Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down by 200 points with mixed bank earnings. Also, investors continue to weigh on concerning signs of lingering price pressures across the U.S. economy. This is in light of statements from key central bank officials that the Feds will take necessary action to bring down inflation. Bank stocks, which had outperformed in recent weeks as interest rates moved higher, were split in today’s opening.

For instance, Citigroup (NYSE: C) is down by 1.97% after the bank beat revenue estimates but showed a 26% decline in profits. Investment firm BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) also posted strong earnings today, with a revenue of $5.11 billion, a 14% increase year-over-year. It also reported a $212 billion in quarterly total net inflows positive across all client types, investment styles, and regions. The Supreme Court today has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its sweeping Covid vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies. However, the court did allow a vaccine mandate for medical facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid payments.

Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are up by 0.30% on Friday while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also up 0.59%. Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) down 1.72% and 1.36% respectively today. Also, among the Dow 30, financial leaders like Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) are trading lower as well.

Shares of electric vehicle (EV) leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are up 0.14% on Friday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) are down 0.32% today while Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) is up by 0.65%. Chinese EV leaders like Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) are trading higher at 0.55% and 1.21% respectively.

Dow Jones Today: Retail Sales Slide As Inflation Weighs On Consumers

Following the stock market opening on Friday, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones are trading 0.02% and 0.52% lower while the Nasdaq is up 0.50%. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) ticked higher at 0.54% Friday, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) is down by 0.0058%.

Earlier this morning, the Commerce Department released its monthly retail sales report. In it, this marks the first drop since July and the biggest decline since February 2021. The advance monthly sales report to close out the year showed a decline of 1.9%. This comes after a 0.2% gain in the earlier month. This retail sales number could come as a surprise for many as it points to a slow ending to what had otherwise been a strong 2021.

For many consumers, the concerns over shipping delays may have prompted them to shop earlier than usual, further contributing to the weaker-than-expected retail sales figures in December. Considering the impact of the Omicron variant and the persistent inflation we are seeing in the stock market today, this could set up for a tepid handoff to the first quarter. However, total retail sales for 2021 is still 19% higher compared to the prior year.

[Read More] Top Stock Market News For Today January 14, 2022

JPMorgan And Wells Fargo Top Earnings Estimates

The banking sector seems to be taking center stage in the stock market today. Accordingly, this is because the likes of JPMorgan and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) among other banking peers have reported their latest quarterly earnings. Diving right in, JPMorgan reported an earnings per share of $3.33 on revenue of $30.35 billion. Notably, this tops Wall Street’s projections of $3.01 and $29.9 billion respectively. Moreover, it also saw year-over-year gains of 37% in its global investment banking fees. Also, JPMorgan currently has $3.1 trillion in assets under its management now, marking a respectable 15% year-over-year increase. 

Despite all of this, JPM stock is currently trading lower by 5.78% as of today’s opening bell. For the most part, this could be due to cautionary commentary from CFO Jeremy Barnum. Barnum notes that management currently expects “headwinds” in the form of higher expenses and moderating. He adds, “Over the next one to two years, we expect to earn modestly below that target as the headwinds likely exceed the tailwinds.

At the same time, Wells Fargo, a leader in middle-market banking in the U.S. also reported notable results today. In detail, the firm posted earnings of $1.25 per share on revenue of $20.85 billion. This handily surpasses analyst estimates of about $1.13 and $18.82 billion respectively. More importantly, Wells Fargo’s net income for the quarter currently sits at $3.09 billion. This marks a massive year-over-year leap of 86%. As it stands, WFC stock is gaining by 1.19% today.

JPM stock
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Casino Stocks Gain As Macau Sheds Light On New Casino Licensing Regulations

In other news, investors appear to be flocking towards casino stocks at today’s opening bell as well. By and large, this is likely thanks to an update from Macau on its casino licensing rules. Namely, Macau is now establishing plans to limit the number of casinos operating locally. Now, it is reducing the tenure of gaming licenses to 13 years and capping the maximum being offered to six. On top of that, local ownership requirements will also be increasing from 10% to 15%.

For those uninitiated, all this may seem like less-than-ideal news for the sector, at face value. However, casino stocks are rallying behind this news now. To explain, the latest recommendations would alleviate much of the uncertainty for U.S. gaming groups in the region. All of which saw their share prices dip in recent months as they expect to bid for new licenses when current permission expires in June 2022. As such, the likes of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN), and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) are rallying today. This is evident as they are currently up by 13.75%, 7.21%, and 4.43% respectively.

All in all, this is positive news for the casino industry. This would be the case seeing as Macau, the world’s largest gaming hub, brings on about $37 billion in annual revenues. After considering all of this, I could understand if investors are eyeing casino stocks in the stock market today.

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