Stock Market Futures Steady After Another Green Day For Stocks

Stock market futures are edging up today following a session where stocks climbed marginally higher. For some, this slight movement in markets could be a welcomed sign. Before the release of December’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures yesterday, there were some bouts of volatility in the stock market. Following the results, things appear to be relatively calm. Given that the CPI reading is within economists’ estimates, this is understandable. Nevertheless, investors still have interest rate hikes to consider this year as inflation remains at highs last seen decades ago. 

Among the economists commenting on this is Christian Scherrmann from the DWS Group U.S. He posits, “Persistent high inflation rates together with the recent strong labor market data reinforce the hawkish narrative provided by the Fed.” Furthermore, Scherrmann adds, “Looking ahead, Omicron looks set to dictate the fate of the economy in January and maybe in February, but current indications on how the new variant plays out suggest that the Fed will remain on track to reduce its accommodative monetary policy, most likely as early as in March this year, by hiking rates for the first time since December 2018.

As of 7:36 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.12%, 0.07%, and 0.10% respectively.

TSM Reports Solid Fourth Quarter Earnings Figures

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE: TSM) or TSM for short, is among the notable names reporting earnings today. Earlier today, the firm announced its fourth-quarter results. In detail, TSM raked in an earnings per share (EPS) of about $1.15 for the quarter. This marks a respectable 16.4% increase year-over-year. Additionally, the company also reported a net income of about $6.01 billion on revenue of $15.84 billion. Year-over-year, this translates to gains of 16.4% and 21.2% respectively.

On top of that, the company also provided a breakdown of its revenue streams as well. Throughout the fourth quarter, TSM’s 5-nanometer chips, and 7-nanometer chips accounted for 23% and 27% of total wafer revenue respectively. Also, “advanced technologies” defined as 7-nanometer and more advanced tech, made up the remaining 50%. Overall, the company seems to be going from strength to strength as it sees steady demand for semiconductor chips. Considering the ongoing supply shortages and TSM’s leading position in the industry, this could persist. As a result of all this, investors may want to keep an eye on TSM stock in the stock market today.

TSM Stock
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Tesla Co-Founder JB Straubel Sees EV Sales Taking Off Through 2025

Speaking of semiconductors, a booming market that relies on these chips now would be the electric vehicle (EV) industry. In fact, providing his outlook on EV sales is Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) co-founder JB Straudel. Namely, Straudel says that consumer demand for EVs has and continues to pick up. So much so that he is questioning industry estimates of EVs accounting for only 12.7% of all U.S. auto sales by 2025. Straubel argues, “If you look at how fast adoption is growing in parts of Europe and other parts of the world, I think it points to a path of potentially even higher percentages than that by mid-decade.” With all this momentum, the top EV stocks in the market could be more appealing to investors now.

At the same time, it is also important to note that Straubel is currently the CEO of a battery-recycling firm, Redwood Materials. This is relevant to the current update from him as well. Notably, Redwood Materials is allocating $1 billion towards building a new EV battery recycling plant in Nevada. The company cites this very demand as a key reason behind the current facility. Subsequently, Redwood will employ the factory to produce necessary materials used at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada.

BofA Launches Forecasting Tool To Help Clients Manage Cash Flow

In other news, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), or BofA for short, now offers a forecasting tool for both its corporate and commercial clients. The tool in question is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered forecasting solution. Ideally, the tool serves to help BofA customers better manage their cash flows. To highlight, the current news comes from talks between executives and Bloomberg. More importantly, BofA clients will need to be using the bank’s CashPro app to benefit from this new service. In turn, the app gathers data and predicts future cash positions. This will apply to a client’s bank accounts across the board through AI.

For one thing, such a tool would be relevant given the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates this year. CashPro Global Product Head Tom Durkin also weighs in on this. He says, “We’re going into a raising-rate environment, so you need an effective tool that sets your cash position.” Not to mention, the company is also planning to reduce overdraft fees and eliminate non-sufficient fund fees. BofA plans to implement these changes to its core services in May 2022. All in all, the bank seems to be aggressively optimizing its operations amidst rising competition and challenging times. The question now is whether or not all this is enough to make BAC stock stand out among its peers.

BAC stock
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Lithium Mining Stocks Gain Amidst Supply Shortages And Increasing Government And Analyst Support

Elsewhere, companies in the lithium mining space are gaining in the stock market now. For the most part, this could be thanks to rising lithium prices amidst dwindling supplies. To explain, the current scarcity is likely from the rising use of lithium as a core component in EV batteries. In a time where the shift towards clean energy resources is coming hard and fast, this is understandable. Evidently, the global price for lithium almost quadrupled throughout 2021.

This year, the price for this increasingly precious commodity continues to rise. As of yesterday, the price per ton of lithium carbonate in China is now at a record high of $49,600. Because of all this, lithium stocks such as Sociedad Quimica (NYSE: SQM) and Lithium Americas (NYSE: LAC) are in the green this week. Moreover, there is no shortage of exciting news from these two firms as well.

On one hand, SQM recently won a lithium development contract with the Chilean government. On the other hand, Lithium Americas received rosy analyst updates from Cowen (NASDAQ: COWN), Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB), and Piper Sandler (NYSE: PIPR) this week. In particular, Piper Sandler notes that the company “holds the keys to a multitude of game-changing catalysts”. As such, it would not surprise me to see investors turning their radars to lithium mining stocks now.


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