Wall Street in the green before inflation

Wall Street appears in the green before trading on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.3%, the Dow Jones 0.2% and the Nasdaq 0.2%. A barrel of WTI crude oil regained 2.1% to $76.6. The ounce of gold stabilizes at $1,882. The dollar index rose 0.1% against a basket of benchmark currencies.

In Wall Street news today, traders will follow the Atlanta Fed’s inflation expectations index at 4:00 PM, then at 4:30 PM the weekly report on US domestic oil stocks for the week ending January 6.

Fed chief Jerome Powell was speaking yesterday at the Bank of Sweden’s annual symposium on central bank independence. The head of the US central bank just said that the Fed should focus on its objectives, without using its tools to promote a greener economy. The Fed chief did not comment on the current US economic or monetary outlook. Powell simply said the Fed was firmly committed to reducing inflation, even though raising interest rates could prompt a political backlash. Powell noted that price stability is the foundation of a healthy economy and provides the public with immeasurable benefits over time. “But restoring price stability when inflation is high may require actions that are not popular in the short term as we raise rates,” Powell added.

The main economic meeting of the week on Wall Street will be that of inflation, tomorrow Thursday. The consumer price index for December is expected to be flat from a month ago and up 6.5% year-over-year (FactSet consensus), versus 7.1% a month earlier. Excluding food and energy, the CPI is expected to increase by 0.3% compared to last month and by 5.7% compared to last year.

Fourth-quarter earnings season also begins in earnest this Friday on Wall Street, with major banks releasing results and investors bracing for some disappointment. UnitedHealth, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, BlackRock, Citigroup, Bank of New York Mellon, Delta Air Lines or Wipro, publish especially on Friday.

S&P 500 companies could see their first earnings decline since the third quarter of 2020, with an estimated 4.1% decline in the fourth quarter according to FactSet. Analysts have significantly lowered their forecasts in recent months, but some strategists still believe these figures have not been revised far enough.

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Apple plans to start using its own custom screens on mobile devices as early as next year, Bloomberg reports. People with knowledge of the matter say Apple aims to start replacing the display on high-end Apple Watches by the end of 2024, though the target could potentially slip to 2025, with the company possibly planning to use the displays in other devices .

The USITC, the United States International Trade Commission, ruled for its part that the Cupertino Californian firm’s Apple Watch infringed a blood oxygen technology patent by Masimo. A USITC judge has determined that certain Apple Watch models infringe one of Masimo’s five patents related to the use of light sensors to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood.

Tesla, the US electric car giant, intends to invest $775.7 million to expand its factory in Texas, according to regulatory documents filed by the automaker seen by Reuters. We recall that last year, the group’s leader, Elon Musk, called the site “a giant money oven”, while the manufacturer was struggling with supply chain problems. Tesla will now aim to expand its electric vehicle factory in Texas with this investment. Related documents were filed this week on the Texas Department of State Licensing website and suggest work on the Austin site could begin as early as this month.

US investment banking giant Goldman Sachs is pushing ahead with its announced plan to lay off thousands of staff as deals have slowed since 2021, when the industry was building to meet demand. ‘Business Insider’ reports that this Wednesday, Goldman Sachs began conversations with employees affected by the layoffs. In total, the planned layoffs would affect no more than 3,200 of the bank’s 49,500 employees, a source told Business Insider. This equates to a maximum of about 6.5% of Goldman’s global workforce.

Seagen, an American biotech giant that still weighs $25 billion on Wall Street, would like to start looking for acquisitions of developing oncology drugs. Thus, the group plans to pursue licenses, partnerships or asset acquisitions of biotech startups, Bloomberg specifies.

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