S&P 500 Update: Stocks hold in the green awaiting Powell

Update at 11 am EST: Stocks continue to hold the line ahead of testimony later by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Powell is due to speak at 1205 EST. Powell has been the inflation killer in his last speech and will need to step again to calm market fears. The US 10 Year is holding steady below 1.5% for now helping the Nasdaq to a 0.6% gain while the Dow and S&P are up 0.2%.

Sectoral performance shows Energy again leading the way, up 3%, while Utilities and Consumer Staples are up by 1%. Industrial and Utility sectors are the worst performers down 0.6% and 0.9% respectively.

Selected Gainers Diamondback Energy up 7%, Hess up 5%, ConocoPhillips up 5%, Snowflake up 4%, PLTR up 4%, Rocket RKT up 4.5%, ExxonMobil up 4%.

Selected Losers Zillow Group down 7%, Seagate Tech down 5%, Tyler Tech down 7%, Western Digital down 5%, United Airlines down 3%.

Here is what you need to know on Thursday, March 4:

Happy Birthday to the S&P 500, launched March 4, 1957. “Consistently buy an S&P 500 low-cost index fund. I think it’s the thing that makes the most sense practically all of the time…Keep buying it through thick and thin, and especially through thin.” Warren Buffet.

Stocks continue to have the inflation sweats as nervousness once again leads equity markets lower. We spoke yesterday about the 10 Year moving back above 1.5% and it duly spooked equity markets who took cover in defensive names while bailing out of tech again.

As we speak markets look set for a modestly lower open. Asian markets were ugly all down 2%, the Dollar remains bid with DollarIndex up 0.3% at 91.20 and EuroDollar trading at 1.2030. Oil is again positive at $61.52 for WTI Crude with OPEC+ and Russia meeting to discuss supply options. Bitcoin is still under pressure, trading just below $50,000.

See Forex Today

European markets are mixed with the EuroStoxx up 0.2% while the FTSE and Dax are down 0.2%. 

US futures are pointing to a lower open for Wall Steet with both the Nasdaq and S&P down 0.2% while the Dow is down 0.15%.

Stay up to speed with hot stocks' news!

S&P 500 News

Fed Chair Jerome Powell needs to ride to the rescue again as inflation fears increase. Testimony is due to begin at 1205 EST. See Powell Preview.

Australian Central Bank Kearn says the rise in bond yields is a global phenomenon. 

European Medicines Agency is to begin a review of Russia's Sputnik vaccine.

US Senate to begin debating President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package on Thursday.

US Jobless claims show a modest improvement versus expectations, 745k versus 750k.

Ukraine raises interest rates for the first time since 2018.

Boeing, Airbus: UK and US suspend tariffs and try to resolve differences. The US tariffs are on a range of EU food wine and spirits products, but the row has its origins in aircraft subsidies. Airbus welcomed the suspension of "lose-lose tariffs". Boeing has not commented at the time of writing.

OPEC+ meets to decide on oil production output.

American Eagle Outfitters beats EPS and revenue estimates, shares up 6% in pre-market.

Buzz ETF which tracks social media activity is to launch today. The ETF by VanEck picks the top 75 stocks showing bullish sentiment on social media. The ETF has a minimum $5 billion market cap so it avoids a lot of recent meme stocks.

Canadian Natural Resources kept up with recent energy sector outperformance as it beat estimates for Q4 2020. Shares up 0.6% in pre-market. 

Marvell Technology which designs networking chips said chip supplies could remain tight through 2022.

Apple-UK competition regulator to launch an investigation into the App store after complaints that app developers face unfair and anti-competitive conditions. Reuters reports "The Competition and Markets Authority said the investigation will consider whether Apple has a dominant position in the distribution of apps on Apple devices in the UK". 

General Motors is looking to build a second battery factory in the US with LGChem partner-Reuters.

Walt Disney is to close stores in the US in 2021. Up to 60 stores may be closed according to Reuters.

Amazon is in talks with the NFL to carry live games-CNBC.

Walmart unit Flipkart is exploring a US listing through SPAC merger according to sources, report by Bloomberg.

Vroom slumps as revenue and guidance miss estimates. Down 16% in pre-market.

Ups and Downs

General Electric: Morgan Stanley raises price target.

Qualcomm: JPMorgan cuts price target.

ExxonMobil: Truist Securities raises price target.

American Eagle Outfitters: B.Riley raises price target.

Snowflake: Deutsche upgrades to Buy from Hold. Morgan Stanley raises price target.

ExxonMobil: Bank of America reiterates buy, "top major pick"

Economic Data Due

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