solidly. JPM and Citi fell solidly on Friday, while Wells rose.
Big Pharma switches to CRISPR
Pfizer (DFP) announced a $1.35 billion collaboration agreement with Beam Therapy (SHINE), which uses CRISPR technology to perform so-called core edits. Like other gene editing companies Crispr Therapeutic (CRSP), Therapeutic Intellia (NTLA) and Medicines dispensed (EDIT) Beam aims to create point treatments for genetic diseases. Meanwhile, Germany’s Bayer has struck a gene-editing deal with Mammoth Biosciences.
Tesla records record sales in China
Tesla’s sales in China reached 70,847 in December, with just 245 vehicles exported. In November, Tesla Shanghai sold 52,859 Chinese-made Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossover SUVs, including 21,127 exported. Most of these exports are destined for Europe. US-based EV You’re here (TSLA) got the go-ahead to build 2,000 Model Y bodies at the Gigafactory in Berlin, pending final approval to open the factory. Tesla and many other EV makers likely got a boost in December, with China cutting EV subsidies by 30% in 2022. After 2022, Beijing plans to end subsidies. In addition, Tesla would have postponed the production of Cybertruck to the beginning of 2023.
Delta sees ‘significant profit’
Delta Airlines (FROM) reported fourth-quarter results that beat expectations and said it expects “significant profit” this year overall as it recovers from two years of the pandemic and a series losses in 2020 and last year. However, the Atlanta-based airline said it expects a loss for the first quarter as the omicron variant tears up its workforce and customer base. However, the company said it was able to generate profits for the coming quarters.
Albertsons Lift Vaccines
Albertson (AIT) beat fiscal Q3 views as higher prices and Covid vaccine revenue boosted comparable sales. The grocery and drugstore chain raised its full-year sales and earnings outlook. However, BMO analysts called their outlook for the fourth quarter cautious, due to “consumer uncertainty” and “evolving government stimulus measures.”
News in brief
Knowledge base home (KBH) reported that EPS jumped 71%, beating fourth-quarter views. Revenue rose 40% to $1.68 billion, slightly missing. But the homebuilder gave bullish guidance on revenue, selling prices and margins. Stocks soared.
Trade metals (CC) reported fiscal first-quarter EPS jumped 179%, well above views. Sales were up 42%, but views were missed. The Texas steelmaker said second-quarter margins should match or exceed recent levels. Stocks rose.
biogenic (IBIB) fell after Medicare said it would only cover the cost of the biotech’s Alzheimer’s disease treatment, Aduhelm, for patients in clinical trials.
Infosys (INFI) jumped after the Indian IT services company raised its revenue targets for the full year. Fiscal Q3 EPS of 18 cents, versus 17 cents a year earlier, met the views. Revenue rose 21% to $4.25 billion. But rival Wipro (SPIRIT) dropped after missing views.
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