Stock Market Futures Extend Losses On Growing Inflation Concerns
U.S. stock futures are still in the red in early morning trading on Tuesday this week. On top of geopolitical concerns, another elephant in the room now for investors would be inflation. As Thursday’s consumer price index (CPI) looms closer, most would be wondering what game plan the Fed has to address inflation. More importantly, some are also arguing that the latest CPI update could also show early impacts to prices from the Russia-Ukraine war. The likes of which have and continue to impact global economies now.
Commenting on all this is Nathan Sheets, global chief economist over at Citigroup (NYSE: C). He starts by saying, “As prices rise, you’re on the demand curve, and people demand less. I think what the Fed is hoping is that there are some other channels in the global economy that will manifest themselves and help bring inflation down.” In turn, Sheets notes that “further progress” on 1) supply chain disruptions, 2) commodity price reduction, and 3) pandemic management efforts could be worth considering here.
Elaborating on the third factor, the strategist posits that “it will allow a rebalancing from this red-hot, commodity-intensive goods sector more into the services sector and allow some of these goods prices that have been so elevated and rising quickly [to] come off the boil a bit.” While it remains to be seen how the central bank will respond to all this, there remains plenty of stock market news to consider today as well. As of 5:23 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.16%, 0.07%, and 0.21% respectively.
U.S. Energy Giants See Multi-Year Highs As Markets Dive
While the broader stock market continues to feel the burn from general headwinds, energy stocks continue to shine. In particular, some of the biggest names in the U.S. market are seeing a surge in their share prices. Namely, the likes of Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB), Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), and Baker Hughes (NASDAQ: BKR). The trio is currently looking at gains of 8.1%, 6.2%, and 4.7% respectively throughout yesterday’s trading session. Accordingly, all of these firms’ shares are currently trading above pre-pandemic levels. It seems that the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to fuel investor interests in oil and gas companies.
As you can imagine, another key factor behind the momentum in energy stocks now is rising oil prices. Day in and out this topic continues to steal the headlines across the stock market as global supply concerns grow. This follows mentions of a potential U.S.-Europe ban on Russian oil imports alongside Russia’s plans to self-sanction. Both of which would be adding pressure on the world’s oil reserves to perform in the long run. In fact, following a wild overnight session, oil prices soared to their highest levels in over 13 years. During the session, both Brent crude and WTI crude hit highs of $139.13 per barrel and $130.50 per barrel respectively.
In the larger scheme of things, global oil prices are now up by a whopping 60% year-to-date. Alongside this is fears over deceleration in global economic growth and stagflation. Nevertheless, while situations continue to unfold, investors may want to consider having some top oil stocks on their watchlists now.
Shake Shack Teams Up With Block To Host Bitcoin Reward Program
Elsewhere, Shake Shack (NYSE: SHAK), a fast-casual restaurant chain operator, is making plays as well. In detail, the company is teaming up with Block (NYSE: SQ) to offer diners a side of crypto with their meals. Through the current partnership, Shake Shack is offering customers a 15% Bitcoin reward for purchases. This offer only applies to consumers who use Block’s Cash Card, a debit card linked to its Cash App. The current promotion will last through mid-March.
According to chief marketing officer Jay Livingston, the company is doing this to appeal to younger customers. The likes of which it hopes will help provide insight into client demand for the ability to pay for orders with crypto at Shake Shack. For one thing, it would not be the only fast food firm to dip its toes into blockchain tech. Among the more notable names doing this now would be McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), making a non-fungible token out of the McRib. Additionally, Restaurant Brands International’s (NYSE: QSR) Burger King also facilitated a promotion where customers stood a chance to win one Bitcoin last year. As Shake Shack continues to adapt to changing fintech landscapes, SHAK stock could gain attention.
Mandiant In The Spotlight Again On Word Of Potential Google Acquisition
Even as the tech-heavy Nasdaq index is reeling from recent losses, there is no shortage of excitement in the tech space. Among the latest head-turners in the tech world would be Mandiant (NASDAQ: MNDT), a cybersecurity firm. In brief, the current hype around Mandiant is thanks to reports of Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google being keen to acquire it. This comes as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) reportedly walked away from a potential acquisition of Mandiant.
According to the article from The Information, Google is looking to bolster its cloud security offerings by doing so. Naturally, this would serve to help it square up to Google Cloud’s key competitors. Overall, some would argue that this news serves as another boost for Mandiant now. After all, with initial talks about cyber attacks between nations recently, its services would be in demand. Not forgetting, Mandiant is also the firm that initially spotted the massive SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) hack last year. As such, investors may want to keep an eye on MNDT stock at today’s market open.
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MongoDB Earnings Preview
In other news, MongoDB (NASDAQ: MDB) is set to post its fourth fiscal quarter earnings after today’s closing bell. Diving in, Wall Street is currently expecting MongoDB to post revenue of about $243 million alongside a loss of $0.21 per share. Should this be the case, it would add up to year-over-year improvements of 42% and 36% respectively. Weighing in on MongoDB’s current prospects is Brian White, an analyst from investment firm Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co.
According to White, cloud trends remain strong even now amidst all the market headwinds. As companies continue to turn towards cloud-based software firms, the analyst argues that MongoDB will likely meet estimates. Moreover, he also argues, “Given the strong results from data-related software vendors and cloud-focused players this earnings season, we believe the Street’s estimates are overly conservative.”
All in all, analysts appear to be optimistic about MongoDB’s ability to perform later today. If anything, investors could also be tuning in closely to MDB stock at the same time. Recall the company’s previous quarterly financial update. Following beats on the earnings and revenue fronts, MongoDB’s shares gained by as much as 18% during that day’s extended trading. Furthermore, the company’s Atlas cloud database services were among the standout divisions with revenue growth of 84% year-over-year. After considering all of this, it would not surprise me to see MDB stock in focus today.