Mid-Morning Market Update: US Markets Open Higher As GDP Rises 6.9% In Fourth Quarter

US stocks opened on a strong note on Thursday after the country’s economy grew 6.9% on quarter during the last three months of previous year, up from 2.3% expansion in the prior quarter and also above market estimates of 5.5%.

Following the market opening, the Dow traded up 1.43% to 34,657.34 while the NASDAQ rose 1.27% to 13,714.18. The S&P also rose, gaining, 1.43% to 4,412.35.

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Leading and Lagging Sectors


Energy shares jumped 2.1% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included FLEX LNG Ltd. FLNG, up 7% and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. CLNE up 8%.


In trading on Thursday, consumer discretionary shares rose by just 0.6%.


Top Headline


McDonald's Corporation MCD reported weaker-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

McDonald's reported adjusted earnings of $2.23 per share, missing the consensus of $2.34 per share. Net sales came in at $6.01 billion, versus the consensus of $6.03 billion.

 

Equities Trading UP


The National Security Group, Inc. NSEC shares shot up 68% to $15.08 after VR Insurance announced acquisition of the company.


Shares of Seagate Technology Holdings plc STX got a boost, shooting 18% to $113.96 after the company reported better-than-expected Q2 results and issued guidance.


Galapagos NV GLPG shares were also up, gaining 17% to $62.16. Galapagos announced the appointment of Dr. Paul Stoffels as chief executive officer, effective April 1, 2022. Previously, Stoffels was vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer of Johnson & Johnson, where he spearheaded the company's research and product pipeline.

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Equities Trading DOWN

1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. FLWS shares tumbled 30% to $14.77 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q2 EPS and sales results. 1-800-Flowers sees FY22 revenue growth of 7% - 9%.


Shares of Teradyne, Inc. TER were down 26% to $106.11 after the company issued Q1 EPS and sales guidance below estimates.


LendingClub Corporation LC was down, falling 22% to $17.62 after the company reported Q4 earnings results and issued Q1 and FY22 sales guidance. Credit Suisse maintained LendingClub with a Neutral and lowered the price target from $34 to $27.

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Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.5% to $87.79, while gold traded down 1.1% to $1,809.70.


Silver traded down 2.7% Thursday to $23.175 while copper fell 1.2% to $4.4630.

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Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.9%, London’s FTSE 100 gained 1.5%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index rose 1.2%. The German DAX gained 0.6%, French CAC 40 climbed 0.8% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 1.2%.

Italy’s industrial sales climbed 2.4% in November, while Spanish unemployment rate dropped to 13.33% in the fourth quarter from 14.57% in the prior three-month period. The GfK Consumer Climate Indicator in Germany rose to -6.7 heading into February versus a revised reading of -6.9 in January.

UK’s car exports dropped 15.4% from a year ago to 46,219 units in December, while car production fell 12.7% to 62,310 units.


Economics


US durable goods orders fell 0.9% month-over-month in December.


The US economy grew 6.9% on quarter during the last three months of previous year, up from 2.3% expansion in the prior quarter and also above market estimates of 5.5%.


US initial jobless claims dropped by 30 thousand from the prior period to 260 thousand during the week ending January 22.


The pending home sales index dropped 3.8% in December.


The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.


The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index for January will be released at 11:00 a.m. ET.


The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.


The Treasury will auction 7-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Check out the full economic calendar here

COVID-19 Update

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 74,176,400 cases with around 898,680 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 40,371,500 cases and 491,720 deaths, while Brazil reported over 24,553,950 COVID-19 cases with 624,500 deaths. In total, there were at least 363,693,130 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 5,647,470 deaths.

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