On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down by 120 points. This downtrend continued following a hawkish readout of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy-setting meeting on Wednesday. The minutes hinted that officials were leaning toward more financial tightening policies in their fight against raging inflation. Investors continue to digest the Fed’s tightening plan which seems to indicate a higher level of urgency than previously communicated. The Fed is also looking into bringing its balance sheet down faster than market participants may have expected.
Today, Levi Strauss (NYSE: LEVI) beat consensus estimates by 4 cents with an adjusted quarterly profit of $0.46 per share. It also beat revenue forecasts, citing strong demand for its tops, jeans, and jackets while also successfully raising prices and cutting down promotions. Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) is down by over 19% on today’s opening bell after Deutsche Bank downgraded the drugstore operator to a Sell rating from a Hold rating.
Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are up by 0.26% today while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also up by 0.45%. Meanwhile, Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are trading lower on Thursday. Among the Dow financial leaders, Visa (NYSE: V) is down by 0.85% while JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM)is also down by 1.26%.
Shares of EV leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are up by 1.83% on Thursday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) are also down by 1.70%. Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) is also down by 1.20% today. Chinese EV leaders like Nio (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) opened lower today.
Dow Jones Today: Treasury Yields Increases and Fewer Jobless Claims Reported
Following the stock market opening on Thursday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are trading higher at 0.08% and 0.29% respectively. The Dow, however, was down by 0.39% today. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) is up by 0.33% while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) is also up by 0.10%.
The 10-year Treasury yield breached 2.645% today, rising to the highest level since early 2019, and was no longer inverted lower than the 2-year yield. However, the 5-year Treasury yield remains inverted, still higher than the 30-year yield. Historically, these inversions will happen before an economic recession. However, the jobs market remains strong, so this could allow the Fed room to slow the economy to fight inflation. The central bank is also expected to hike rates at all six of its remaining meetings this year.
U.S. initial unemployment claims fell much more than expected last week to one of its lowest levels since 1968, with the rate of new layoffs and firings staying low compared to pre-pandemic averages. Initial jobless claims for the week that ended on April 2 were 166,000 against the 200,000 expected.
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HP Stock On The Rise After Berkshire Hathaway Reveals Sizable Position In Firm
HP (NYSE: HPQ) is one of the major head turners to know in the stock market today. For the most part, the hype around HPQ stock now is essentially a result of a key SEC filing. Notably, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) Warren Buffett’s conglomerate is now the largest shareholder in the company. As you can imagine, HPQ stock is coming into focus because of this. As it stands, the company’s shares are up by over 17% at today’s market open.
In detail, Berkshire now owns a massive 121 million shares of HP, an 11.4% stake. The likes of which add up to roughly $4.2 billion in cost. This is according to its latest official filings with the SEC revealed yesterday. For one thing, HP would be one of the few tech firms that Buffett has in his portfolio now. This is mainly due to the Oracle of Omaha preferring stocks that adhere to his value investing strategy. Even so, with this purchase in mind, it seems that Buffett sees value in HP’s current strategy and business.
Accordingly, HP’s extensive portfolio of personal computing and printing offerings remains an integral part of office life now. Whether it is in work-from-home, hybrid, or conventional work environments, this is apparent. Pair this with the Berkshire news and the overall long-term viability of HPQ stock could be more visible today. Also, the company offers a commendable quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share. This would translate to an annual dividend yield of roughly 2.86%, which is considerably on the higher end. With all this in mind, we could be looking at an exciting day ahead for HPQ stock.
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Regeneron and Sanofi Receive EU Nod On Asthma Treatment, Dupixent
Meanwhile, Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) and Sanofi (NASDAQ: SNY) are on the receiving end of some positive news today. Namely, the European Union (EU) is expanding the approval for their co-developed drug candidate, Dupixent. To point out, the current extension now allows its use as a maintenance treatment for severe asthma in certain patients aged 6 to 11 years old. According to the duo, the EU’s current decision is based on Phase 3 clinical trial data on Dupixent. In these trials, the capability of Dupixent as a treatment for 408 children with uncontrollable moderate-to-severe asthma was studied. With asthma being among the most common chronic diseases in children, this is a massive step forward for the treatment.
Speaking in detail about the regulatory win is Naimish Patel, M.D., Sanofi’s head of global development, immunology, and inflammation. Patel notes, “We are excited to bring the well-established safety and efficacy of Dupixent to even younger patients living with uncontrolled severe asthma in Europe. In addition to greatly reducing severe asthma attacks and improving lung function, patients in our clinical trial also reduced their oral corticosteroid use. This is particularly meaningful as these are medicines that can carry significant safety risks if used long term.” With all this going for their asthma treatment candidate, Regeneron and Sanofi could be worth considering in the stock market today. Likewise, some would argue that the same could be said for REGN stock and SNY stock.
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