Live Update: US Stocks Open Steady, Eyeing Weekly Victories

Stay updated on US stock market trends. Follow live updates as stocks open flat but eye solid weekly gains. Get the latest insights now.

Mar 22, 2024 - 10:11
Mar 22, 2024 - 10:12
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Live Update: US Stocks Open Steady, Eyeing Weekly Victories
Live Update: US Stocks Open Steady, Eyeing Weekly Victories

US stocks kicked off the day with little change on Friday, aiming for a positive finish to a historic week amidst hopes of a potential shift away from interest rate hikes, lifting investor confidence.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), inching towards the significant 40,000 milestone, began the day on a steady note. Meanwhile, contracts for the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) started slightly lower, down approximately 0.1%.

Also Read: Reddit's IPO Hits the Market at $34 per Share, Sparking Excitement

Despite the muted start, all three indices are poised for robust weekly gains, propelled by record-high closes following the Federal Reserve's reassurance that it may not alter its rate cut projections for the year. Investor sentiment remains optimistic, fueled by indications that major central banks are prepared to adjust their strategies.

In corporate news, FedEx (FDX) shares surged by about 9% in early trading following improved operating margins in the parcel giant's primary unit, coupled with better-than-expected profits. Conversely, Nike (NKE) shares experienced a dip of over 7% as investors digested disappointing sales guidance despite mixed results.

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Key Moments

  • US stocks open steady after record-setting week.
  • Markets await Fed's stance on rate cuts.
  • FedEx shares soar, Nike sees sales slump.
  • Investors hopeful amid market volatility.

  • 22 Mar 2024 10:14 AM
    Market Opening: US Stocks Hold Steady

    The US stock market kicked off the day with a steady start on Friday, as investors anticipated a positive conclusion to an eventful week.

     

    In a trend of stability, both the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) opened with little change, maintaining the momentum from the previous sessions. Concurrently, contracts for the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) showed a minor dip of approximately 0.1%, indicating a cautious sentiment among traders.

     

    As market participants navigate through the day, the focus remains on the overall direction of the market, with hopes for a strong finish to what has been a record-setting week in the financial world.


     

  • 22 Mar 2024 10:16 AM
    FedEx Shares Surge 12% After Earnings: What to Watch Next

    Investors are abuzz as FedEx (FDX) shares skyrocket by 12% following yesterday's earnings report.

     

    In a testament to management's commitment to streamlining operations, FedEx continues to slash costs, garnering praise from investors. The market applauds efforts by established companies like FedEx to trim excess and simplify their business models.

    One key area to monitor is the ongoing negotiations between FedEx and the US Postal Service. Currently, FedEx dedicates approximately 100 aircraft to handle Postal Service business, incurring an annual cost of around $3 billion. However, this segment has weighed on FedEx's earnings, as reported by industry publication FreightWaves.

     

    Given FedEx's renewed focus on cost reduction, the company may opt to renegotiate terms with the Postal Service or even walk away from the deal altogether. Either outcome would likely be positively received by investors, signaling further progress in FedEx's strategic overhaul.


     

  • 22 Mar 2024 10:18 AM
    Lululemon Faces Market Downturn: Shares Plummet 13%

    Lululemon stocks

    Lululemon (LULU) enthusiasts received a blow as the company's shares plummeted by 13% this morning, following the release of its latest earnings report.

     

    As a proud owner of numerous Lululemon garments, I can attest to their exceptional quality and fit. However, even loyal customers like myself may question the necessity of adding another pricey item to their wardrobe amidst shifting consumer behavior.

     

    During Thursday night's earnings call, Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald acknowledged a notable change in US consumer habits, indicating a slower start to the year in this market. This observation raises concerns about potential short-term demand fatigue among the brand's core, higher-income clientele, who are typically influenced by fluctuations in stock prices.

    Investor sentiment further soured as Lululemon's first-quarter earnings per share guidance fell $0.14 short of consensus, based on the upper end of management's forecast range. This unexpected shortfall contributed to the sharp decline in the company's stock price.

     

    As investors digest this news, many will closely monitor Lululemon's next steps and strategies to navigate through the challenging market landscape ahead.


     

  • 22 Mar 2024 10:32 AM
    2024: The Year of Surging Stock Buybacks

    The allure of the booming market has captivated Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) across publicly traded companies.

     

    According to recent research from Goldman Sachs, stock buybacks are projected to surge by 13% in 2024, reaching a staggering $925 billion (as depicted in the chart below). The driving force behind this uptick, as noted by Goldman strategists, is the "accelerating" earnings growth anticipated throughout the year, prompting companies to aggressively repurchase their own shares.

     

    Despite the optimistic outlook, Goldman highlights a potential obstacle on the horizon: politics.

    While companies are eager to capitalize on favorable market conditions, Goldman emphasizes the need for caution, particularly in the face of political uncertainty. With valuations hovering at elevated levels and election-year dynamics adding to the mix, the buyback frenzy may encounter heightened volatility and risk.

     

    As 2024 unfolds, investors will closely monitor the interplay between market dynamics, corporate strategies, and political factors, shaping the trajectory of stock buybacks in the year ahead


     

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