Dow Jones, S&P 500 Opens Lower; Upstart Surges On Strong Guidance & Buyback Plans


Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 130 points.  This is despite signs of tensions easing between Russia and Ukraine that ignited a rally on Tuesday. Accordingly, NATO today accused Russia of increasing its troop count after Moscow claims that it has begun withdrawal. Western leaders have also warned that they have yet to see evidence of Russia withdrawing its troops. NATO defense ministers are also due to meet in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss what the military alliance has called one of the most serious security crises in Europe.

Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC today that it is reasonable to assume that the final stages of the pandemic are approaching. He also says that there is an 80% chance that the Omicron variant will become less and less virulent. This could be the case as new U.S. coronavirus cases continue to drop, with the latest seven-day average dropping 44%. E-commerce giant Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) is down by more than 17% today after it says that revenue growth would be slower in 2022.

Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are down 1.48% today while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also up by 1.61%. 3M (NYSE: MMM) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are trading lower on Wednesday. Among the Dow financial leaders, Visa (NYSE: V) is down by 0.77% while JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) also opened lower at 0.11%.

Shares of EV leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are down by 1.65% on Wednesday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) and Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) are also down by 3.74% and 2.63% respectively today. Chinese EV leaders like Nio (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) ticked lower at 0.74% and 2.05% respectively. 

Dow Jones Today: 10-Year Treasury Yields Above 2% and Retail Sales Figures 

Following the stock market opening on Wednesday, the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq are trading lower by 0.67%, 0.56%, and 1.14% respectively. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) are both trading lower by 1.19% and 0.69% respectively.

Today, the U.S. 10-year Treasury ticked lower but still remains above 2%. This continues to be the case after two hot inflation reports within weeks. It is now at the highest level since 2019. Investors also dived into the Commerce Department’s latest retail sales report today. Retail sales increased by 3.8% in January, well above the 2.1% estimate. It is also significantly better than the 2.5% decline in December.

Online shopping and furniture sales played a crucial role in boosting the numbers. Notably, non-store retailers saw a gain of 14.5%, while furniture and home furnishing sales increased by 7.2%. However, these numbers do not account for inflation. Investors are also eagerly waiting for the central bank’s January meeting minutes that will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET today. The Fed could provide insight on how it feels about the economy and what it plans to do to combat rising inflation.

[Read More] Top Stock Market News For Today February 16, 2022

Upstart Shares Surge Following Blowout Quarterly Figures And Upbeat Guidance; Announces $400 Million Share Buyback

Among the hottest names in the stock market today would be Upstart (NASDAQ: UPST). This seems to be the case as UPST stock is gaining by over 30% at today’s opening bell. By and large, the current movement in the company’s shares is likely thanks to its stellar quarter earnings report yesterday. After yesterday’s closing bell, Upstart posted blowout figures across the board. In detail, it reported revenue of $305 million for the quarter, beating estimates of $262.9 million. This translates to a year-over-year hike of 252% in terms of quarterly revenue. At the same time, the company posted an earnings per share of $0.89, handily topping Wall Street forecasts of $0.51. Year-over-year, this is versus a loss of $0.19 per share.

Overall, the current momentum in Upstart’s core artificial intelligence (AI)-powered consumer lending business is apparent. Commenting on the company’s performance for the quarter is CEO Dave Girouard. He notes that Upstart’s core offerings have and continue to remain prominent in consumer-facing markets amidst the pandemic. Furthermore, Girouard also highlights that other key features such as auto loan originations continue to grow rapidly as well. All of which the CEO believes will continue to give Upstart growth opportunities in years to come.

Looking forward, the company also appears to be confident in its ability to perform in the current quarter. Namely, Upstart is now expecting revenue to fall between $295 million to $305 million. If anything, this is well above analyst projections of $258.3 million. All this alongside the company’s authorization of a $400 million share buyback program would put UPST stock in the spotlight.

Source: TradingView

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Generac Stock Jumps On Record Quarterly And Full-Year Earnings Report

In other earnings-related news, Generac Holdings (NYSE: GNRC) is also making waves in the stock market now. Before going into the details, a bit of background on the company. For the most part, Generac is a designer and manufacturer of energy tech solutions among other power products. Through its extensive portfolio, the company provides backup and prime power systems for home and industrial applications. Notably, Generac also offers solar and battery storage-related services.

Diving in, Generac posted earnings of $2.51 per share, marking a 27.4% year-over-year increase. Moreover, the company also raked in a record revenue of $1.07 billion for the quarter. This represents a sizable 40% year-over-year jump. In particular, the company saw solid year-over-year revenue growth of 58% and 42% in its residential and commercial & industrial segments respectively. All in all, it seems that Generac is gaining momentum on the operational front now.

In the larger scheme of things, the current quarter topped off an overall solid fiscal year for Generac. Weighing in on the company’s latest performance is CEO Aaron Jadfeld. He says, “We continued to experience exceptional demand during the fourth quarter and achieved record quarterly shipments and production levels as we exited 2021.” For 2022, Generac is eyeing revenue growth between 32% and 36%, citing “ significant growth in clean energy markets, strong broad-based global demand for C&I products, and recent acquisitions.” With all this in mind, GNRC stock’s gains of over 9% today would be understandable.

Source: TradingView

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