Stock Market Futures Gain As Fed Moves To Speed Up Its Taper Plans

Stock market futures are on the rise in early morning trading today. By and large, investors appear to be digesting the latest comments from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting. In essence, the Fed is pulling back its pandemic-era easy-money policies at a faster rate. Starting in January, the central bank will be buying $60 billion of bonds each month, half of what it was buying before the recent November taper. Subsequently, the Fed is expecting interest rates to begin rising in the late winter or early spring.

How would all this correlate to the current movement in markets might you ask? Well, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics recently weighed in on the matter. He said, “The upshot of these new forecasts is that the Fed has moved into line with market thinking.” The real question now, according to Shepherdson, is when the first interest rate hike will exactly come about. He continued, “We think this will delay the first hike until May, with the next moves in September and December.” The analyst cited the Omicron variant as a possible reason for the gap. Nevertheless, as investors look to jump on the current opportunities in the stock market, companies continue to press on. As of 6:57 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.71%, 0.81%, and 0.92% respectively.

Reddit Looking To Go Public After Confidential Filing

Reddit, the home of the meme stock frenzy this year, is reportedly looking to go public. The company revealed yesterday that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement with the SEC, looking to go public. By doing so, the company is essentially placing a tight lid on its IPO efforts. In detail, Reddit is not currently revealing the number of shares nor the price range for its listing. Aside from its role in the meme stock trade this year, it would not surprise me if investors knew little much else about Reddit.

To begin with, the social media company was founded in 2005 and has quite an interesting pathway leading up to its current status. In 2006, Reddit was acquired by Conde Nast Publications until 2011. After that point, it has been and still is an independent subsidiary. Since then, Reddit has been hard at work raising funds from venture capital firms. The latest round of which helped the company raise a whopping $700 million back in August 2021. As a result, the company currently sits at an estimated valuation of over $10 billion.

Not to mention, Reddit also noted during its latest round of funding that its advertising revenue is growing fast. For reference, the company raked in a total advertising revenue of $100 million during the second quarter, a massive 192% year-over-year surge. Given all of this, investors may be keen on learning more about the social media platform in the stock market today.

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Neogen CEO On Deal To Merge With 3M’s Food-Safety Unit

In other news, Neogen (NASDAQ: NEOG), a food safety firm, seems to be optimistic about its latest move. This is apparent as CEO John Adent highlighted the company’s latest merger plans in an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer yesterday. To elaborate, Adent talked about Neogen’s ongoing merger with 3M’s (NYSE: MMM) food safety division. He noted that this “doubles the size” of Neogen’s business, allowing the company to reach a wider range of customers more frequently. Furthermore, Adent also said that 3M’s operations will serve to bolster Neogen’s data analytics and blockchain solutions. The likes of which he argued “increases the efficiency, traceability and enhances the food-safety protocols for customers”.

Given the scale of 3M’s industrial operations, this merger appears to be a major win for Neogen. In particular, a key aspect of the merger to consider is the possible improvements to Neogen’s blockchain operations. While most may know the tech for its role in facilitating cryptocurrencies, the company uses it in food-safety tracking. The CEO explained, “When you go to the store and buy one of our customers’ steaks and you take it home, if you send me a sample, I’m going to be able to tell you where that animal lived, what that animal ate, all the inputs into that animal, every single stop along the way until it got to your dinner plate.

Upon completion of the deal, John Adent will head the combined company that has an enterprise value of about $9.3 billion. By current estimates, all will be done and dusted by the third quarter of 2022. With that said, I could see investors eyeing NEOG stock today.

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Visa Reveals $12 Billion Share Repurchase Plan

Meanwhile, Visa (NYSE: V) seems to be kicking into high gear as well. For the most part, this seems to be the case from its recent filing with the SEC. Namely, the fintech giant recently authorized a new $12 billion share repurchase program. This would bring its funds available for future share repurchases to a whopping $13.2 billion. On top of all that, the current authorizations have no expiration date. All in all, the company appears confident about its future growth prospects. Given its major presence in the global fintech industry, I can understand why.

At the same time, the company also received a boost on the operational front as well. Simplex, a subsidiary of private banking firm Nuvei (NASDAQ: NVEI) launched its branded Visa debit cards. As a result, Simplex’s partners in the European Economic Area and the U.K. now have access to Visa debit cards. Also, Nuvei’s Simplex Banking solution helps simplify the fiat-to-crypto process for cardholders looking to spend funds from their crypto sales. With Visa seemingly firing on all cylinders now, V stock could be worth nothing now.

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Earnings To Note In The Stock Market Today

Aside from all this news, there are also major names reporting earnings in the stock market today. In the pre-market session, we have tech names such as Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE), Accenture (NYSE: ACN), and Jabil (NYSE: JBL) on tap. Alternatively, those eyeing post-market earnings can consider FedEx (NYSE: FDX), Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ: RIVN) Steelcase (NYSE: SCS), Quanex (NYSE: NX), and Expensify (NASDAQ: EXFY). From the Fed’s latest tapering plans to IPOs and mergers, investors have plenty to digest in the stock market today.

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