By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The major averages closed at fresh record highs Tuesday, as investors digested mostly bullish quarterly results just as the Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day meeting.
The rose 0.37% at a closing record of 4,630.65. The was up 0.39%, or 138.79 points to close at a record of 36,052.63. The Nasdaq climbed 0.34% to a closing record of 15,649.60.
Pfizer (NYSE:) rallied 4%, after lifting its full-year guidance following third-quarter results that beat analysts’ consensus on both the top and bottom lines, driven by strong vaccine demand.
Investors are also awaiting news later Tuesday from a meeting of an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on whether to expand vaccine eligibility to children of ages 5 to 11.
McKesson (NYSE:) third-quarter results also topped Wall Street estimates and the drug distributor raised its full-year earnings guidance, sending its shares closed up nearly 6%.
Technology, meanwhile, shrugged off its sluggish start to the week to rack up gains amid a more than 1% move in Apple (NASDAQ:), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:).
Other big cap tech traded mixed as Facebook-parent Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:), and Amazon (NASDAQ:) fell.
Semiconductor also pushed the broader tech sector higher following stronger than expected results from Apple chip supplier On-Semiconductor.
ON Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:) rallied 4% to a record high after guiding fourth-quarter guidance on revenue and earnings above estimates. The upbeat results drew a flurry of positive commentary from Wall Street, with Baird raising its price target to $75 from $60.
Shares of Avis Budget (NASDAQ:) more than doubled as its stronger quarterly earnings fueled positive upgrades from Wall Street. Morgan Stanley raised the firm’s price target on stock to to $140 from $110. The surge in Avis added more than 1,000 points to the .
But not all sectors were participating in the melt up on Wall Street, with energy and consumer discretionary in the red.
Consumer discretionary stocks were weighed down by a fall in Tesla (NASDAQ:) after its CEO Elon Musk appeared to cool some optimism on the Hertz order for 100,000 Tesla.
Under Amour eased some of losses in the sector after surging more than 16% after raising its full-year guidance amid quarterly results that topped analysts’ expectations.
Energy was down more 1% as oil prices drifted lower ahead of fresh weekly U.S. petroleum data expected to show a rise in crude stockpiles.
The , meanwhile, fell 2% as investors as the Fed kicked off its two-day meeting.
The Fed is expected to announce its taper on monthly bond purchases, and keep interest rate unchanged, but the central bank’s insight into inflation is expected to garner most of the attention.
Ahead of the Fed decision, investors see downside risks rather upside risks to equities.
“There is more risk to the downside for equities heading into the Fed decision,” Melissa Brown, managing director of applied research at Qontigo, told Investing.com on Tuesday. “Monthly data pointing to supply chain issues or that people don’t necessarily want to take up the jobs that are available has to lead to higher inflation.”
Still, risk sentiment remains intact as investors are shifting out of defensive corners of the market to riskier sectors like small cap and higher-valuation growth stocks.
“Investors seem to be moving now more away from the really defensive sectors or the defensive kind of styles and getting a little bolder,” Brown added.
Morgan Stanley: bear market rally to continue
One of Wall Street’s best-known bears, Michael Wilson, thinks the S&P 500 will rise another 7% before turning down, so the bear market rally will continue for now, writes Market Watch.
After the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite joined their strongest weekly gains since at least May last Friday, Wilson, who is chief strategist and head of U.S. equity markets at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), told clients that there could be another 5% to 7% before the downward trajectory of U.S. stocks resumes during the latest bear market recovery.
Wilson has held a bearish view of the stock market for about 2 years and correctly predicted a sell-off this year.
Wilson explained in a research note sent out to clients on Monday that a pullback in the 38-50% drop in the stock market this year “would not seem like something unnatural, not consistent with the previous bear market rally.”
While growth concerns have triggered a sell-off in commodities and lowered inflation expectations, the fact that the U.S. economy is already slowing and heading toward recession means that any market rally is likely to be short-lived, and U.S. stocks are likely to eventually fall.
Wilson mentioned in the note that the bear market is not over yet, although it may appear otherwise in the next few weeks as the market takes the rate cut as a sign that the Fed can still manage a “soft landing” and prevent a meaningful revision to earnings forecasts.
U.S. stocks rose last week as investors now hope the slowing economy and falling commodity prices may inspire the Fed to raise interest rates less sharply. Federal funds futures, a derivative used by investors to bet on the pace of the Fed’s monetary policy changes, estimate with a high probability that the Fed will be forced to start cutting interest rates again as soon as next summer.
They also consider the lower peak in the federal funds rate: it will peak around 3.5% at the end of 2022 instead of 3.75% just a couple of weeks ago. Wilson also pointed out the drop in Treasury yields: the 10-year Treasury bond yield went from 3.230% to a low of 3.07% on Friday before rebonding again on Monday.
Wilson expects the S&P 500 index to fall to around 3,400 points if the U.S. Federal Reserve manages to get a “soft landing” for the economy — which Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last week would be “a very difficult thing to do.”
Wilson expects that if the U.S. economy plunges into recession, the S&P 500 index will fall to around 3,000 points. In any case, Wilson believes that U.S. stocks are still highly valued because the risk premium — that is, the measure of compensation that investors receive for the extra risk of owning stocks instead of bonds — remains about 300 basis points higher than the 10-year Treasury bond yield, which is considered a “risk-free rate.”
Easing chip shortages to help Volkswagen in H2 – CEO
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen logo is pictured at the 2022 New York International Auto Show, in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen (ETR:VOWG_p) sees a strong second half of 2022 and expects progress in catching up with rival Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) as easing chip shortages start to offset supply chain bottlenecks and rising costs, the carmaker’s CEO said on Tuesday.
“We are earning more than ever,” Chief Executive Herbert Diess said at a works meeting, adding Volkswagen is ramping up electric vehicle volumes in its biggest markets in Germany and China thanks to easing semiconductor shortages.
This should allow the carmaker to narrow the Volkswagen-Tesla gap this year and meet its goal of becoming market leader by 2025 if it seizes the moment while the U.S. electric car maker burns cash on large investments, the CEO said.
“Elon (Musk) has to ramp up two highly complex factories in Austin and Gruenheide at the same time – as well as expand production in Shanghai. That’s going to take strength out of him,” Diess said.
Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani steps down as director of telecom arm
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, arrives to address the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai, India July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has stepped down as director of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the conglomerate’s telecom arm said on Tuesday.
Reliance Jio said https://refini.tv/3Nrs773 it has appointed Mukesh’s son and non-executive director Akash Ambani as the chairman of its board. Akash has been involved with the telecom unit since its launch in late 2016, where he started as a director.
India’s telecoms sector had been upended after the entry of Jio, which triggered a price war that forced some rivals out of the market and turned profits into losses.
Jio, which started out offering mobile teleservices, has been aggressively investing in services like internet broadband and forging ties with handset makers to launch low-cost smartphones and providing 5G services.
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