Stock Market Futures Edge Lower Going Into New Years Eve Trading Day

A popular question among investors today could be “Is the stock market open on New Year’s Eve?” Well, the answer to that question for this year is a yes. In fact, it will be the first time in a decade this is happening because of NYSE Rule 7.2. Getting back to business, stock market futures are tilting lower on early morning trading this New Year’s Eve. This comes after another record-setting session by the S&P 500 after it hit its 70th record close of 2021. Despite the recent volatility in markets over the past month, major stock indices are doing well year-to-date.

Sharing this sentiment is Insigneo Financial Group CIO, Ahmed Riesgo. He said, “Did the market have a great year in 2021? Most people would say absolutely.” Riesgo continued, “I think what you’re going to get next year is that internal rotation where these few stocks that performed very well in 2021 are going to underperform, perhaps drag the market down a bit, while the vast majority of stocks will shoot up.” As a result, he sees this leading to “around mid-to single-digit returns” for the S&P 500 in 2022.

Not to mention, there are still companies hard at work in the stock market today as well. Hence, the collection of exciting stock market news to consider now. As of 7:41 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.20%, 0.16%, and 0.16% respectively.

AMD To Secure Acquisition Of Xilinx By Q1 2022

Among the latest pieces of news among semiconductor stocks now would be from Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD). Just yesterday, the company provided a crucial update regarding its ongoing acquisition of fellow semiconductor manufacturer Xilinx (NASDAQ: XLNX). Namely, AMD now expects to close the deal by the first quarter of 2022, instead of this year.

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As a result, AMD stock dipped by over 2% during intraday trading yesterday. Now, the company is still amidst conversations with regulators and is still working to receive all the necessary approvals. According to AMD, its ongoing talks “continue to progress productively” and the company is “making good progress” on this front.

Aside from these points, the overall conditions of the deal remain the same. For a refresher, AMD is acquiring Xilinx in an all-stock transaction. The likes of which is currently valued at about $35 billion. By AMD’s estimates, the combination would create a semiconductor industry goliath to be reckoned with. Seeing as Xilinx is the pioneer behind the fabless semiconductor manufacturing model, this is understandable. Safe to say, AMD is hard at work ensuring this significant upgrade to its portfolio goes smoothly. As it aims to do so, some investors may consider buying into the current weakness in the company’s shares.

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Exxon Projects Solid Growth In Upcoming Quarterly Profits

Exxon (NYSE: XOM) could be among the names making waves in the stock market today. For the most part, this would be on account of its latest 8-K, earnings consideration filing. In other words, the company provided an update on its earnings outlook for Q4. Notably, Exxon is expecting rising natural gas prices to boost its earnings in the upcoming quarter by $0.7 billion to $1.1 billion. Overall, the largest U.S. oil producer expects a return to annual profit for 2021 with operating profits growing by up to $1.9 billion. While the actual figures will only be released on Feb 1, 2022, this could put XOM stock in focus today.

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To put things into perspective, should Exxon’s estimates be accurate, it would mark a major win for the company. After all, Exxon was hit with a massive loss of $22.4 billion the prior year. This would mainly be due to falling oil prices, and lower refining margins alongside other pandemic-related pressures.

According to Exxon, a combination of cost cuts and energy price gains have and continue to fuel its momentum. Looking forward, Wall Street currently expects Exxon to rake in an earnings per share of $1.76 for the current quarter. With this being a far cry from its earnings of $0.03 per share the same quarter last year, things appear to be looking up for Exxon. Whether or not this translates to long-term gains for XOM stock remains to be seen.

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Stern CDC Warning To Vaccinated Holiday Goers Sends Cruise Line Stocks Diving

Elsewhere, cruise line stocks appear to be having a turbulent time going into the new year. Accordingly, this could be the result of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) latest recommendations for eager cruisers. In detail, the CDC is raising its travel alert for those looking to set sail this holiday season. So much so that cruise ship travel is now at the highest-risk level in its books. This is not surprising seeing as the latest Omicron variant is highly infectious and cruises are mostly close quarters environments.

Because of all this, cruise line operators such as Carnival (NYSE: CCL), Norwegian Cruise Lines (NYSE: NCLH), and Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL) ended lower yesterday. In response, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) trade group notes that the CDC’s current stance is “perplexing”. The CLIA highlights that “no setting can be immune from this virus”. Nevertheless, some could see the current dips in cruise line stocks as a buying opportunity. Not forgetting, the demand for cruise services remains strong even as consumers adhere to pandemic restrictions. In theory, this could see 2022 bookings, that have exceeded 2019 levels, be shifted towards later seasons. With all that said, some could be considering the case for cruise line stocks in the stock market today.

[Read More] Best Dividend Stocks To Buy In 2022? 5 For Your Watchlist

MicroStrategy Adds Over 1,900 Bitcoins To Its Reserves

While crypto investors consider the recent $250 billion crypto market decline, MicroStrategy (NASDAQ: MSTR) is making moves. Evidently, the business intelligence firm revealed its latest investment on the crypto front just yesterday. All in all, the company bought a whopping 1,914 bitcoins throughout December. This adds up to about $94.2 million in cash.

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Moreover, this purchase comes in at an average price of $49,229 per Bitcoin. To highlight, the company’s funds for this purchase are from its ongoing stock offering. Thus far, it has raised approximately $1 billion from investors, according to MicroStrategy.

After this round of purchases, MicroStrategy currently has a reserve of approximately 124,391 bitcoins. To put things into perspective, the company’s current stash was purchased for nearly $3.8 billion. This puts its average price per coin at $30,159. More importantly, MicroStrategy’s total Bitcoin holdings are now worth over $5.5 billion. It seems like CEO Michael Saylor continues to double down on his belief in the leading cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if MSTR stock can benefit from this in the long run.

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