Stock Market Futures Dip Ahead Of Exciting Week Of Earnings
U.S. stock futures are moving lower in early morning trading ahead of this week’s opening bell. This seems to be the case despite the first-quarter earnings season continuing to pick up momentum this week. In the week ahead, investors will likely be tuning in to some industry-leading firms across the board. This includes but is not limited to the likes of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), IBM (NYSE: IBM), and Nucor (NYSE: NUE). Now, it is important to note that all this is happening while inflation continues to weigh in on the stock market. Evidently, we can see this from last week’s mixed bag of earnings from big banks such as JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC). Because of this, investors could be turning towards market analysts before making moves this week.
Providing insight into the overall earnings season ahead is Raymond James’ (NYSE: RJF) Institutional Equity Strategist, Tavis McCourt. He writes, “Our belief remains that 2022E EPS likely comes down a bit through earnings season, but likely less than we would have thought a month ago. And the more U.S.-centric and more services-centric the company, the better the EPS outlook is likely to be.” Nevertheless, companies will likely have to bring their A-game to the table this earnings season to impress investors. As of 5:24 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.34%, 0.55%, and 0.76% respectively.
Oil And Gas Stocks In Focus As Biden Reopens Public Land
Oil and gas stocks could be gaining attention in the stock market today following the Biden administration’s latest updates. Namely, this would be regarding the U.S. Interior Department’s (ID’s) plans to reopen 144,000 acres of public land. This land is now available to the energy industry for exploration and drilling projects. According to the ID, it will however cost more for operators to work in the newly opened space. To be precise, the incoming round of auctions will charge operators an 18.75% royalty. This is a sizable jump from existing lease charges of 12.5%. As it stands, the ID is planning to reveal the final sales notices and environmental assessments by next week.
For one thing, this would go against President Biden’s pledge to pull the plug on public land lease auctions to energy industry firms. Overall, the move likely comes as a result of the ongoing energy supply shortages across the globe. As the Biden administration looks to remedy this issue locally, this move would make sense. Also, the White House is already ensuring that the overall environmental footprint from these projects is reduced. As such, this could see some of the biggest names in the space coming into the spotlight this earnings season. Among the core players here would be firms like Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM).
Elon Musk Teases Tender Offer For Twitter
Elon Musk continues to make stock market news headlines for the third consecutive week. This comes as Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO’s back-and-forth with Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) continues. For the most part, an obscure tweet from Musk over the weekend possibly points towards a possible tender offer to buy Twitter. It reads, “Love Me Tender.” Should this be the case, it would see the billionaire investor make an offer directly to shareholders to buy out the company.
Not to mention, the move follows the Twitter board’s play to adopt a shareholder rights strategy. The likes of which would entitle shareholders to “purchase, at the then-current exercise price, additional shares of common stock having a then-current market value of twice the exercise price of the right.” More importantly, this will only be the case should an entity acquire 15% or more of Twitter’s outstanding shares. This so-called “poison pill” strategy could be the company’s means of preventing a takeover from Musk while it considers his purchase offer. As of last Thursday, the board is still evaluating the $43 billion, $54.20 per share offer to buy the company, according to CEO Parag Agrawal. Regardless, TWTR stock will likely turn some heads at this week’s opening bell as well.
CDC Data Suggests JNJ’s Vaccine Holds Up Well Against Breakthrough Cases
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) received some good news from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) over the weekend. According to the CDC, JNJ’s shot prevents hospitalizations, infections, and deaths from covid as well as its main rivals. This would mainly be rival vaccine firms like Pfizer (NYSE: PFE)/ BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) and Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA). Going into the details, the CDC notes that about 18.8 out of 100,000 individuals who received JNJ’s vector-based vaccine were breakthrough cases. For reference, the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots are seeing ratings of about 31.6 and 32.6 across the same sample size.
Furthermore, the CDC adds that its study consists of individuals aged 5 years old and above. The current batch of data represents over 60% of the U.S. population with samples from all regions nationwide. Taking all these parameters into account, JNJ’s vaccine seems to be holding up well. The CDC’s data suggests that the JNJ vaccine outperforms rivals in reducing infections, even when compared to those who received booster shots. Regarding the prevention of covid-based mortality, JNJ was also keeping up with mRNA-based shots. With all this in mind, JNJ stock could be worth checking out in the stock market today.
Uber And Rakuten Collaborate On Food-Delivery Payments Deal
Meanwhile, Uber (NYSE: UBER) is expanding its operations in the Land of the Rising Sun. Notably, the ride-hailing firm is now working with Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce firm to improve its local food-delivery services. Through the current team up, Uber will be relying on Rakuten’s payment services for its Uber Eats in Japan. In brief, Rakuten is often dubbed the Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) of Japan. This would be understandable as Rakuten operates via an array of e-commerce and fintech solutions. The latter of which is its Rakuten Pay service. Additionally, the firm also offers plenty of rewards via its Rakuten Points loyalty program.
According to Uber, the current integration with Rakuten Pay will be rolling out in phases through May 2022. Upon completion, users with Rakuten accounts can log on to Uber’s platform to earn and spend their Rakuten Points or Rakuten Pay credit. All of this is possible without a pre-existing Uber account. Overall, this would be part of Uber’s expansion into more international markets. Seeing as Rakuten has over 100 million members in Japan, this would be a strategic play by Uber. After considering all this, investors may be looking at UBER stock now.