Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up by 110 points. This comes after consumer prices rose to the highest in nearly 40 years. In brief, U.S. inflation came in at 7% in December. However, other parts of the globe like the U.K. and Europe also hit multi-decade highs in recent months. Some analysts say that inflation will not normalize so soon and could see higher gains before it peaks. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also indicated in his renomination testimony that the central bank would intervene as needed to ease rising prices.

Today, shares of renewable energy companies like SolarEdge Technologies (NASDAQ: SEDG) and Enphase Energy (NASDAQ: ENPH) are up by over 3%. Investors are likely responding to both companies being upgraded to a Buy rating at Guggenheim. Analyst Joseph Osha says that concerns regarding potential negative news, high valuations, and consensus expectations that were mentioned last year have largely dissipated, even though challenges remain.

Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are up by 0.40% on Thursday while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also up 0.25%. Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are up 0.50% and 0.71% respectively today. Also, among the Dow 30, financial leaders like Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) are trading higher as well.

Shares of electric vehicle (EV) leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are down 0.17% on Thursday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) are down 2.12% today while Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) is up by 1.00%. Chinese EV leaders like Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) are trading higher at 2.05% and 0.74% respectively.

Dow Jones Today: Jobless Claims Are Up This Week

Following the stock market opening on Thursday, the S&P 500, Dow Jones, and Nasdaq are trading 0.25%, 0.35%, and 0.33%% higher respectively. The Nasdaq in particular heads for a four-day winning streak. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) ticked higher at 0.44% Thursday, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) is also up by 0.30%.

Today, the Labor Department released its latest weekly jobless claims report. In the week ending on January 8, initial claims were 230,000, an increase of 23,000 from the previous week. However, this remained low compared to pandemic-era averages. Continuing claims that ended on January 2 were 1.559 million vs the 1.733  million expected.

Despite the rise in filings for first-time unemployment claims, jobless claims are already around pre-pandemic levels for more than a month. This could imply the continued slowdown in firings and other involuntary separations as employers retain their existing workforces. This week’s increase could also be due to workers calling in sick because of the Omicron variant wreaking havoc across the country. FDA head Janet Woodcock says that most people will become infected by the Omicron variant given how contagious it is. Authorities also say that even as the coronavirus variant shatters records for new cases, they are hopeful that the surge will quickly subside.

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TSM Stock Jumps On Latest Quarterly Earnings Release; Allocates $44 Billion Towards Expanding Chip Manufacturing Capabilities In 2022

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE: TSM) or TSM for short, is taking center stage in the stock market today. This is thanks to the company’s latest quarterly earnings update. Overall, TSM raked in an earnings per share (EPS) of about $1.15 on revenue of $15.84 billion for the quarter. This marks a respectable 16.4% and 21.2% increase year-over-year respectively. Additionally, TSM also raked in a net income of about $6.01 billion. 

Speaking about this is CFO Wendell Huang. Huang notes, “Our fourth quarter business was supported by strong demand for our industry-leading 5-nanometer technology.” Looking forward, the CFO also highlights “Moving into first quarter 2022, we expect our business to be supported by HPC-related demand, continued recovery in the automotive segment, and a milder smartphone seasonality than in recent years.” 

All in all, the company continues to benefit from the steady demand for semiconductor chips globally. Not to mention, TSM is not sitting idly by amidst the current chip shortages as well. The company is planning to spend $40 to $44 billion towards bolstering its chip manufacturing capacity this year. Notably, this marks a sizable increase over 2021’s $30 billion investments. After pairing all of this with TSM’s leading position in the industry, I can see the appeal of TSM stock. As it stands, the company’s shares are gaining by a whopping 8.75% as of today’s opening bell.

TSM stock
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Boeing Gains On Reports Of Return To Chinese Airspace

Elsewhere, aircraft manufacturing titan Boeing (NYSE: BA) is in the news today. Chiefly, this is thanks to a Bloomberg report suggesting that the company could return to service in China. According to the report, this could happen within the next three weeks. Should this be the case, it would see Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft return to work in the Chinese market. After an almost three-year-long exclusion, it could mark a significant win for the aerospace giant. Because of this, BA stock is currently up by 2.57% as of today’s opening bell.

Moreover, this news comes just days after the company reported immense growth in its full-year aircraft orders. According to Boeing, it delivered a total of 340 jetliners in 2021, marking a 116% year-over-year jump. By and large, the company remains hard at work to accommodate the recovering air travel industry now. With that said, I could see investors watching BA stock in the stock market now.

BA stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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QuantumScape Teams Up With Fluence In Solid-State Battery Tech Partnership

In other news, Bill Gates-backed lithium battery developer QuantumScape (NYSE: QS) is now working with Fluence Energy (NASDAQ: FLNC). In essence, the duo are looking to integrate QuantumScape’s solid-state lithium-metal battery tech with Fluence’s stationary energy storage applications. With Fluence being a global leader in energy storage applications for the renewable energy industry, this could be a strategic play by QuantumScape. Ideally, should things go as planned, both companies are expecting to enter a large-scale supply agreement in the long run. QS stock and FLNC stock are now up by 1.72% and 3.95% respectively.

QS stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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