Stock Market Futures Seek Direction Ahead Of Big Bank Quarterly Updates
U.S. stock futures are idling in early morning trading today. In the larger scheme of things, this could be due to investors awaiting further data on the economy. While this week’s consumer price index and producer price index readings are in, there is one more set of data to consider. Notably, this is in the form of earnings from some of the biggest U.S. banks. Before today’s opening bell, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), and Citigroup (NYSE: C) are on tap. Following a sharp year-over-year decline in profit from JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) yesterday, investors are likely weary now.
Weighing in on all this is Quincy Krosby, a chief equity strategist at LPL Financial (NASDAQ: LPLA). According to Krosby, “We want to get a picture of how do they see the Fed’s plan… quantitative tightening, the liquidity drain, coupled with higher rates, affecting their clients and their business units.” She also adds that “Higher rates are good for banks, until, the belief is, the higher rates are going to hurt the economy.” With all this in mind, it is safe to say that investors have a lot to consider in the stock market today. As of 4:32 a.m. ET, the Dow and S&P 500 are trading lower by 0.06% and 0.08% respectively. Meanwhile, Nasdaq futures is edging 0.07% higher.
Taiwan Semiconductor In Focus After Posting Solid Figures In First-Quarter Financial Update
Among the head turners in the stock market today is the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE: TSM). For the most part, this would be the result of TSM reporting its latest quarterly figures earlier today. Jumping right to it, the company is looking at earnings of $1.40 per share alongside revenue of about $17.57 billion. For reference, this is versus Wall Street estimates of $1.31 and $16.26 billion. As such, with the company beating analyst forecasts across the board, TSM stock would be in focus today.
By and large, TSM is also looking at a record quarterly revenue now. This comes as the demand for its integral semiconductor chips continues to skyrocket worldwide. Accordingly, the ongoing global shortages are likely to boost prices for its chips across the board. In particular, the demand for computers, smartphones, and vehicles are among the key sectors to consider on this front. Thanks to persisting global demand, TSM’s revenue is now up by a sizable 36% year-over-year.
Also, it is worth mentioning that all this is amidst worsening pandemic conditions in China. The likes of which are adding to already long wait times for chip deliveries now. Despite all of this, firms like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung (OTCMKTS: SSNLF) are still catering to tech-hungry consumers. Ultimately, all this would serve to support the bull thesis on semiconductor titans such as TSM. After considering all this, investors looking to jump on TSM stock after its year-to-date losses could see an opportunity now.
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Costco Announces Quarterly Dividend Increase To $0.90 Per Share
Elsewhere, Costco (NASDAQ: COST) is raising its quarterly dividend by a fair amount. Namely, as of yesterday, the big-box retailer is declaring a $0.90 per share quarterly payout. This represents a sizable 13.9% increase from the prior dividend of $0.79. For one thing, this could further attract investors looking to make more defensive plays in the stock market today. With this move in mind, it seems that Costco is well aware of current market conditions and is making the most of it. Even as inflation continues to surge and global economies falter, demand for its offerings will likely persist. As such, to better appeal to investors during a potential time of crisis, Costco is further bolstering its dividend.
At the same time, the company is also holding strong on the operational front as well. This is evident from its latest monthly sales report from last week. According to Costco, it raked in total net sales of $21.61 billion throughout March. Year-over-year, this adds up to a notable 18.7% increase. More importantly, the company also saw its comparable sales jump by 17.2% over the same period. This marks its third straight month with double-digit net and comparable sales gains. Overall, as Costco seemingly goes from strength to strength, I could see COST stock gaining attention today.
Fastenal Beats Estimates Across Top And Bottom Line In Latest Quarterly Earnings Release
Fastenal (NASDAQ: FAST), a titan in the industrial supplies space is also turning heads in the stock market this week. Correspondingly, this follows the announcement of its first fiscal quarter earnings yesterday. In brief, Fastenal is looking at a total revenue of $1.7 billion alongside earnings of $0.47 per share. To put things into perspective, this tops consensus projections of $1.69 billion and $0.45 respectively.
Going into the specifics, the company also highlights a solid 20% year-over-year increase in its net sales. According to Fastenal, “This increase is due to improved unit sales across most products to our traditional manufacturing and construction customers, resulting from continued improvement in business activity. Our net daily sales growth also benefited by roughly 100 basis points from the absence of last year’s adverse weather. The first quarter of 2022 continued to experience strong, economically-driven growth in underlying demand for manufacturing and construction equipment and supplies, which drove higher unit sales that contributed to the increase in net sales in the period.” All in all, the current attention around FAST stock now is understandable.
Travel Stocks Pop After Delta Air Lines Provides Upbeat Outlook On Returning Travel Momentum
In other news, the travel industry appears to be experiencing a recovery rally now. Evidently, some of the top travel stocks around are seeing substantial gains following yesterday’s trading session. To begin with, the industry likely has Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) to thank for these gains. After reporting its latest quarterly financials, the airline operator’s outlook for the current quarter points towards a recovery in travel demand. So much so that it expects to swing towards a net profit in the June 2022 quarter with revenues exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
As a result of all this, a wide variety of travel stocks appears to be following suit. Primarily, airline operators like American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL), Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), and United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) saw gains of over 10%, 7%, and 5% respectively yesterday. Moreover, vacation planning companies like Expedia Group (NASDAQ: EXPE) and Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) also saw similar upswings as well. While all this is great, travel firms continue to work together, anticipating the return of travelers as well. As of earlier this week, American Airlines and Expedia are now working together. In essence, the current partnership provides Expedia users with more customization options when booking American Airlines flights. Because of all this, travel stocks could be worth keeping an eye on in the stock market moving forward.