Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 20 points on the last trading session of the year. This would hint at a quiet end to a strong year for the markets. U.S. markets will open on regular hours for this New Year’s Eve for the first time in a decade, thanks to NYSE Rule 7.2 The rule states that if trading is closed either Friday or Monday if a holiday falls on a weekend, with the exception of unusual business conditions, such as the end of a monthly or yearly accounting period. 

The major averages are all up double-digits this year, as the global economy began its recovery from the 2020 coronavirus lockdowns. On top of that, the Federal Reserve maintained supportive measures first implemented at the onset of the pandemic. The S&P 500 for instance, was up by over 28% year-to-date. This would put the market benchmark on track for its third straight annual gain this year.

Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are down by 0.045% on Friday while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also down by 0.33%. Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are trading on the upswing at 0.40% and 0.14% respectively.

Shares of EV leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are up by 0.5% on Friday morning. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) are up by 0.96%. Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) is down 1.16% today. Also, Chinese EV leaders like Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) and XPeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) are up ahead of their December sales reports.

Dow Jones Today: Home Depot and Microsoft Have Led Dow Gains In 2021

Following the stock market opening on Friday, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are all trading lower. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) ticked downwards at 0.065% Friday, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) rose 0.025%.

The 30-stock Dow was up by over 17% this year, also on a third consecutive yearly gain with Home Depot and Microsoft leading the gains, rising more than 50% each. This comes in a time where consumer-centric stocks continue to boom as more people spend time at home due to the pandemic. However, many investors and analysts expect tougher conditions next year as the Feds taper off its pandemic-era easy monetary policy and address persistent inflation.

[Read More] Top Stocks To Buy For 2022? 4 Work-From-Home Stocks In Focus

Nutriband Surges On Patent Win From Korean Regulators

Nutriband (NASDAQ: NTRB) seems to be among the most active stocks going into today’s trading session. Namely, the pharmaceutical firm is making headlines thanks to an announcement from the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). In detail, KIPO fully issued a Nutriband patent titled “Abuse and Misuse Deterrent Transdermal System”. Now, the current patent is mainly linked to the company’s signature AVERSA tech.

To elaborate, Nutriband primarily focuses on developing transdermal pharmaceutical products. In other words, the company’s products serve their purpose via skin contact. Through its AVERSA deterrent transdermal system, Nutriband uses taste aversion to treat abuse for opioid transdermal patches. As a result of all this, NTRB stock is currently skyrocketing by over 75% as of today’s opening bell.

Given the overall relevance of Nutriband’s offerings in an increasingly substance dependant world, I could see investors eyeing it now. If anything, the patent win could signal to some that the company means business. Whether or not this can translate to long-term growth for Nutriband and NTRB stock remains to be seen.

NTRB stock
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Exxon Estimates Operating Gains Of Up To $1.9 Billion From Rising Energy Prices

Exxon (NYSE: XOM) is turning heads in the stock market today on account of its latest 8-K, earnings consideration filing. Simply put, the company provided a rosy update on how it expects business to be in the current quarter. By and large, the company argues that increasing gas prices are among the core tailwinds driving growth. In particular, Exxon projects that this could add anywhere between $0.7 billion to $1.1 billion towards its quarterly earnings. With this figure in mind, the company believes that its annual profits could add up to $1.9 billion for the fiscal year.

Ideally, this would mark a major turnaround for Exxon from its loss of $22.4 billion the prior year. Regarding last year’s results, the company cites falling oil prices, and lower refining margins among other pandemic-related pressures. More importantly, Exxon is now making the most of energy price gains to pick up speed on the operational front. As it stands, consensus estimates are pointing towards Exxon posting an earnings per share of $1.76 on February 1, 2022. For one thing, this would mark a substantial leap from its earnings of $0.03 per share the same quarter last year. Nevertheless, such news could have investors keen on XOM stock and its possible long-term growth prospects.

XOM stock
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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