Stock Market Futures Gain As Consumer Spending Comes Into Focus

U.S. stock futures are edging higher on Monday morning, pointing to stocks opening higher to start the week. This week, consumers and their spending habits will most likely be the main topic of concern. For the most part, this would be thanks to the upcoming release of major retailer earnings and October’s retail sales figures. Among the retail giants reporting quarterly figures later this week would be Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Target (NYSE: TGT), and Home Depot (NYSE: HD). Regarding retail sales, we could also look towards China’s October figures that reportedly rose by 4.9% year-over-year, smashing estimates of 3.5%. If this is any indication of the continued broad-based strength in consumer spending, investors may want to take note.

In fact, even with persisting inflation concerns, JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) sees potential in the current market. Particularly, JPMorgan Asset Management global market strategist Gabriela Santos highlighted this. She said, “Inflation should moderate. We’re talking about settling at 2%, 2.5% over the course of the next 12 months.” Additionally, Santos also adds that the firm characterizes all this “not as stagflation, but as reflation. And that difference is, reflation is actually quite good for earnings growth and quite good for the stock market, especially cyclical sectors.

Separately, President Joe Biden will host a bipartisan bill signing ceremony for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. As of 6:36 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.31%, 0.22%, and 1.28% respectively.

American Tower Eyeing $10 Billion Acquisition Of CoreSite

American Tower (NYSE: AMT) seems to be starting off this week in the limelight thanks to news of its latest move. Namely, sources from Bloomberg point towards the firm eyeing a $10 billion acquisition of CoreSite (NYSE: COR), a data-center real estate investment trust (REIT). Before going into the details, here is a quick intro regarding AMT. It is a REIT that focuses on wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure. Also, AMT is among the largest global REITs with a portfolio spanning 219,000 communications sites.

Back to today’s news, the company could be eyeing the increasingly relevant cloud computing industry with this move. After all, CoreSite’s main market would consist of tech firms that work with massive amounts of data. In theory, this acquisition could serve to provide scale, pricing power, and increased market penetration for AMT. To date, CoreSite currently owns and operates 24 data centers located throughout key urban hubs. The likes of which include but are not limited to Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. By and large, this move echoes the $6.7 billion acquisition of data-center operator QTS Realty Trust made by Blackstone (NYSE: BX) back in June. With all that said, I could see investors watching AMT stock in the stock market today.

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Airbus Receives First Major Aircraft Order Since Pandemic Outbreak

Elsewhere, the global airline industry continues to make headway as eager consumers book their holiday flights. So much so that Airbus (OTCMKTS: EADSY), a leading name in the aircraft industry, received a huge order for aircraft over the weekend. According to the company, the Indigo Partners portfolio of airlines is making an order for 255 A321neo Family aircraft. With Airbus being the largest aeronautics and space company in Europe, this would be a positive sign for the recovering industry.

Overall, Airbus COO Christian Scherer said, “We are happy to further expand our relationship with our great Indigo Partners’ airlines Wizz, Frontier, Volaris, and JetSMART who have acted fast and decisively over the last few months to position themselves for this landmark order as the effect of the pandemic recedes and the world wants more sustainable flying.” All of this would serve to reaffirm Boeing’s (NYSE: BA) recent prediction suggesting that demand for new aircraft will swell over the next two decades.

As such, it would not surprise me to see investors eyeing aircraft manufacturers and the leading airline operators in the stock market now. This could especially be the case as the world considers living with the possible Covid-19 endemic in the long run.

[Read More] 5 Metaverse Stocks To Watch In November 2021

Bitcoin Sees First Massive Upgrade In Four Years

In other news, Bitcoin (BTC) appears to be getting a shiny new coat of paint. Notably, the leading cryptocurrency is receiving its first major upgrade in four years in the form of Taproot. In detail, the Taproot upgrade brings greater transaction privacy and efficiency to the process of trading Bitcoin. Not to mention, it could also see the introduction of smart contracts into the affair. Should this be the case, crypto traders could potentially eliminate the need for middlemen during transactions. Most would argue that this update comes at a crucial time for the crypto world in general.

By introducing tighter security protocols into the mix, it could calm concerns around the viability of Bitcoin as a currency. This could ring true given the recent scandal with the Squid Game cryptocurrency inspired by the Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) series. According to Alyse Killeen, founder of Bitcoin-focused venture firm Stillmark, the practical implications of Taproot are immense. Killeen noted, “Taproot matters, because it opens a breadth of opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in expanding bitcoin’s utility.” Accordingly, we could be looking at an exciting week ahead for Bitcoin and other crypto-related stocks.

Earnings To Note In The Stock Market Today

Even with all of this news, investors also have plenty of earnings to look forward to today as well. This is apparent in both the pre-market and post-market hours. For the earlier, we have Tyson (NYSE: TSN), FreightCar America (NASDAQ: RAIL), and Warner Music Group (NASDAQ: WMG) among others.

Alternatively, there are also several notable names posting their latest quarterly results after the closing bell. They are Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID), Ammo Inc. (NASDAQ: POWW), Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP), and Desktop Metal (NYSE: DM). Safe to say, there are plenty of moving parts to consider in the stock market today. With that said, investors may be staying on their toes in the week ahead.

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