Jerome Powell

What to Watch Today: Wall Street Looks a Bit Higher After Nasdaq's 3-Day Winning Streak

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures rose slightly Thursday ahead of what's expected to be another hot inflation report. The Nasdaq edged higher Wednesday, led by tech stocks rebounding for a third straight session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 eked out gains for a second day in a row, with each ending Wednesday less than 1.5% away from last week's record closes. The Nasdaq finished Wednesday 5.4% away from its latest record close in November. (CNBC)

* Profits for S&P 500 companies rose nearly 50% in 2021, estimates show (CNBC)

The Commerce Department said Thursday the December producer price index rose 9.7% year over year, slightly lower than estimates but still the largest increase on record. The PPI comes after December's hot but unsurprising decadeshigh consumer price index. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly initial jobless claims rose to 230,000, more than expected and up 23,000 from the prior week's unrevised level. (CNBC)

* Manhattan rents were the highest ever for December (CNBC)

Delta Air Lines (DAL) shares rose more than 1.5% in the premarket after the carrier on Thursday posted its highest quarterly revenue since late 2019. Fourth-quarter earnings also beat estimates. Delta said it expects a first-quarter loss, blaming the Covid omicron variant. However, the airline still sees a travel demand rebound further down the road and a profit this year. (CNBC)

Looking ahead, global alternative asset management firm TPG (TPG) is set to debut on the Nasdaq on Thursday, the morning after pricing its initial public offering at $29.50 per share, the middle of the expected range. (Press Release)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The Senate Banking Committee holds a confirmation hearing at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday to consider Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard's nomination to become the next Fed vice chair. In prepared remarks, Brainard said that controlling decades-high inflation is the "most important task" facing central bankers. (CNBC)

Brainard's prepared remarks stuck close to the monetary policy script used by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday at his confirmation hearing for a second term. He said the Fed will act as needed with higher interest rates and other measures to be sure inflation returns from its current highs to the central bank's 2% target. (CNBC)

President Joe Biden plans to deliver remarks Thursday about his administration's "surge response" to spiking Covid cases. Biden will highlight the federal government's efforts to use military medical personnel, starting next week, to help hospitals. The president will also announce that six additional military medical teams will be deployed to Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island. (AP)

* China locks down several cities as it faces omicron test ahead of Beijing Olympics (AP)
* Boris Johnson faces calls to resign as UK PM over lockdown 'parties' (CNBC)

Moderna (MRNA) expects to report data by March from its Covid vaccine trials involving children aged 2 to 5. If the study is supportive, the company said it would then file for emergency approval for vaccinating that age group. Moderna shares were modestly lower in the premarket. (Reuters)

* Disney Cruise Line to require children to show vaccination proof to board (USA Today)
* Omicron disrupts transit, emergency services as workers call out sick (CNBC)

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., who has been a staunch critic of China and companies there, since last summer has bought and sold stock and options in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA )after questions were raised about similar transactions, disclosure reports reveal. (CNBC)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said last night he will refuse to voluntarily give information sought by the selection committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a stance that will put pressure on the committee to subpoena him. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

KB Home (KBH) reported quarterly earnings of $1.91 per share, 14 cents above estimates, although the home builder's revenue was slightly below analyst forecasts. KB Home also issued a positive outlook for 2022, and its stock surged 7.7% in premarket trading.

Lennar (LEN) increased its dividend by 50%, raising its annual payout to $1.50 per share from $1.00. The home builder's next quarterly dividend of 37.5 cents per share will be paid on February 10 to shareholders of record as of January 27. The stock added 2.4% in the premarket.

Boeing's (BA) 737 MAX jet could resume service in China as soon as this month, according to a Bloomberg report. Boeing added 2.6% in the premarket.

Virgin Orbit (VORB) Virgin is scheduled later today to launch its first commercial satellite since going public. The stock added 2.1% in the premarket after falling 5.8% in Wednesday trading.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) reported record quarterly profit, with the chipmaker beating analyst forecasts while also issuing an upbeat outlook amid surging demand for semiconductors. The stock rallied 3.8% in the premarket.

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