Wall Street Weighs Inflation Data, Bank Earnings

UnitedHealth is poised to weigh on the Dow today

Deputy Editor
Jan 12, 2024 at 9:02 AM
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Stock futures are firmly lower despite upbeat inflation data, while investors also unpack this morning's flood of bank earnings. The December producer price index (PPI) reading saw wholesale prices decline 0.1%, compared to analyst expectations of a 0.1% rise. UnitedHealth (UNH) looks ready to drag Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures this morning, after higher medical costs outweighed the company's strong fourth-quarter results. 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including: 

  • Options bulls eye Goldman Sachs stock before earnings. 
  • Utility stock could squeeze shorts. 
  • Plus, TSLA lowers prices; JPM rises after earnings; and QCOM upgraded. 


5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.1 million call contracts and 955,554 put contracts traded on Thursday. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.80, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.70. 
  2. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock is down 3.1% in electronic trading, after the electric vehicle (EV) giant yesterday lowered prices on its Model 3 and Model Y cars in China. The company is also reportedly seeing disruptions due to the Red Sea attacks. Over the last year, TSLA is up 84.4%. 
  3. JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) stock is up 1.8% premarket, after the bank's better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, though profits missed estimates due to the company setting aside $3 billion to help refill a fund used to support failed banks. Since last January, the equity is up 22.2%. 
  4. Qualcomm Inc (NASDAQ:QCOM) stock is up 1.8% before the bell, after Citigroup upgraded the chipmaker to "buy" from "neutral," with a price-target hike to $160 from $110, citing the company's inventory replenishment. Though slightly lower in 2024 so far, the equity is up 17.4% in the last year. 
  5. Plenty of economic data is scheduled for the upcoming holiday-shortened week. 


Europe Unpacks GDP Data

Stocks in Asia closed mostly lower Friday, after China’s exports annual exports fell for the first time in seven years, shedding 4.6% in 2023. In response, the country’s Shanghai Composite erased 0.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.4%, and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.6%, logging its eighth-straight day in the red. Japan’s Nikkei bucked the sour broad-market sentiment, gaining 1.5% after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) kept true to its ultra-loose monetary policy.

European markets, meanwhile, are looking to close the session higher, with investors in the region poring over economic data. Data showed that the U.K. economy grew once again, adding 0.3% in November to beat economists’ expectations of a 0.2% jump. However, gross domestic product (GDP) in the area shrank slightly more than predicted between September and November. At last glance, London’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 are both 0.6% higher, and Germany’s DAX is up 0.5%.


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