Stock Market Futures Little Changed Following Hawkish Update From Powell
U.S. stock futures are moving sideways this morning as investors consider the latest comments from Jerome Powell. In essence, the Federal Reserve chair’s hawkish remarks on the economy seemingly halted the earlier rally in stocks. For some context, Powell highlights that the central bank is still resorting to higher short-term interest rates “as needed,” to address inflation. In fact, he specifies that the Fed is looking to bring inflation down to an annual pace of about 2% while maintaining low unemployment.
Amidst all of this, there are also analysts providing somewhat positive coverage on the current state of things. Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, says, “I think the market is looking for opportunities and the opportunities continue to be in areas like energy, commodities. I think the market will also find more opportunities in financials as interest rates go up and technology looks awfully cheap to me.” Safe to say, there is no shortage of notable stock market news to consider alongside all this as well. As of 4:06 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are edging up by 0.16%, 0.11%, and 0.18% respectively.
Nike Taking Supply Pressures In Stride, Beats Estimates As Sales Gain Momentum
Nike (NYSE: NKE) is among the companies taking center stage in the stock market today. For the most part, this is thanks to the company posting its latest quarterly earnings after yesterday’s closing bell. Diving in, Nike is looking at earnings of $0.87 per share on revenue of $10.87 billion for the quarter. To put things into perspective, this is versus Wall Street estimates of $0.71 and $10.59 billion. With Nike topping forecasts across the board, it is no wonder that NKE stock is coming into focus today.
Going into the details, Nike’s overall sales are currently up by 5% year-over-year. According to CEO John Donahoe, all this would serve to show Nike’s resilience. After all, the company has been and still is operating in a volatile business environment. Meanwhile, Nike’s products remain hot offerings among consumers as well. This is evident as Donahoe notes, “Marketplace demand continues to significantly exceed available inventory supply.” After considering all of these strengths in its core business, investor concerns over the possible impact of the Ukraine-Russia war on Nike’s business could cool slightly. With its global operations in mind, Nike would also be a benchmark for how retailers, in general, are faring now.
Regarding the company’s outlook for the coming fiscal year, Nike is refraining from providing guidance for now. The company cites “higher levels of volatility” for this. For its current fiscal year, the company is sticking to its forecast for sales to grow by mid-single-digits year-over-year. This would be in line with analyst expectations of a 5.3% growth. In closing, Nike notes that it is leaning on its “deep consumer connections, compelling product innovation, and an expanding digital advantage,” to weather future volatility.
Lockheed Martin Leads Defense Sector Following Post-Cowen Update Rally
Elsewhere, defense stocks like Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) appear to be another prominent section of the stock market now. Overall, this is understandable with the level of geopolitical tensions in the world today. In particular, Lockheed Martin (LMT) seems to be leading the pack in terms of stock market gains this week. For starters, LMT is a major name in the global aerospace, arms, and defense industries worldwide today. Throughout its massive network of operations, the company focuses on designing, developing, and manufacturing advanced tech systems for these markets.
More importantly, LMT stock is currently trading higher by over 20% year-to-date. The most recent catalyst for this growth would be an update from analysts over at Cowen (NASDAQ: COWN). To point out, analysts Cai Von Rumohr raised his price target for LMT stock yesterday. Rumohr’s currently has a price target of $435 on the stock, an 11.5% increase over his previous forecast of $390. As a result of all this, the company’s shares are now trading above the $435 mark today.
Explaining the reason for this rosy update is Rumohr himself. The analyst argues that ongoing conflicts are generating greater support for higher defense spending. Accordingly, he cites the U.S. and Europe being key markets to consider on this front. Both of which already account for about 60% of LMT’s total sales. With all this in mind, investors looking for the best stocks to buy during the war could be eyeing LMT stock.
Fertilizer Stocks Set Record Highs As Global Supply Concerns Persist
In other news, some of the biggest fertilizer suppliers in the market now are also on the rise. Similar to defense stocks, fertilizer stocks are gaining towards newer heights as demand for their services soars amidst the current war. For the uninitiated, both Russia and Ukraine are among the largest exporters of major fertilizers in the world. As you can imagine, with the war and a flurry of sanctions in play, both of these suppliers are currently out of the picture. Accordingly, with this possibly causing supply shortages, investors are now turning to the top fertilizer stocks around.
Evidently, Nutrien (NYSE: NTR), Mosaic (NYSE: MOS), and CF Industries (NYSE: CF) are all trading at record levels now. At the same time, other names like CVR Partners (NYSE: UAN) and Intrepid Potash (NYSE: IPI) soared by over 9% and 21% respectively yesterday. To add some perspective to the current situation, Russia exports about 31% of the world’s urea and ammonium nitrate fertilizers. If this wasn’t enough, there are also ongoing labor strikes going on at the Canadian Pacific Railway. With all these factors weighing in on the global fertilizer trade, supplies remain short while prices continue to rise.
Ford F-150 Lightning Boasts 320-Mile Range, Beating Rivian Pickups
On the electric vehicle (EV) front, things continue to heat up as well. This is apparent from Ford’s (NYSE: F) latest update on its F-150 Lightning pickup truck. According to Ford, its upcoming EV will have an electric range of up to 320 miles from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) estimates. Notably, this top range from Ford’s all-electric pickup exceeds the company’s initial estimates. Additionally, it also tops the 314-mile range of Rivian’s (NASDAQ: RIVN) R1T electric pickup.
Sure, this may fall just shy of General Motors (NYSE: GM) GMC Hummer Edition 1 pickup with a 329-mile range. However, it is no simple feat nonetheless. Ideally, this news will serve to further hype up the arrival of Ford’s F-150 Lightning trucks. The likes of which Ford will start serial producing soon. As it stands, the company expects the first deliveries to commence this spring. With all this excitement in the EV space now, investors may want to keep an eye on the top EV stocks today.