Stocks Gain Ground After Better-Than-Expected Initial Jobless Claims Report

Initial Jobless Claims Declined To 900,000

The U.S. has just released Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Jobless Claims reports.

Initial Jobless Claims report indicated that 900,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in a week. Analysts expected Initial Jobless Claims of 910,000. Meanwhile, Continuing Jobless Claims declined from 5.18 million to 5.05 million while analysts expected that they would increase to 5.4 million.

Job market reports exceeded analyst expectations and provided additional support to S&P 500 futures which are gaining ground in premarket trading. Most likely, traders will remain focused on the upcoming stimulus package, and stocks will have a good chance to test new highs during today’s trading session.

Housing Starts Increased By 5.8% In December

In addition to the job market data, traders have a chance to take a look at Housing Starts and Building Permits reports for December.

Building Permits grew by 4.5% month-over-month compared to analyst forecast which called for growth of just 0.1%. Housing Starts increased by 5.8% compared to analyst forecast of just 0.2%.

The housing market continues to show strength, supported by low interest rates and unprecedented stimulus. The continued growth of the housing market may provide additional support for stocks.

Crude Inventories Unexpectedly Increase

Oil faced significant resistance near multi-month highs at $53.90 and pulled back after API Crude Oil Stock Change report indicated that crude inventories increased by 2.6 million barrels while analysts expected that they would decline by 0.3 million barrels.

Traders will likely wait for the confirmation of this data from EIA, whose Weekly Petroleum Status Report will be published on Friday. The oil market remains in a bullish mode as traders expect that the new U.S. stimulus package will boost demand for oil, but a sudden increase in inventory levels may hurt momentum in the near term if EIA report shows a similar picture.

At this point, the market looks ready to ignore API data, and oil-related stocks are set to start the trading session on a strong note.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

An Economic Recovery in the Waiting. COVID-19 Vaccination Rates Suggest a Longer Wait for Some

Economic Recovery

Following the 2nd quarter economic meltdown of 2020, major economies rebounded in the 3rd quarter.

A reopening of borders and businesses spurred the recovery. Many hoped that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic had passed.

Going through the 4th quarter, however, conditions deteriorated rapidly once more.

The number of COVID-19 cases soared across the U.S, Europe, and beyond.

Amidst the doom and gloom, the Chinese economy provided a glimmer of hope.

Last week, 4th quarter GDP numbers impressed. While a spike in new COVID-19 cases in China muted the impact of the stats on riskier assets but the recovery was plane to see.

Other economies, have been less fortunate.

Those most at risk of an extended period of contraction are economies most dependent upon consumption and tourism.

For now, the global financial markets appear to be signaling a more uniform global economic recovery through 2021.

The latest COVID-19 numbers, vaccination rates, and containment measures paint a different picture, however.

The Economic Calendar

Next week, 4th quarter GDP figures are due out of the U.S, Germany, and France to name but a few.

Looking at the forecasts, the U.S economy is projected to grow by 4.4% in the 4th quarter.

It’s a different story for France and Germany, however.

Extended lockdown periods through late 2020 will likely lead to another sizeable quarterly contraction.

Economists have forecasted the French economy to contract by 3.2% and Germany’s by 4.6%.

Relative to the 2nd quarter of 2020, the contractions are relatively mild. By historical standards, however, these are quite dire forecasts.

Vaccinations Rates

According to the Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker, the U.S vaccination rate was 5.23 doses per 100 people as at 20th January.

With President Biden’s aim of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, this is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks. The numbers have already picked up from quite dire levels just last week. As at 10th January, the U.S had had a vaccination rate of just 2.44 doses per 100 people.

While other countries face supply issues, this has not been the case for the U.S. To put it into perspective, 48% of shots distributed to states in the U.S have been administered. In numeric terms, 17.18 million doses have been administered.

Much will now depend on whether the U.S President meets his 100 million target or needs to reintroduce lockdown measures.

At the time of writing, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S sits at 24,998,975, with the total number of deaths hitting 415,894.

Any acceleration in new cases and the U.S government may have little choice but to contain the spread. With labor market conditions still in dire straits, this would have painful consequences for the U.S economy.

The only goods news is that the Democrats now control both houses. Delivering fiscal support should be easier. Bringing unemployment back to pre-pandemic levels, however, is likely to be a far more difficult task.

Elsewhere, a number of governments have made strong progress in driving vaccinations. This bodes well for more rapid economic recoveries. These nations are few and far between, however.

Israel continues to lead the charge, with a vaccination rate of 32.56 doses per 100 as at 20th January. The U.A.E remains ranked 2 in terms of vaccination rates. (20.11 doses per 100 as at 19th Jan).

As at the 20th January, the UK is also at the top end of the table, with a vaccination rate of 7.59 doses per 100.

The EU

For the EU, however, the slow authorization of COVID-19 vaccines and apparent bad planning has been reflected in the figures.

EU wide, the vaccination rate stood at just 1.51 doses per 100 people as at 20th January. When considering the fact that the total number of COVID-19 cases is more than 10 million, this remains a concern.

Not only are we likely to see economic divergence globally but also within the EU.

Germany’s vaccination rate stood at 1.56 doses per 100 as at 20th January. By contrast, France’s vaccination rate was just 1.07.

Italy and Spain were amongst leading EU member states with rates of 2.07 and 2.21 doses per 100. These rates are also on the lower end for developed nations, however.

For a full breakdown of vaccination rates by country, please visit Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker page here.

Supply and Demand

Since the approval of vaccines in the U.S, Europe, and beyond, supply has become a focal point.

Back in December, we had highlighted supply as a key consideration as governments procure vaccines.

Some governments have been able to secure enough vaccines to inoculate 100% of their populations.

Others will barely touch the surface and will have to wait.

When considering the vaccination rates today and the need for 2 doses, it could be a long wait.

Some governments will undoubtedly be wanting to avoid going into another winter once this winter season passes.

Until there are more vaccine options and greater supply, however, this remains a credible risk for some.

As things stand, therefore, we continue to see Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca as two key players in the fight against the global pandemic.

Johnson & Johnson is key due to its goal to deliver a single dose vaccine. AstraZeneca remains key due to is affordable and easy to transport vaccine, not to mention manufacturing capabilities.

Government agencies including the EMA will need to authorize the use of these vaccines more hastily to support a speedier economic recovery.

The markets can then begin to look to developing economies that have continued to struggle since the beginning of the pandemic. Failure of the likes of Europe to catch up with the U.S and even the UK, could lead to an economic decoupling.

The Latest COVID-19 Numbers

At the time of writing, there were a total of 97,384,877 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,085,507 related deaths.

By geography, the U.S had reported 24,998,975 cases and 415,894 COVID-19 related deaths.

India reporting 10,611,719 cases, with Brazil reporting 8,639,868 cases.

Sitting behind Russia (3,655,839) remained the UK (3,505,754).

France (2,965,117), Italy (2,414,166), Spain (2,412,318), and Germany (2,090,161) reported a combined 9,881,762 cases.

Looking Ahead

Existing vaccine providers are going to need to materially increase supply in order to support the bullish outlook towards the economic recovery.

Market sensitivity to reports of any supply constraints will likely build in the current quarter. Failure to ramp up vaccination rates coupled with supply constraints would have an even more material impact on risk sentiment. All of this is before considering a continued rise in new cases and further extensions to lockdown measures.

For now, the pressure will be on the likes of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson to deliver.

A marked increase in supply from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. would also be welcome.

At some point, however, the focus may well shift to how well or how badly governments have performed.

United Airlines Shares Slump on Deep Quarterly Loss; Lost $7.1 Billion in 2020

United Airlines reported worse-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter with net loss ballooning to $1.9 billion and to $7.1 billion for the full-year 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions hammered air travel demand, sending its shares down about 3% in extended trading on Wednesday.

Chicago, Illinois-based airline reported fourth-quarter adjusted net loss of $2.1 billion, or a loss of $7 per share. That missed Wall Street’s estimates for a loss of $6.56 per share. The airlines’ reported loss of $7.7 billion for the full-year 2020 and total operating revenue declined 69% to $3.4 billion from the same quarter in 2019.

“Domestic remained the relative source of strength for the airline, as revenues fell 72% compared to international down 83%. The one source of relative strength on the international side was Latin America, which saw revenues decline by just 65% y-o-y as leisure demand to the region has remained strong. Cargo revenue was another source of strength, increasing 77% y-o-y, with other operating revenue declining by 31% y-o-y,” wrote Sheila Kahyaoglu, equity analyst at Jefferies.

The airline which operates a large domestic and international route network spanning cities large and small across the United States and all six continents said over the last three quarters, the company has identified $1.4 billion of annual cost savings and has a path to achieve at least $2.0 billion in structural reductions moving forward.

United Airlines forecasts the first quarter 2021 total operating revenue to be down 65-70% versus the first quarter of 2019. Accelerated distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine may lead to faster improvement, however, the company is not including this potential improvement in its first-quarter 2021 revenue outlook. The airline forecast first-quarter 2021 capacity to be down at least 51%.

United Airlines shares slumped about 3% to $43.97 in extended trading on Wednesday; the stock plunged 50% in 2020.

Analyst Comments

“United reported 4Q20 adjusted EPS slightly below our and Street expectations. Near term revenue trends are slightly worse than expected, but likely not a major focus for investors. Management targeted +$2 Bn in annual costs savings that should allow them to exceed2019 EBITDA margins by 2023. Many will look for comments on summer bookings as a snapback in 2H21 travel is expected,” said Helane Becker, equity analyst at Cowen and company.

“Trading activity will likely hinge on management comments about summer bookings and if they’ve seen any increased activity to support the idea of pent-up demand. The idea of a strong 2H21 will be dictated by vaccine distribution, something the Biden administration should push aggressively early in his administration.”

United Airlines Stock Price Forecast

Thirteen analysts who offered stock ratings for United Airlines in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $48.91 with a high forecast of $62.00 and a low forecast of $32.00.

The average price target represents an 8.26% increase from the last price of $45.18. From those 13 analysts, four rated “Buy”, five rated “Hold” and four rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $37 with a high of $79 under a bull scenario and $21 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Underweight” rating on the airline holding company’s stock.

“Why Underweight? We believe United Airlines (UAL) has the most challenged network of any airline in our coverage based on our path for a COVID-19 recovery and a levered balance sheet, which could limit rebound opportunities. In addition, UAL’s new CEO Scott Kirby (former COO) is very well regarded by investors but investors may wait to see evidence that UAL is indeed focused on cost improvement rather than aggressive growth (at the cost of PRASM) before giving the stock credit,” said Ravi Shanker, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Stifel raised the target price to $47 from $33. Cowen and company upped to outperform from market perform, raising the price objective to $53 from $34. BNP Paribas issued an “underperform” rating and a $32 target price for the company. Citigroup reduced their price target to $43 from $47 and set a “buy” rating.

In addition, Zacks Investment Research downgraded to a “sell” rating from a “hold” and set a $38 price target. Jefferies Financial Group issued a “hold” rating and a $45 price target. At last, Exane BNP Paribas issued an “underperform” rating and a $32 price target for the company.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

European Equities: Economic Data from the Eurozone and the U.S and the ECB in Focus

Economic Calendar:

Thursday, 21st January

ECB Interest Rate Decision (Jan)

ECB Press Conference

Eurozone Consumer Confidence (Jan) Prelim

Friday, 22nd January

French Manufacturing PMI (Jan) Prelim

French Services PMI (Jan) Prelim

German Manufacturing PMI (Jan) Prelim

German Services PMI (Jan) Prelim

Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (Jan) Prelim

Eurozone Markit Composite PMI (Jan) Prelim

Eurozone Services PMI (Jan) Prelim

The Majors

It was a bullish day for the European majors on Wednesday, with the DAX30 rising by 0.77% to lead the way. The EuroStoxx600 and CAC40 ended the day with gains of 0.72% and 0.53% respectively.

Economic data was on the lighter side, leaving the majors in the hands of corporate earnings and Inauguration Day.

With Joe Biden sworn in as U.S President, the markets are expecting plenty of fiscal stimulus to drive a U.S economic recovery.

Coupled with a planned drive to ramp up vaccination rates, the markets bet on a more rapid economic recovery.

Demand for riskier assets was broad-based as a result, also leading to a pullback in the U.S Dollar.

The Stats

It was a busier day on the economic calendar. Economic data included finalized inflation figures for the Eurozone and wholesale inflation figures from Germany.

In December, Germany’s producer price index rose by 0.8%, month-on-month, following a 0.2% increase in November. Economists had forecast a 0.7% rise.

According to Destatis,

  • The producer prices of industrial products were 0.2% higher in December 2020 than in December 2019.
  • Energy prices, however, were on average 0.1% lower than in December 2019.
  • Excluding energy, producer prices were 0.3% higher than in December 2019.

For the Eurozone, consumer prices rose by 0.3% in December, reversing a 0.3% decline from November.

While the annual core rate of inflation held steady at 0.2%, consumer prices fell by a further 0.3%, year-on-year, in December.

According to Eurostat,

  • Annual inflation was stable at -0.3% for a 4th consecutive month in December.
  • A year earlier, the annual rate of inflation had stood at 1.3%.
  • Greece (-2.4%), Slovenia (-1.2%), and Ireland (-1.0%) registered the lowest annual rates.
  • The highest contribution to the annual euro areas inflation came from services (+0.30 percentage points).
  • Food, alcohol & tobacco contributed +0.25 pp.

From the U.S

There was no economic data from the U.S to provide the European majors with direction late in the session.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was a bullish day for the auto sector on Wednesday. Daimler rallied by 3.51%, with BMW and Volkswagen ending the day up by 3.01% and by 3.13% respectively. Continental rose by a more modest 1.82% on the day.

Daimler led the way mid-week as the markets responded to the unveiling of  the latest Mercedes-Benz’s electric compact SUV.

It was a mixed day for the banks, however. Deutsche Bank fell by 0.99%, while Commerzbank rose by 0.93%.

From the CAC, it was a bullish day for the banks. BNP Paribas and Soc Gen gained 0.70% and 0.59% respectively, with Credit Agricole rising by 1.54%.

It was a mixed day for the French auto sector. Peugeot ended the day flat, while Renault gained 1.86% on the day.

Air France-KLM bucked the general trend, falling by 0.86%, while Airbus SE ended the day up by 1.22%.

On the VIX Index

It was a 2nd consecutive day in the red for the VIX on Wednesday, marking the 8th daily loss of the year. Following a 4.52% fall on Tuesday, the VIX slid by 7.14% to end the day at 21.58.

The NASDAQ and the S&P500 rallied by 1.97% and by 1.39% respectively, with the Dow gaining by 0.83%.

A lack of economic data left the markets in the hands of corporate earnings and hopes of sizeable fiscal support from the new U.S administration.

Fresh record highs came as President Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th U.S President.

On the corporate earnings front, Netflix was a front runner off the back of its earnings release, surging by 16.85%.

VIX 210121 Daily Chart

The Day Ahead

It’s a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. Eurozone consumer confidence figures are due out late in the session to provide the European majors with direction.

Ahead of the stats, the ECB is in action this afternoon. With the markets expecting the ECB to stand pat on policy, the press conference will be the key driver.

From the U.S, the weekly jobless claims figures will also influence, though expect a delayed response with the release coinciding with the ECB press conference.

Away from the economic calendar, COVID-19 news, together with updates from Capitol Hill will also influence.

The Futures

In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was up by 18.5 points.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

S&P 500 Price Forecast – Stock Markets Reach All-time Highs Again

The S&P 500 has rallied significantly during the trading session on Wednesday as we continue to see a drive into equities due to the idea of stimulus and of course everything that goes along with that. Ultimately, the stock market has been in an uptrend for ages and I do not see how that changes anytime soon. With this, I think that it is only a matter of time before we would see longer-term traders continue to hang on and newer traders continue to pile in. The consolidation area underneath suggests that we could go as high as 4000, based upon the measured move.

S&P 500 Video 21.01.21

Furthermore, we also have the uptrend line underneath that is far below, so I think that even if we got a 200 point pullback, it is very likely that there would still be plenty of buyers willing to get involved. The 50 day EMA sits just above the uptrend line as well, so that uptrend line will continue to be very important. However, the last couple of days have shown us plenty of bullish pressure, so I think that we are willing to continue going higher as it looks like the earnings season will be a disaster by any stretch of the imagination.

Stimulus will continue to be a main driver anyway, even though the earnings season might be a reason for the short term move. At the end of the day, Wall Street moves on cheap money and that is really all that matters. As long as liquidity is being tossed into the marketplace, the S&P 500 will continue to rally to the upside and towards that psychologically important 4000 handle.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Procter & Gamble Raises FY2021 Guidance; Stock Has 20% Upside Potential

Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest maker of consumer packaged goods, reported better-than-expected earnings in the fiscal second quarter and said it has raised its outlook for fiscal 2021 all-in sales growth to a range of 5-6% from the previous forecast of 3-5%.

Cincinnati, Ohio-based consumer goods corporation said its net sales rose 8% to $19.7 billion in the second quarter fiscal year 2021. Diluted net earnings per share increased 4% to were $1.47 and Core-EPS surged 15% to $1.64, beating the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.51 per share.

Procter & Gamble raised its outlook for organic sales growth to a range of 5-6% from 4-5%. The Company said it now expects fiscal 2021 GAAP diluted net earnings per share growth in the range of 8-10% from fiscal 2020 GAAP EPS of $4.96. In addition, P&G upgraded their guidance for core earnings per share growth to a range of 8-10% from 5-8% versus fiscal 2020 core EPS of $5.12.

Procter & Gamble’s (PG) strong quarter should lift shares, improve sentiment for (lagging) HPC group -stock remains a Franchise Pick. We are focused on a “stronger for longer” theme in HPC w/ ’21 a transition year as the public gradually overcomes its trepidation toward the vaccine, though certain consumer behaviours sustain (cleaning, health & wellness, etc.), which should benefit PG and the group,” noted Kevin Grundy, equity analyst at Jefferies.

“At 22x P/E, PG (and our “core” HPC / beverages basket) are near relative lows vs. the S&P 500 last seen during the 08-09 downturn, leaving risk-rewards skewed to the upside. PG’s strong quarter should drive shares higher and offers a positive read-through for the group as Procter kicks off earnings season.”

However, Procter & Gamble shares traded 1.2% lower at $132.0 on Wednesday; the stock rose over 11% in 2020.

Procter & Gamble Stock Price Forecast

Twelve analysts who offered stock ratings for Procter & Gamble in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $157.00 with a high forecast of $169.00 and a low forecast of $130.00.

The average price target represents an 18.82% increase from the last price of $132.14. From those 12 analysts, eight rated “Buy”, four rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $165 with a high of $184 under a bull scenario and $103 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the consumer goods corporation’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. JP Morgan lowered the target price to $159 from $163. Jefferies decreased the price objective to $168 from $169. Smith Barney Citigroup boosted their price objective to $165 from $159.

In addition, Truist boosted their price objective to $150 from $125. Wells Fargo & Company set an “overweight” rating and a $160.00 price objective for the company.

Equity Analyst’s View

“We expect a positive reaction to a strong FQ2 with a 2.5% top-line and 10.8% operating profit beat vs consensus, driven by strong 8% organic sales growth and an 80-bps gross margin beat vs consensus. Importantly, each segment organic sales growth was 5% or above, giving us greater confidence that PG momentum can continue going forward, as results were not narrowly driven by any one segment benefitting from COVID-19 demand. PG essentially flowed through almost all of Q2 EPS upside vs consensus to FY21 EPS guidance, which moved up by 250 bps at its midpoint, but we still view as overly conservative,” said Dara Mohsenian, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We believe strategy tweaks can sustain PG long-term top-line growth in the 4% range. In the US, a strong breadth of performance and share gains give us confidence that market share momentum is sustainable and supports long-term top-line growth above HPC peers. We see continued GM expansion with moderate commodity headwinds and a solid competitive environment. PG trades at 23x CY22e EPS, a discount to HPC peers CLX, CL and CHD, and looks compelling given our call for higher long-term PG growth.”

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Bank Earnings Off to a Rough Start

Even so, the group has booked major gains since November when positive vaccine data from Pfizer Inc. (PFE) triggered a sustained rotation out of COVID-19 beneficiaries and into 2021 recovery plays. As a result, current selling pressure appears technical in nature, driven by overbought readings.

Bond yields are rising while the yield curve steepens, signaling a more favorable banking environment that should generate higher profit margins. Revenue remains a major obstacle, with most quarterly reports so far posting substantial year-over-year revenue declines as a result of the pandemic. Dow component JPMorgan Chase and Co. (JPM) is the only bank of the big three to grow revenue in the quarter, in line with its longstanding market leadership.

JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase lifted to an all-time high ahead of last week’s strong earnings report and pulled back in a notable sell-the-news reaction. Two days of profit-taking could mark the start of an intermediate correction that targets unfilled gaps at 120 and 126. The Nov. 9 breakout gap between 105 and 110 remains unfilled as well, but that might not come into play until later in the year. When it does, it should mark a low-risk buying opportunity.

Bank of America

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) lost nearly 1% on Tuesday after beating Q4 2020 profit estimates and falling short on revenue, with a 9.9% year-over-year decline. Credit loss provisions dropped sharply during the quarter, indicating less stress on customer budgets as the world adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced it would buy back up to $2.9 billion in common stock in the first quarter, after getting Federal Reserve approval.

Citigroup

Citigroup Inc. (C) has booked the greatest downside of the three banks after beating Q4 2020 earnings by a wide margin on Friday. However, revenue fell 10.2% year-over-year, triggering a shareholder exodus that’s now relinquished nearly 8%. Unlike Bank of America, Citi credit losses went in the wrong direction during the quarter, rising to 3.73% of total loans, compared to just 1.84% in the same quarter last year.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Disclosure: the author held no positions in aforementioned securities at the time of publication.

UnitedHealth Earnings Beat Wall Street Estimates; Target Price $395

As expected, fourth quarter net earnings of $2.30 per share and adjusted earnings of $2.52 per share declined as care patterns normalized, while COVID-19 costs rose, and further rebate effects were recognized. That was higher than the market expectations $2.41 per share.

The Company affirmed its recently issued full year earnings outlook for 2021, including net earnings of $16.90 to $17.40 per share and adjusted net earnings of $17.75 to $18.25 per share. The largest insurance company by Net Premiums’ said its full-year 2020 revenues of $257.1 billion grew $15.0 billion or 6.2% year-over-year, reflecting broad-based revenue growth across the businesses.

“Adj. EPS $2.52 vs. $2.41 consensus. 4Q MLR 190 bp better than consensus but the full year MLR was only 10 bp better than UNH’s full year guide of 79.2%. Optum results were better-than-expected across the board. Management noted continued restoration of care patterns in 4Q20– positive for the group as it indicates better visibility into 2021, all else equal, although we look for more detail on the call,” said Charles Rhyee, equity analyst at Cowen and company.

UnitedHealth shares closed 0.25% higher at $352.19 on Tuesday; the stock rose about 20% in 2020.

UnitedHealth Stock Price Forecast

Eighteen analysts who offered stock ratings for UnitedHealth in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $395.61 with a high forecast of $462.00 and a low forecast of $359.00.

The average price target represents a 12.33% increase from the last price of $352.19. From those 18 analysts, 16 rated “Buy”, two rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $462 with a high of $529 under a bull scenario and $261 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the health care company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Cowen and company raised the target price to $370 from $360. Bernstein upped the stock price forecast to $413 from $403. Jefferies increased the price objective to $375 from $335. UnitedHealth Group had its target price hoisted by Deutsche Bank to $404 from $359. The brokerage currently has a buy rating on the healthcare conglomerate’s stock.

In addition, Raymond James increased their target price to $405 from $355 and gave the stock a strong-buy rating. Truist increased their target price to $420 from $400. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price to $395 from $355 and gave the stock an average rating.

Analyst Comments

“UnitedHealth Group is the number one Medicare Advantage player with 28% market share, the number two Medicare PDP player with 20% market share, and the number two commercial player with 15% market share. United’s model is enhanced via vertical integration with its OptumRx PBM platform, which is one of the three largest PBMs in the country,” said Ricky Goldwasser, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“With a large lead in breadth of services offerings and considerable exposure to government businesses, UnitedHealth is well positioned for any potential changes in the US healthcare system. A strong balance sheet and continued solid cash generation give flexibility for continued M&A.”

Netflix Rockets After New Subscribers Fuel Blockbuster Q4 Sales

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) shares surged over 12% in extended-hours trade Tuesday after the streaming content provider reported better than expected fourth-quarter sales on the back of robust subscriber growth. The company also said it is considering returning free cash flow to shareholders through buybacks.

Revenues for the fourth quarter (Q4) came in at $6.64 billion, slightly above the $6.63 billion consensus mark analysts had forecast. Moreover, the top line grew 20% from a year earlier, thanks to a boost of 8.5 million paid subscribers during the period. The company disclosed quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $1.19, with the figure falling shy of Wall Street estimates of $1.30 a share and contracting 8% on a year-over-year (YoY) basis.

As of Jan. 20, 2021, Netflix stock has a market value of $221.68 billion and trades 7.21% lower on the year. However, the shares have gained nearly 50% over the past 12 months as investors piled into names that benefited from consumers spending more time at home during the pandemic.

Returning Free Cash Flow to Investors

CFO Spencer Neumann raised the prospect of returning excess free cash flow to investors while remaining on the lookout for strategic investments. “We put a premium on balance sheet flexibility, so we’re going to continue to invest aggressively into the growth opportunities that we see, and that’s always going to come first,” he said, per CNBC. “But beyond that, if we have excess cash, we’ll return it to shareholders through a share buyback program,” Neumann added. He also told investors that the company would no longer need to raise external financing for its daily operations.

Wall Street View

Citi’s Jason Bazinet maintained his ‘Neutral’ rating on Netflix shares earlier this month but raised his price target to $580 from $450. The analyst cautioned price hikes might limit new subscribers in coming quarters, resulting in a loss of market share to Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

Elsewhere, the Street sentiment remains mostly bullish. The shares receive 21 ‘Buy’ ratings, 4 ‘Overweight’ ratings, and 12 ‘Hold’ ratings. Just one sell-side firm currently recommends selling the shares. Price targets range from as high as $700 to as low as $235, with the median pegged at $580.60. Watch for a flurry of additional upgrades over the next few weeks after yesterday’s upbeat quarterly update.

Technical Outlook and Trading Tactics

Since climbing to a new all-time high in mid-July, Netflix shares have remained stuck in a 110-point trading range. Premarket data indicates the stock will open around $565 today, placing the price toward the range’s upper trendline.

Those looking to play a breakout should plan entries above key resistance at $575 while managing risk with a stop-loss order placed around $20 below the execution price. Consider using a measured move to set a profit target. For example, add the trading range distance, as measured in points, to the breakout level. ($105 + $575 = $680 profit target)

For a look at today’s earnings schedule, check out our earnings calendar.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update – Some EU Member States Break Ranks

EU Vaccine News

Following the EMA’s decision to bring forward the review of the AstraZeneca vaccine, EU member states are looking to get ahead in placing orders.

Over the weekend, news hit the wires that the Irish government was in talks to secure delivery of the yet to be authorized vaccine.

Pfizer Inc. supply issues experienced across member states has resulted in bid to secure supply from elsewhere.

Ireland expects to receive more than 3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. By receiving the vaccine ahead of the EMA recommendation and EU Commission authorization, it would mean that the vaccine could be administered immediately upon authorization.

Last week, the EMA had indicated that upon recommendation, the vaccine would be widely available by mid-February.

Ireland would therefore be around 2-weeks ahead of other EU member states. More importantly, Ireland may also avoid jostling with other EU member states for supply.

Having seen Britain go it alone on the vaccine front and approve the AstraZeneca vaccine late last year, Britain’s vaccination rates are well ahead of any of those seen across the EU.

Vaccinations

According to the Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker, Ireland’s vaccination rate stood at 1.90 doses per 100 people as at 13th January.

While well short of the likes of the Israel, the U.A.E and even the UK and the U.S, its well ahead of many other EU member states.

To put it into perspective, the EU has a vaccination rat of 1.41 doses per 100 people as at 19th January.

Italy and Spain had rates of 2.01 and 2.08 doses per 100 as at 19th January.

By contrast, however, France had a vaccination rate of just 0.90 doses per 100. The numbers from the Netherlands were even more alarming. As at 19th January, the Netherlands had a vaccination rate of just 0.45 doses per 100 people.

With the broad spread of rates, it is not wholly surprising that some EU member states are looking to jump the gun in securing vaccine supply.

Ireland is certainly not amongst the worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of writing, Ireland had a total of 176,839 total COVID-19 cases and 2,708 related deaths.

While well below the numbers reported from the likes of France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, there is some urgency globally to secure more vaccines.

New strains of the coronavirus have proved significantly more virulent and as a result could have a significant impact on economic conditions.

Germany has already announced an extension to its lockdown. Merkel also talked of a possible need to shut down borders in order to protect the country from new strains.

Without an adequate vaccine supply and vaccination drive, the impact of the new strains could be devastating.

COVID-19 numbers from the UK had certainly sent a warning to neighboring countries over the holidays.

Global Numbers

Leading the charge geographically, by vaccination rate, continues to be Israel.

As at 19th January, Israel had a reported vaccination rate of 29.78 doses per 100, up from 25.91 as at 17th January.

The U.A.E continued to trail Israel in 2nd place, with a rate of 19.21 doses per 100.

Sitting behind Bahrain in 3rd was the UK, with a vaccination rate of 7.07 doses per 100. This was up from 6.45 doses per 100 as at 17th January.

Looking at the numbers, A marked increase in vaccination rates is going to be needed to support a speedier economic recovery.

Further extensions to existing lockdown periods could begin to hit the prospects of a 2nd quarter recovery.

While we see economic divergence globally, stemming from marked differences in vaccination rates, the same is likely within the EU.

For the Eurozone economic outlook, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands will need to materially ramp up vaccinations.

It will be interesting to see whether the issue is raised during the ECB press conference tomorrow. How does the ECB see growth when considering the divergence in vaccination rates across member states?

For a full breakdown of vaccination rates by country, please visit Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker page here.

The Latest COVID-19 Numbers

At the time of writing, there were a total of 96,625,755 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,065,698 related deaths.

By geography, the U.S had reported 24,806,964 cases and 411,486 COVID-19 related deaths.

India reporting 10,596,442 cases, with Brazil reporting 8,575,742 cases.

Sitting behind Russia (3,612,800) remained the UK (3,466,849).

France (2,938,333), Italy (2,400,598), Spain (2,370,742), and Germany (2,071,473) reported a combined 9,781,146 cases.

Looking Ahead

The AstraZeneca vaccine remains the key to bringing the pandemic under control near-term. This is largely due to an expected abundance of supply.

When considering the current vaccination rates, however, there is one other factor to consider.

Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., and AstraZeneca’s vaccines are 2-dose vaccines. This means that another round of vaccines is going to be needed for effective protection against the virus.

When considering current vaccination rates, some of the more adversely affected nations may not be anywhere 50% vaccinated before the 2nd quarter.

This is yet another factor for the markets to consider in terms of any economic recovery.

The availability of a single dose vaccine may not be far off, with Johnson & Johnson set to release data imminently. In all reality, however, supply constraints could limit the availability of a single dose vaccine beyond U.S borders.

Johnson & Johnson Numbers

Johnson & Johnson had previously projected to deliver 12 million doses by the end of February and 100 million doses by the end of June.

According to recent reports, however, Johnson & Johnson may a number of months behind.

That suggests that 1 billion doses by the end of 2021 may also be an ambitious target.

Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and China’s two vaccines will be key near-term. Ultimately, however, it will likely be a single dose vaccine that brings an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Availability across the globe is going to be needed, however, for the pandemic to truly come to an end.

As we have seen in the early days of the COVID-19 vaccines, richer nations have cornered much of the vaccine supply.

This will also need to change for the number of new cases across the globe to begin falling.

E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index (NQ) Futures Technical Analysis – Needs Follow-Through Rally to Confirm Uptrend

March E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index futures closed higher on Tuesday as U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen advocated for a hefty fiscal relief package before lawmakers to help the world’s largest economy ride out a pandemic-driven slump.

On Tuesday, March E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index futures settled at 12985.50, up 183.25 or +1.41%.

In other news, Netflix shares rose more than 11% following the closing bell on Tuesday after the streaming television provider reported paid subscriber additions for the fourth quarter topped Wall Street expectations.

Daily March E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index

 

Daily Swing Chart Technical Analysis

The main trend is up according to the daily swing chart. The trend turned back up when buyers took out the previous main top at 13028.75 late in the session. The new main bottom is 12727.00. A trade through this level will change the trend to down.

The minor range is 12491.25 to 13125.00. Its 50% level at 12808.00 is new support.

The short-term range is 12217.00 to 13125.00. Its 50% level at 12671.00 is additional support.

The main range is 10936.25 to 13125.00. Its retracement zone at 12030.50 to 11772.25 is the major support area controlling the near-term direction of the index.

Short-Term Outlook

With two changes in trend in as many sessions, conditions are very choppy, but this is the daily chart, so you have to expect two sided price action before the next major move. Professionals have to shake the trees a little to rattle the weaker traders.

Now that the trend has turned back up, the follow-through move becomes the key as to whether the change in trend was fueled by buy stops or aggressive new buyers.

The longer the index spends under the record high at 13125.00 set on January 8, the more the chart pattern will look distributive, which tends to indicate lower prices are coming.

The real key to the next move is whether the next catalyst encourages investors to chase the market higher and buy strength, or pushes them to look for value at much lower levels. It comes down to determining how much bang for the buck can they get buying a new contract higher versus buying a near-term correction into support.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average (YM) Futures Technical Analysis – Trade Through 31116 Changes Trend to Up

March E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average futures finished higher on Tuesday. The blue chip average was supported by a surge in shares of component Goldman Sachs Group, which rose 2.5% as its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, dwarfing estimates after another blowout performance at its trading and underwriting business.

On Tuesday,  March E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average futures settled at 30828, up 108 or +0.35%.

Goldman Sachs on Tuesday beat analysts’ expectations for fourth-quarter profit and revenue on strong performance from the firm’s equities traders and investment bankers. The bank posted earnings of $12.08 a share, crushing the $7.47 estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Revenue of $11.74 billion exceeded expectations by about $1.75 billion.

Daily March E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average

Daily Swing Chart Technical Analysis

The main trend is down according to the daily swing chart. A trade through 31116 will change the main trend to up. A move through 30506 will signal a resumption of the downtrend.

The minor range is 31148 to 30506. The market is currently straddling its 50% level at 30827.

The second minor range is 29760 to 31148. Its 50% level at 30454 is potential support.

The short-term range is 29318 to 31148. Its 50% level is another potential support level.

Daily Swing Chart Technical Forecast

Tuesday’s price action suggests the direction of the March E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average futures contract over the short-run will be determined by trader reaction to 30827.

Bullish Scenario

A sustained move over 30827 will indicate the presence of buyers. If this generates enough upside momentum then look for a test of 31116. Taking out this level will change the main trend to up. This could trigger an extension of the rally into the next main top at 31148.

Bearish Scenario

A sustained move under 30827 will signal the presence of sellers. This could lead to a retest of Friday’s minor bottom at 30506, followed by 30454. If this fails then look for an extension of the selling into 30233. This level is a potential trigger point for an acceleration to the downside.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

European Equities: COVID-19 and U.S Politics in Focus

Economic Calendar:

Wednesday, 20th January

German PPI (MoM) (Dec)

Eurozone Core CPI (YoY) (Dec) Final

Eurozone CPI (MoM) (Dec) Final

Eurozone CPI (YoY) (Dec) Final

Thursday, 21st January

ECB Interest Rate Decision (Jan)

ECB Press Conference

Eurozone Consumer Confidence (Jan) Prelim

Friday, 22nd January

French Manufacturing PMI (Jan) Prelim

French Services PMI (Jan) Prelim

German Manufacturing PMI (Jan) Prelim

German Services PMI (Jan) Prelim

Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (Jan) Prelim

Eurozone Markit Composite PMI (Jan) Prelim

Eurozone Services PMI (Jan) Prelim

The Majors

It was a bearish day for the European majors on Tuesday. The CAC40 fell by 0.33%, with the DAX30 and EuroStoxx600 seeing losses of 0.24% and 0.19% respectively.

News from Germany of a lockdown extension to mid-February sent the European majors into the red.

In addition to an extended lockdown, the possibility of reintroducing border controls was also raised over concerns of new COVID-19 strains.

Sentiment had been more bullish early on, with a pickup in economic sentiment in Germany and the Eurozone providing support.

The Stats

Economic sentiment figures for Germany and the Eurozone and finalized German inflation figures were in focus.

For January, Germany’s ZEW Economic Sentiment Indicator rose from 55.0 to 61.8, with the current conditions indicator rising from -66.5 to -66.4.

Economists had forecasted an economic sentiment indicator of 60.0 and a current conditions indicator of -68.5.

For the Eurozone, the Economic Sentiment Indicator increased from 54.4 to 58.3.

On the inflation front, consumer prices increased by 0.5% in December in Germany, which was in line with prelim figures. Consumer prices had fallen by 0.8% in November.

According to Destatis,

  • Consumer prices were down by 0.3% on the same month a year earlier.
  • A temporary reduction in value added tax contributed to the fall in consumer prices.
  • Energy product prices slid by 4.8%. Prices had risen by 1.4% in 2019.
  • Prices of goods were down by 0.4% on 2019, while prices of services rose by 1.3%.

From the U.S

There were no material from the U.S.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was a mixed day for the auto sector on Tuesday. Volkswagen rose by 0.81% to buck the trend on the day. BMW and Daimler fell by 0.95% and by 1.22% respectively, while Continental saw more modest loss of 0.59%.

It was a mixed day for the banks, however. Deutsche Bank slid by 3.90%, while Commerzbank rose by 0.14%.

From the CAC, it was a bearish day for the banks. BNP Paribas fell by 1.55%, with Credit Agricole and Soc Gen sliding by 2.24% and by 2.39% respectively.

It was a mixed day for the French auto sector. Peugeot ended the day flat, while Renault fell by 1.30%.

Air France-KLM fell by 0.72%, while Airbus SE ended the day with a modest 0.12% gain.

On the VIX Index

It was back into the red for the VIX on Tuesday. Reversing a 4.69% gain from Friday, the VIX fell by 4.52% to end the day at 23.24. On Monday, the U.S markets had been closed.

The NASDAQ rallied by 1.53%, with the Dow and the S&P500 rising by 0.0.38% and by 0.81% respectively.

Support for more fiscal stimulus delivered support to the U.S markets after the Monday holiday.

Former FED Chair Yellen, nominee for Treasury Secretary talked of support for a sizeable fiscal stimulus package.

Coupled with the incoming administration’s plans to drive vaccinations, hopes of a speedier economic recovery drove the main indexes to fresh record highs.

VIX 200121 Daily Chart

The Day Ahead

It’s a quiet day on the economic calendar. Inflation figures from Germany and the Eurozone are due out later today.

We don’t expect the numbers to have any material impact on the European majors, however.

It’s Inauguration Day, so expect Biden’s immediate plans upon taking office to be the main area of focus.

Yellen’s support for further economic stimulus should deliver some comfort going into the open.

COVID-19 news will also continue to influence, however.

The Futures

In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was up by 46 points.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Halliburton Beats Q4 Earnings Estimates; Target Price $25 in Best Case

Halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, reported better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter, largely driven by cost-cutting and recovery in business demand.

Halliburton reported a net loss of $235 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2020. This compares to a net loss for the third quarter of 2020 of $17 million, or $0.02 per diluted share.

Adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of 2020, excluding impairments and other charges, was $160 million, or $0.18 per diluted share. That was higher than the market expectations of 15 cents per share.

The second-biggest services provider’s total revenue rose 9% to was $3.2 billion, up from revenue of $3.0 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Reported operating loss was $96 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to reported operating income of $142 million in the third quarter of 2020.

“We view the strong results (Q4/20 EBITDA 8% better than consensus) as positive, with Halliburton (HAL) demonstrating that increasing activity should flow to the bottom line after completing its $1bn cost-out program in Q3/20,” said Waqar Syed, equity analyst at ATB Capital Markets.

“We think the key driver for HAL’s stock today will be guidance in the earnings call, if provided, but still think the results, high-level commentary, and supportive macro/commodity price environment should help the stock.”

At the time of writing, Halliburton shares traded nearly flat at $20.74 on Tuesday; however, the stock fell over 20% in 2020.

Halliburton Stock Price Forecast

Thirteen analysts who offered stock ratings for Halliburton in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $18.84 with a high forecast of $25.00 and a low forecast of $12.00.

The average price target represents a -9.20% decrease from the last price of $20.75. From those 13 analysts, five rated “Buy”, six rated “Hold” and two rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $20 with a high of $25 under a bull scenario and $8 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Equal-weight” rating on the energy company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Cowen and company raised the target price to $28 from $24. Credit Suisse upped the price objective to $14 from $12.

In addition, Barclays increased the target price to $21 from $14. Stifel raised the target price to $26 from $18. Citigroup upped to buy from neutral; raises price target to $24 from $13.5.

Analyst Comments

“Relative positioning less favourable vs. some global peers: Though it has decreased in absolute size, Halliburton (HAL) still remains more NAm-focused vs. peers, where we see a higher relative risk of downward upstream capex revisions. Cost savings likely at their limit: HAL is winding down a major cost-cutting program, which suggests to us its ability to further cut overhead and significantly surprise on margins is relatively limited,” said Connor Lynagh, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Risk-reward relatively balanced: We see relatively balanced risk-reward for HAL’s shares and believe a more significant capex shift back into its core markets would be required for meaningful outperformance vs. the group.”

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Union Pacific at New High Ahead of Earnings

Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) reports Q4 2020 earnings in Thursday’s pre-market, with analysts expecting a profit of $2.23 per-share on $5.12 billion in revenue. If met, earnings-per-share (EPS) will mark a 10% profit increase compared to the same quarter in 2019. The stock sold off more than 6% in October after missing Q3 top and bottom line estimates, and fell another 6% into month’s end. However, it’s recovered since that time and is now trading at an all-time high.

Union Pacific Raises Guidance

This is America’s largest railroad, with 32,340 route miles linking the Pacific and Gulf coasts and Great Lakes. The company issued upside guidance on Jan. 8 and now expects to report revenue of $5.1 billion, compared to prior estimates of $5.06 billion. It also projects an adjusted operating ratio of 55.6%, marking a 4.1 point improvement over the same quarter in 2019. The stock rallied 3.4% after the news, breaking out to a new high.

United Pacific is the highest capitalized component in the Dow Jones Transportation Average, with a $146 billion market cap about $5 million higher than runner-up United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS). The stock posted a modest 14% return in 2020, which was enough to lift the Average above 3-year resistance to an all-time high. UNP price action is highly vulnerable to economic cycles, which impact shipping volume carried across the rails.

Wall Street and Technical Outlook

Wall Street consensus is mixed, with a ‘Moderate Buy’ rating based upon 11 ‘Buy’, 6 ‘Hold’, and 0 ‘Sell’ recommendations. Price targets currently range from a low of $160 to a Street-high $250 while the stock opened Tuesday’s U.S. session about $3 below the median $222 target. The pre-announcement triggered just one upgrade but more could follow if Q4 earnings-per-share also exceeds current expectations.

Union Pacific has been grinding higher since 2017 when it broke out above 2015 resistance near 125. Price action since September 2018 has tracked a rising highs trendline that’s now come back into play for the third time. This tells sidelined investors the reward-to-risk profile isn’t favorable, unless a bull surge generates a trendline breakout. The sky’s the limit if that happens, opening the door to 300 and beyond.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Disclosure: the author held no positions in aforementioned securities at the time of publication.

S&P 500 Price Forecast – Stock Markets Continue Upward Pressure

The S&P 500 rallied a bit during the trading session on Tuesday to reach towards the 3800 level. The 3800 level of course is an area that has offered a bit of support and resistance more than once, and I think at this point in time it is obvious that there are a lot of concerns about whether or not the stimulus will be big enough to keep Wall Street satiated. At the end of the day though, this is all about stimulus and has nothing to do with anything other than that. Yes, its earnings season but over the longer term that tends to have very little in the way of what happens next, it is all about that cheap money.

S&P 500 Video 20.01.21

We have an uptrend line underneath that should continue to support this market in general so therefore I look it dips as potential opportunities to get long in a market that is essentially one way over the longer term. The uptrend line and the 50 day EMA converge quite nicely underneath so that would be an area that I would be very interested in. As far as shorting is concerned, I would not have any real interest in doing so but could be convinced to take a short-term selling position if we did somehow break down below the 3600 level, something that is not going to happen in the next few days.

To the upside, I believe that we will eventually go looking towards the 4000 level, as soon as Wall Street gets the “all clear” of more cheap money being thrown in its direction, and perhaps once we get past the bulk of earnings season.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Dollar’s Weakness is Back

Gold creates a double bottom formation with two hammers on a daily chart.

Nasdaq and DAX bounce from the upper line of a correction pattern.

Dollar index cancels the Inverse Head and Shoulders and drops lower.

EURUSD starts bullish correction.

AUDJPY is heading higher after testing the neckline of a giant iH&S pattern.

USDCHF bounces from the neckline and drops lower with a proper sell signal.

CADCHF goes lower after the false bullish breakout from the symmetric triangle.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

E-mini S&P 500 Index (ES) Futures Technical Analysis – Sustained Move Over 3782.50 Signals Strong Buying

March E-mini S&P 500 Index futures are trading higher on Tuesday after upbeat earnings from big U.S. banks and Halliburton, while investors awaited a speech from U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen that is expected to advocate hefty fiscal spending.

Bank of America topped fourth-quarter profit estimates and joined JPMorgan, Citigroup Inc and Wells Fargo & Co in releasing some cash reserves to cover for coronavirus-driven loan losses, underscoring its confidence in the economy.

At 14:30 GMT, March E-mini S&P 500 Index futures are trading 3792.25, up 23.75 or +0.69%.

Daily March E-mini S&P 500 Index

Daily Swing Chart Technical Analysis

The main trend is up according to the daily swing chart, but momentum is trending lower. A trade through 3824.50 will signal a resumption of the uptrend. A move through 3596.00 will change the main trend to down.

The minor trend is down. This is controlling the momentum. A trade through 3740.50 will indicate the selling is getting stronger. Taking out 3817.75 will change the minor trend to up and shift momentum to the upside.

The minor range is 3824.50 to 3740.50. Its 50% level at 3782.50 is currently being tested.

The second minor range is 3652.50 to 3824.50. Its 50% level at 3738.50 provided support earlier in the session.

The short-term range is 3596.00 to 3824.50. Its 50% level at 3710.25 is another potential support level.

Daily Swing Chart Technical Forecast

The direction of the March E-mini S&P 500 Index into the close is likely to be determined by trader reaction to 3782.50.

Bullish Scenario

A sustained move over 3782.50 will indicate the presence of buyers. If this creates enough upside momentum then look for the rally to possibly extend into the minor top at 3817.75, followed by the main top at 3824.50.

Bearish Scenario

A sustained move under 3782.50 will signal the presence of sellers. This could lead to a retest of the intraday low at 3740.50, followed by the 50% level at 3738.50. If this level fails then look for the selling to possibly extend into 3710.25. This is a potential trigger point for an acceleration into another 50% level at 3660.75.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Stocks Move Higher Ahead Of Yellen Speech

Treasury Secretary Nominee Janet Yellen Is Expected To Support The Huge Stimulus Package

S&P 500 futures are gaining ground in premarket trading as traders expect that Janet Yellen will support Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package when she speaks before the Senate Finance Committee.

Yellen is projected to state that the stimulus package is a vital instrument in the combat against the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, and that the U.S. debt burden is not a concern right now.

Yellen is also projected to commit to market-determined exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, in contrast with the outgoing President Donald Trump who has many times stated that he wanted a weaker U.S. dollar.

However, it remains to be seen whether Yellen’s comments will provide additional support to the U.S. dollar which is currently losing ground against a broad basket of currencies. The new stimulus package may ultimately serve as a bearish catalyst for the American currency and push it to multi-month lows.

IEA Cuts Its Oil Demand Forecast

IEA decided to cut its oil demand outlook by 0.3 million barrels per day (bpd) due to continued problems on the coronavirus front.

This is not a big surprise to the market as traders are prepared to see poor demand data in the first quarter of 2021 due to lockdowns in Europe.

Another downside revision of the full-year oil demand forecast did not spoil the mood of oil traders, and WTI oil is currently trying to settle above $52.50.

Not surprisingly, oil-related stocks are set for a strong start of the trading session after the correction on Friday.

Precious Metals Lack Momentum As Higher Yields Reduce Demand For Gold And Silver

Gold and silver have been trying to stabilize after the sell-off which happened at the beginning of this year.

The recent rebound of the U.S. dollar put additional pressure on precious metals, but rising U.S. Treasury yields were the main negative catalyst.

The bond market may be sensitive to Yellen’s speech before the Senate Finance Committee, so gold and silver may have an active trading session today. Gold and silver mining stocks, which have recently suffered a significant correction, may also be volatile today.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Daily Gold News: Gold Going Sideways Following Monday’s Rebound

The gold futures contract gained 0.4% on Monday after bouncing from an overnight low of around $1,800. The market gave back almost all of its December’s advance recently. Gold is trading within a short-term consolidation, as we can see on the daily chart ( the chart includes today’s intraday data ):

Gold is 0.2% higher this morning, as it continues to trade within a consolidation. The market remains close to $1,850 price level. What about the other precious metals? Silver is 1.2% higher. Platinum is gaining 1.1% and palladium is 0.4% higher. So precious metals are higher this morning.

Today we won’t get any important economic data releases. The markets will wait for tomorrow’s President-Elect Biden Speech and the Bank of Japan Outlook Report release, among others.

Below you will find our Gold, Silver, and Mining Stocks economic news schedule for the next two trading days:

Tuesday, January 19

  • 5:00 a.m. Eurozone – German ZEW Economic Sentiment
  • All Day, Eurozone – ECOFIN Meetings

Wednesday, January 20

  • 10:00 a.m. U.S. – NAHB Housing Market Index
  • 10:00 a.m. Canada – BOC Monetary Policy Report, BOC Rate Statement, Overnight Rate
  • Tentative, U.S. – President-Elect Biden Speech
  • 7:30 p.m. Australia – Employment Change, Unemployment Rate
  • Tentative, Japan – BOJ Outlook Report, Monetary Policy Statement

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Paul Rejczak
Stock Selection Strategist
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.
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Disclaimer

All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Paul Rejczak and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be a subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Paul Rejczak and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Rejczak is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Paul Rejczak’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Paul Rejczak, Sunshine Profits’ employees and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.