Top Stock Market News For Today March 31, 2022


Stock Market Futures Edge Higher To Recover From Previous Day’s Losses

U.S. stock futures are in the green in early morning trading today. This seems to be part of a recovery effort from the losses seen in yesterday’s trading session. As investors adjust to the current volatility in stocks, analysts are looking ahead to April. Interestingly, LPL Financial’s (NASDAQ: LPLA) chief market strategist Ryan Detrick has plenty to say about this.

For starters, he notes, “The good news is stocks really appear to love April.” Detrick continues, “Not only is it the best month on average since 1950, but it has also been higher an incredible 15 of the past 16 years as well.” While these historical figures may be reassuring, others are suggesting that investors should be wary. This comes as the U.S. Treasury yield curve continues to flatten, a possible sign of recession previously. Nonetheless, amidst all this, there remain industries and companies that are hard at work in the stock market today. As of 6:25 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.02%, 0.13%, and 0.37% respectively.

Lithium Stocks On The Rise After Reports Of President Joe Biden Considering Signing Defense Production Act

Lithium stocks are among the top gainers in the stock market now. For the most part, this is thanks to reports regarding President Biden’s next legislative move. Namely, a report from Reuters notes that the President could resort to Cold War-era defense laws as early as this week. The likes of which would serve to further encourage domestic production of minerals. In particular, this could occur via the Defense Production Act (DPA). Through the DPA companies would receive help in the form of government funding. This, in turn, would fuel feasibility studies for new locations that extract lithium and nickel among other metals used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

All of this would serve to bolster domestic mining firms’ current facilities further. As such, it comes as no surprise to see some of the top lithium mining stocks gaining now. Evidently, companies like Lithium Americas (NYSE: LAC), Piedmont (NASDAQ: PLL), and MP Materials (NYSE: MP) are looking at year-to-date gains of over 16%. As businesses across the board continue to feel the supply crunch from the ongoing war, lithium miners remain in focus. Not to mention, the environmental benefits of boosting lithium production could also be another factor to consider. This would be the case as the transition towards EVs persists. Because of all this, investors could be considering lithium stocks in the stock market today.

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Apple To Allow Reader Apps To Sign Up Subscribers Without Additional Fees; BofA Highlights Strong Demand For iPhones

At the same time, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is making significant changes to its App Store. As of yesterday, the consumer tech giant is allowing “reader apps” to use external links when signing up new users. This means that users of apps such as Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) can now sign up or manage their accounts via external links. In detail, the current change mainly applies to apps that provide magazines, books, audio, newspapers, music, and video content. More importantly, this new policy allows apps in these categories to avoid Apple’s 15% to 30% transaction fees.

Ideally, the current move will have to further bolster the growth of apps on its platform. While the rule does not apply to all apps, Apple is open to requests. In a post on its developer website, Apple writes that keen developers can submit a request form to Apple’s App Review department. For one thing, this would match a similar policy change from Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google just last week.

If anything, analysts over at Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) or BofA for short, appear to be bullish on Apple. BofA analyst Wamsi Mohan recently wrote that demand remains “strong,” for Apple’s core iPhone product line. Mohan cites lower trade-in prices for older iPhones for this update. He currently has a Buy rating and a $215 price target on AAPL stock. With all this alongside Apple’s plans to launch its hardware subscription model, the company’s shares could be worth watching.

AAPL stock
Source: TradingView

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Walgreens Employing Robots To Fill Prescriptions In Micro-Fulfillment Facilities Across U.S.

On the health care front, we have Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA) making an interesting play. In essence, the company is turning to robots to help fill prescriptions. It is doing so via a network of robot-powered micro-fulfillment centers spanning the U.S. Simply put, these auto-fill facilities will deliver customers’ prescriptions, freeing up pharmacists for different responsibilities.

Explaining this in detail is CEO Roz Brewer. She says, “We’re doing all of this work, so that the pharmacist has an easier job so that they can get back to being front and center, building a relationship with that patient and interacting the way they were trained — the work that they love to do.” For now, Brewer adds that pharmacists will continue to fulfill time-sensitive medications and controlled substances at local stores.

Overall, Walgreens is planning to open 22 facilities over the next three years. By 2025, the company estimates that about half of its total prescription volume could be filled by automated hubs. For a sense of scale, one of these centers in Northlake fills about 35,000 prescriptions each day. According to Walgreens’ head of facilities Rex Swords, this figure will grow to as much as 100,000 eventually. As one of the largest U.S. retail pharmacy chain operators, this could serve to significantly optimize its massive operations. Whether WBA stock can benefit from this in the long run remains to be seen.  

WBA stock
Source: TradingView

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Freshpet Stock Gains After Upgrade From Goldman Sachs

In other news, Freshpet (NASDAQ: FRPT) seems to be gaining traction now following an upgrade from Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS). As a result of the update, FRPT stock gained by as much as 3% throughout yesterday’s trading session. All in all, GS analyst Jason English boosted the firm’s rating on FRPT stock from Neutral to Buy. To highlight, English cites a growing interest in the fresh pet food category as the core reason behind the upgrade. Freshpet, as the name suggests, specializes in bringing this type of pet food to pet owners in the U.S.

In English’s exact words, “We believe the cold-state pet food market is on the cusp of an inflection.” He also adds that management’s efforts to ramp up capacity are also another key factor to consider amidst all this. For his price target, the analyst is now looking at $136 per share, up from the prior $111. This bump for FRPT stock also comes at a time when conventional e-commerce pet-food firm Chewy (NYSE: CHWY) is declining. The reason for this is Chewy’s earnings miss yesterday. With all this in mind, investors looking to bet on the pet retail scene could be eyeing FRPT stock now.

FRPT stock
Source: TradingView

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Midam Ventures, LLC | (305) 306-3854 | 1501 Venera Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146 | news@stockmarket.com