Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 50 points as it continued to add to Wednesday’s record highs. Today’s coronavirus cases shattered new records in the U.S. alongside the Dow and S&P 500. Could this be a sign that the markets are now less impacted by more bad news from the pandemic?
Despite global surges in coronavirus cases, the markets could be reflecting the new reality that the virus is here to stay. Governments across the world also seem to be less keen to set harsh lockdowns and stricter social distancing measures. Some experts say that the pandemic could become endemic in 2022. This would be due to the rising global vaccination rates and the development of antiviral pills that could become widespread next year.
However, despite the good week for the broader market so far, airline stocks continue to falter amid further flight disruption due to the new Omicron variant and winter weather. For instance, Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) reported cancellations of an additional 250 flights on Wednesday after thousands of halted and delayed flights by major airlines were reported during the Christmas weekend.
Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are down by 0.18% on Thursday while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also down by 0.023%. Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are trading on the upswing at 0.40% and 0.65% respectively.
Shares of EV leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are down by 2.69% on Thursday morning. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) and Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) are up by 1.44% and 2.08% respectively today. Also, Chinese EV leaders like Nio (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) are up ahead of their December sales reports.
Dow Jones Today: Jobless Claims Hovering Close To Record Lows
Following the stock market opening on Thursday, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are all trading higher by 0.38%, 0.12%, and 0.02% respectively. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) ticked downwards at 0.10% Thursday, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) rose 0.11%.
The bullish moves came following the positive economic data released earlier this morning. The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims totaled 198,000, while economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 205,000. The newest prints bring the four-week moving average to 199,300 in the week ending December 25. The current unemployment rate is also expected to edge down to 4.1% in December as the labor market continues to tighten.
First-time filings for unemployment remained below the 2019 average of 218,000. This was when the unemployment rate was at a half-century low of 3.5%, according to Bloomberg. With the continuing claims dropping to a fresh pandemic low of 1.716 million, this could be good news for the economy as we head into 2022.
JetBlue Cuts Early January Flight Capacity By 1,280 Flights
JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) appears to be getting attention in the stock market today. This would be thanks to the latest news regarding the company’s flight schedule heading into 2022. Namely, JetBlue revealed earlier today that it will be canceling roughly 1,280 flights through January 13. By and large, the company is citing a surge in crew members catching the Omicron coronavirus variant. Also, the current move by JetBlue is not sudden. Accordingly, most of its airline operator peers are also canceling flights for the same reasons.
To put things into perspective, hundreds of flights have and still are being canceled on a daily basis since Christmas Eve last week. According to flight-tracking website FlightAware.com, over 1,000 flights were canceled in, out, and within the U.S. since then. Providing an update on the company’s current outlook is a JetBlue spokesperson on Reuters.
For starters, JetBlue is expecting the number of COVID cases in the northeast to continue surging. To point out, most of its crew are based there. They continued, “This means there is a high likelihood of additional cancellations until case counts start to come down”. While short-term investors may be looking to trim their holdings in JBLU stock, those eyeing long-term gains could see an opportunity.
Tesla Pulls Back Over 475,000 Vehicles On Rearview Camera Defect
In other news,Tesla can’t seem to stay out of the stock market headlines this week. Earlier today, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that Tesla is recalling almost half a million vehicles. To be precise, the company is pulling back over 475,000 of its EVs. Overall, the recall stems from rearview camera issues with the Model 3 and trunk issues with the Model S. In total, this involves 356,309 Model 3’s from 2017-2020 and 119,009 Model S’s.
According to the NHTSA, Tesla is “not aware of any crashes, injuries, or deaths” related to these issues. This would warrant further investigation into the company. Not to mention, the U.S. road safety regulator is still looking into Tesla’s decision to introduce game-supporting car screens. Regardless, most would argue that EVs remain a viable long-term play on the automotive industry. For one thing, this could be a potential growth driver for other top EV stocks in the stock market today.
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