Stock Market Futures Moving Sideways Ahead Of Weekly Jobless Claims Data

Stock market futures are mostly flat on early morning trading on Thursday this week. This comes after yesterday’s decline following the release of the latest Fed meeting minutes, and things are looking hawkish. Simply put, the Federal Reserve is ramping up its approach to soaring inflation with faster interest rate hikes. Because of this, investors are, understandably, spooked and are looking to trim their riskier holdings. Accordingly, this would involve stocks, to some degree.

While investors consider their options for 2022, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) CIO of Wealth & Investment Darrell Cronk recently provided some insight. He says, “We actually like tech for all of 2022 in our outlook, but there’s no doubt that tech is going to take it on the chin when the yield curve does what it does.” He continues, “[The response to] Fed meeting minutes suggests that long-duration assets like tech or REITs that are interest-rate sensitive will really come under pressure in moments when you believe the Fed is going to take a more hawkish stance.” As of 5:50 a.m. ET, the Dow and S&P 500 futures are rising by 0.25% and 0.12% respectively, while Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.12%.

GM Unveils Self-Driving Cadillac Concept Car

General Motors (NYSE: GM) seems to be looking towards expanding its horizons given its latest reveal at CES 2022. Yesterday, the automotive titan unveiled a new personal self-driving electric vehicle (EV) concept car. In essence, this is where an EV meets the cutting-edge tech behind autonomous vehicles (AVs). The EV/AV concept car is currently under GM’s luxury car brand Cadillac. Now, the InnerSpace is a two-passenger car with a polished look. It is also part of Cadillac’s Halo Concept Portfolio. The likes of which debuted last year at CES with urban air mobility vehicles and other AV concept vehicles.

Moreover, GM is also planning to offer personal AV/EV offerings to consumers by the middle of the 2020s. The company aims to accomplish this alongside its subsidiary Cruise, a firm focusing on the development of self-driving car tech. This news comes directly from CEO Mary Barra during GM’s keynote address during the event. She said, “In pursuing multiple paths simultaneously, GM and Cruise are gaining significant technological expertise and experience, and we are working to be the fastest to market with a retail personal autonomous vehicle.

Overall, GM’s current timeline for bringing hybrid AV/EV tech to market is ambitious, to say the least. Sure, it may only have a concept car for now. However, you can’t deny that companies like GM continue to paint an exciting picture for the future of consumer tech. Given this latest development, I could see GM stock gaining attention in the stock market today.

GM stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Hasbro Finds New CEO In Dungeons And Dragons President Chris Cocks

Elsewhere, Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is shaking things up on the executive front. Namely, the company is appointing Chris Cocks, the former lead of its Wizards of the Coast division, as its new CEO. To point out, the division is behind Hasbro’s world-famous tabletop role-playing game franchise, Dungeons, and Dragons. The franchise has and continues to flourish as consumers turn to the game as stay-at-home entertainment. Now, the current appointment comes three months after the sudden passing of former CEO Brian Goldner. As it stands, Cock will take over the position from interim CEO Rich Stoddart on February 25.

At the same time, Stoddart, who’s been serving Hasbro since 2014, is set to be the chair of the board. Meanwhile, Eric Nyman, a Hasbro veteran, serving 18 years, will take the seat as president and COO of the company. According to Hasbro, Nyman will be directing Hasbro’s general consumer licensing strategies and partnership alongside its global supply chain.

All in all, Stoddart had this to say about incoming CEO Chris Cocks, “A storyteller and gamer at heart, Chris innately understands how to create and nurture brands to drive fan and consumer connection across channels. He is a highly strategic leader, with the vision, skills, and experience to unlock our Brand Blueprint for supercharged growth.” With the significant changes in leadership at Hasbro, investors could be keeping an eye on HAS stock now.

HAS stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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AT&T and ViacomCBS Consider Sale Of Jointly Owned CW Network;

In other entertainment-related news, AT&T (NYSE: T) subsidiary WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC) are currently in talks. The duo are reportedly considering the sale of their jointly owned broadcast network, the CW Network. According to sources from the Wall Street Journal, Nexstar Media (NASDAQ: NXST), the nation’s largest broadcaster, is among the companies interested in the firm. If anything this would make sense as the CW Network mostly caters to teens and young adults. Both of which are growing demographics in the entertainment scene now.

Not to mention, the current news comes as AT&T is still spinning off its WarnerMedia business with Discovery (NASDAQ: DISCA). Just yesterday, CEO John Stankey provided a positive update on the current transaction. Notably, Stankey notes that the deal is likely to close in about three months. Safe to say, things seem to be going according to plan. Additionally, AT&T also provided an update on its HBO Max streaming service. The firm ended 2021 with 73.8 million subscribers, well beyond targets for the year. For the most part, things do not seem to be slowing down in the world of video streaming and entertainment this year.

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Bitcoin Slumps Under $44,000 Mark As Fed Looks To Accelerate Rate Hikes

Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s largest cryptocurrency is hitting another slump. The digital currency has and continues to decline this year as investors consider the latest meeting minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee. Namely, Federal Reserve policymakers are now looking to faster interest rate hikes. This would make sense given the current pace of the economic recovery. As a result, investors seem to be turning towards fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar instead of Bitcoin.

In fact, this seems to be impacting global crypto markets as well. Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), and Ripple (XRP) all remain on the decline. Commenting on the overall movement in Bitcoin now is Exante Data founder Jens Nordvig. He argues, “There was a time when crypto lived entirely in its own world, and was uncorrelated to macro assets. But those days are gone. Bitcoin not loving a hawkish Fed today, for example. And it makes sense. Institutional involvement up, correlation to broader markets up.” Given all of this, the possibility of interest rate hikes seems to have investors reconsidering their risk appetite and cryptos are taking the hit for it.

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