Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down by 20 points. This comes as the markets extended a decline in technology shares from yesterday’s session. In the first few trading days of the year, investors seem to be banking on the cyclical section of the market. There are signs that indicate a firming economic recovery after all as the energy, financials, and industrials sectors outperformed in the S&P 500 on Tuesday. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) for example, has been up by over 5% year-to-date.

Furthermore, some experts believe that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has plateaued in parts of the world, giving them a cause for optimism. Accordingly, more countries are also rolling out their booster shots. Booster shots have been shown to significantly increase the level of protection against this latest strain. Moreover, treasury yields have steadied after moving sharply higher on Monday and Tuesday, adding pressure to tech and growth stocks that are valued heavily on future earnings potential. For instance, the benchmark 10-year yield jumped above 1.6% to reach its highest level since November.

Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are down by 0.90% on Wednesday while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is down by 2.20%. Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are also down 1.18% and 0.81% respectively today.

Shares of electric vehicle (EV) leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is up by 0.17% on Wednesday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) are down 4.14% today while Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) is also down by 3.76%. Chinese EV leaders like Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) are also trading lower.

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December Private Payrolls Exceeds Expectations

Today, Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ: ADP) released its National Employment Report for the month of December 2021. Diving in, it notes that private payrolls rose by 807,000. This greatly exceeds the 410,000 job gains consensus that economists had anticipated, according to data by Bloomberg. This is also a huge improvement from November’s 505,000 jobs, according to ADP’s revised estimate for that month.

Job growth in the leisure/hospitality sector made a sizable chunk of December’s new payrolls, at 246,000, as it was one of the sectors that were badly hit by the pandemic when it started in 2020. Following closely, the trade/transportation/utility sectors added a commendable 138,000 jobs in December. 

Dow Jones Today: Federal Reserve December Minutes

Following the stock market opening on Wednesday, the Dow, S&P 500 are trading 0.06% and 0.24% lower respectively. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq is also diving lower 0.58%. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) dipped by 0.64% Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) tilted lower 0.20%.

Investors are also eagerly awaiting the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s recent policy meeting. This is in hopes of gaining insights into the Fed’s plans to ease pandemic-era stimulus measures. Minutes from the Fed’s December meeting are set to be released at 2:00 p.m. ET today. Federal Reserve officials have said in that meeting that they would speed up the pace at which stimulus measures are withdrawn and issued projections for three interest rate rises in 2022.

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Sony Shares See Continued Momentum As It Eyes Booming EV Market

EVs continue to dominate stock market news headlines this week. From companies such as Ford (NYSE: F) doubling its EV production goals to industry leaders like Tesla breaking quarterly delivery figures, this is evident. Today, Sony (NYSE: SONY) is among the biggest names on the block making a scene in the EV world. Diving right in, the entertainment industry giant is looking to launch a new subsidiary, Sony Mobility. The likes of which will focus on the EV market. Notably, CEO Kenichiro Yoshida revealed Sony’s ongoing work on Sony Mobility at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier today.

SONY stock

In his presentation, Yoshida revealed the company’s prototype electric SUV, the VISION-S 02. As you can imagine, this new vehicle runs on the same EV platform as the company’s VISION-S 01. Notably, Sony has been and still is testing this prototype on public roads in Europe. Now, the CEO notes that Sony sees mobility as another “entertainment space” to consider. In detail, the company believes that passengers should have individual entertainment options, potentially powered by 5G internet.

All in all, this marks another power play by the company this week. In addition to all this is the smash success of Sony’s latest movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home. The company’s collaboration with Disney (NYSE: DIS) continues to swing past the competition in terms of box office sales. Over the weekend, the movie raked in a whopping $52.7 million in North America. This brings its domestic gross sales across the $609 million mark, making it the 10th best-grossing domestic film to date. Spider-Man: No Way Home is also the first pandemic-era film to top $1 billion at the global box office. As it stands, SONY stock is currently up by 3.35% since today’s opening bell.

Nikola Soars At Opening Bell On News Of Latest EV Fleet Deal

Shares of Nikola (NASDAQ: NKLA) are surging by over 5% as of today’s market open. By and large, this would be thanks to its latest dealings with USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK). Through a letter of intent (LOI), USA Truck is making an initial purchase of 10 Nikole Tre BEV trucks. Said trucks will be purchased from Thompson Truck Centers. Moreover, the current agreement leaves space for the order of an additional 90 trucks through 2024.

According to Nikola, the current LOI revolves around a “fleet-as-a-service” model. In other words, Thompson will provide sales, services, and energy infrastructure to operate the trucks. By the company’s estimates, this order of BEV trucks is set for delivery in the first half of 2022. Overall, this seems to be bolstering the momentum in NKLA stock from when Nikola made its first EV truck delivery. Time will tell if the company can make the most of its current gains.

NKLA stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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