Stock Market Futures Sink As 10-Year Treasury Yield Hits 2-Year High
Stock market futures are on the decline coming into the current four-day trading week. This seems to be the case as the first batch of somewhat lackluster earnings figures from big banks has investors reconsidering their current positions. At the same time, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield surged to its highest point in two years earlier today. To specify, it gained by 5 basis points to 1.8305%. In theory, this could be signs of investors going on the defensive ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening plans.
If anything, even market analysts are providing more cautious outlooks now. Notably, Ed Clissold, chief U.S. strategist at Ned Davis says, “We’ll have to see if earnings season comes to the rescue once again.” Following that, Clissold also adds, “Still, earnings revisions over the past several weeks weren’t as strong as other pre-announcement periods last year, which leads us to believe that we may not get those fantastic beat rates.”
Alongside all of this, there is also plenty of stock market news for investors to digest today as well. As of 7:22 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.62%, 0.95%, and 1.52% respectively.
Walmart Eyes Metaverse With Cryptocurrency NFT Patent Filings
Over the weekend, retail giant Walmart (NYSE: WMT) made headlines with its latest patent filings. According to filings from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company is making its advance into the metaverse. In detail, Walmart is filing for patents to create a cryptocurrency and for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Additionally, providing more insight into this in a statement is Walmart itself. The company said, “We are testing new ideas all the time.” This could be suggesting that while things may not be set in stone, it is something Walmart is looking into.
If anything, this would be in line with what CFO Brett Biggs highlighted last month. Namely, Biggs notes that Walmart is open to the idea of accepting cryptocurrencies despite the lack of demand currently. On top of that, there is also the recent test run of Coinstar kiosks at several Walmart locations. For those unfamiliar, these kiosks let Walmart customers purchase Bitcoin.
All in all, I could understand if investors are hyped about WMT stock now because of this. With Walmart seemingly eyeing metaverse-related markets now, we could be looking at exciting times ahead for the company. Whether or not this can translate to meaningful long-term gains remains to be seen.
Ralph Lauren CEO Patrice Louvet On Using The Metaverse To Reach Younger Shoppers
In other metaverse news, Patrice Louvet, the CEO of Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) also seems bullish on the concept. Just yesterday, Louvet revealed that the fashion firm is turning towards the metaverse to appeal to younger audiences. Louvet said, “One of our strategies is to win over a new generation and the new generation is there. So we have to be there.” All of this comes from the National Retail Federation’s annual conference. For the most part, Ralph Lauren is joining its retail peers in exploring this dimension of the retail space now.
Diving further, Louvet also talked about Ralph Lauren’s current ventures in the space. Now, the company is actively participating in the metaverse platform Zepeto and is working with Roblox (NYSE: RBLX). For starters, Zepeto is a social media app that allows users to create 3D virtual avatars. Across its first few weeks on the platform, Ralph Lauren has already sold over 100,000 units of virtual clothing. Through the latter agreement, Roblox players can now shop for and dress up their avatars in Ralph Lauren apparel. Moreover, the CEO also adds that while Ralph Lauren has yet to sell NFTs, it is considering the possible benefits as well. For investors eyeing the top metaverse stocks in the market now, RL stock could be another one to watch.
Ford And Stripe Team Up On E-Commerce Multi-Year E-Commerce Deal
Elsewhere, Ford (NYSE: F) is looking to expand its e-commerce operations. This is evident from its latest partnership with the online payments processor Stripe. Through a five-year deal, Ford’s financial services arm will employ Stripe’s tech to process digital payments. This will apply to Ford’s markets across the North American and European regions. In particular, Stripe will now be processing Ford’s consumer vehicle orders and reservations. Also, this will apply to any financing options involving bundles. On top of that, Ford is employing Stripe to direct customers’ payments from its website to dealer locations closest to them.
Commenting on the current deal is Ford Motor Credit’s CEO Marion Harris. Harris highlighted, “We are making strategic decisions about where to bring in providers with robust expertise and where to build the differentiated, always-on experiences our customers will value.” By the company’s estimates, its rollout of Stripe’s services will begin by the second half of 2022. Overall, with more consumers paying for purchases online, this step makes sense for Ford. In doing so, the company would be providing yet another level of convenience for its customers amidst the current pandemic.
Not to mention, all this could serve to further bolster Ford’s position in the booming electric vehicle-focused automotive market now. Just last week, the firm topped the $100 billion market cap mark for the first time. The real question now is whether it can continue to turn investors’ attention to F stock.
Amazon To Continue Accepting Visa Credit Cards In U.K. Operations
Visa (NYSE: V) is on the receiving end of some good news this week. Evidently, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is pulling back its plans to stop accepting Visa’s credit cards in the U.K. This comes from a statement released by Amazon yesterday. The spokesperson said, “We are working closely with Visa on a potential solution that will enable customers to continue using their Visa credit cards on Amazon.co.uk.” Because of all this, Amazon customers in the U.K. will still be able to use their Visa cards beyond January 19.
According to David Ritter, a financial services strategist at IT firm CI&T, the current move by Amazon is not that surprising. He notes that Amazon has leverage but highlights that there is “no way it won’t accept Visa cards.” After all, like it or not, shoppers’ Visa credit cards are tightly linked to digital wallets and related services. This includes Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) Apple Pay, Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google Pay, and PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) alongside Amazon’s Prime subscription. With this alliance back on somewhat solid ground, I could see investors eyeing V stock in the stock market today.
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