GM investment pops shares of Lithium Americas by 14.60% today

GM investment pops shares of Lithium Americas by 14.60% today

Along with announcing a big earnings beat today, General Motors (GM) reported that it will invest $650 million in Lithium Americas to help fund the development of that company’s Thacker Pass lithium mine in Nevada. The Thjacker Pass mine is projected to be the largest lithium mine in North America, but it is mired in a long-running lawsuit brought by Native American tribes and environmental groups that fear mining and processing of lithium would inflict large-scale damage to the local environment. Shares of Lithium Americas were up 14.60% as of the close today on the news.

General Motors reports record revenue in fourth quarter and big beat on earnings

General Motors reports record revenue in fourth quarter and big beat on earnings

General Motors (GM) shares are up 8.34% as of the close today after the company reported a huge jump in earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year. For the quarter the car company reported adjusted earnings per share of $2.12 versus an expected $1.69, and revenue of $43.1 billion versus an expected $40 billion. Revenue grew by 28% year over year. For the full year, GM reported EBIT profit of $14.5 billion, near the high end of its forecast of $13 billion to $15 billion.

Sell any post-Fed rally–stocks are way ahead of themselves on the Fed, interest rates, and inflation

Sell any post-Fed rally–stocks are way ahead of themselves on the Fed, interest rates, and inflation

Here’s what I expect on Wednesday. The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee will announce a 25 basis point interest rate increase. In his post-meeting press conference Fed chair Jerome Powell will try to talk the financial markets out of their exuberance by stressing that the Fed doesn’t see a quick end to interest rate increases because at 5% inflation is still running way ahead of the Fed’s 2% target rate. And I expect that investors and traders will ignore Powell’s comments and bid stocks high because a pause in rate increases is just around the corner–maybe as early as March–and financial markets can look for the Fed to begin cutting interest rates in the second half of the year. To which I say, Bushwah! I would sell any post-meeting rally. March increasingly looks like the month where reality will whack the markets on its head.

Saturday Night Quarterback says, For the week ahead expect…

Saturday Night Quarterback says, For the week ahead expect…

I expect Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, February 1. As of Friday, everybody from Elon Musk to my Amish egg guy thinks the Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points instead of the 50 basis points at the Fed’s December meeting. A 25 basis point move would, the consensus thinking goes, pave the way to a March end to this cycle of interest rate increases. And with a pause in effect, can a pivot to interest rate cuts by far behind? (I think this is very wishful thinking, but reality has never stopped a rally before.) On Friday, the CME FedWatch tool, which calculates the odds of a Fed move by looking at prices in the Fed Funds futures market, put the odds of a 25 basis point increase by 98.4%. No one, I repeat, no one was putting money on a 50 basis point move. The remaining 1.6% of the market was looking for the Fed to hold rates steady–in other words no interest rate increase. (I think even this tiny percentage might simply be an artifact of a few traders speculating on a big market reaction to a 25 basis point increase.)

So here’s what I think happens before and after the news.

Musk talks Tesla shares higher after earnings

Musk talks Tesla shares higher after earnings

Yesterday Tesla (TSLA) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.19. That did beat Wall Street projections by 8 cents a share. Revenue climbed 37.2% from a year earlier. That was in line with market expectations. And today Tesla shares closed up 1% to $177.90. What turned a modest earnings beat into a huge day for Tesla shares?

Consumer spending drops again in December

Consumer spending drops again in December

Consumer spending, the bulwark of the economy and the reason we had the very positive (2.9%) year-over-year GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter that was announced yesterday, fell by 0.2% in December from November, the Commerce Department reported today, Friday, January 27. After adjusting for inflation, consumer spending fell 0.3% in the month. Today’s report also adjusted the November figures to show a small drop in consumer spending for November. The initial report for that month showed a slight increase.

Please Watch My New YouTube Video: Quick Pick Microsoft

Please Watch My New YouTube Video: Quick Pick Microsoft

Today I posted my two-hundred-and-twenty-ninth YouTube video: Quick Pick Microsoft . This week’s Quick Pick: Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). Microsoft came out with earnings on Tuesday (shortly after filming this video). The earnings were expected to be disappointing as their revenue from their cloud service, Azure has slowed and the growth rate has been declining since September 2021. Microsoft’s earnings report initially surprised investors and the stock rose more than 4% in after-hours trading. But the next day, investors focused on the declining growth in Azure revenue and negative guidance for the future. The stock fell 0.59% at the end of the day. I’m suggesting buying Microsoft on the dip. Microsoft has invested $10B in OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT. OpenAI’s software can, among other things, create entire, fully-sourced essays, and research answers to questions using a simple search. This AI software is a new technology that has been looking for a way to be monetized, and Microsoft has an easy answer. Bringing ChatGPT to their already established suite of word processing tools, spreadsheets, and (let’s not forget) Microsfot’s search engine Bing. Microsoft opens up an immediate use for AI that will enhance the company’s legacy revenue stream. I’m buying on this dip with an eye to a future that features OpenAI.

Please Watch My New YouTube Video: Don’t pay for the illusion of control

Please Watch My New YouTube Video: Don’t pay for the illusion of control

Today I posted my two-hundred-and-twenty-eighth YouTube video: Don’t Pay for the Illusion of Control. Today’s topic is: Don’t Pay for the Illusion of Control. The market is rallying on the expectation that the Fed will reduce its interest rate increases to just 25 basis points on February 1, after the previous hike of 50 basis points. The belief is that the Fed will continue to wind down rate increases until they eventually stop after having vanquished inflation without tanking the economy. I have a few concerns about this rally. The market has priced this as 100% likely, so if the Fed disappoints with another 50 basis point increase, the market will not react well. Another huge problem with the idea that the Fed is controlling the market is this: there is no controlling this economy. Fed rates are just one of the factors in a very complicated economic picture right now. Here is a sample of some of the other things that can and will affect the market: as the Fed has reduced its balance sheet (and therefore reduced its supply of treasuries), the debt ceiling crisis has resulted in a lower supply of treasuries from the Treasury, and banks are moving their money to reserves, while money market funds are looking to buy bonds and there are none to be found. On a global scale, China’s battle with COVID could cause as many as one million deaths and slow that economy, while Beijing pours money into its financial system. Japan has seen an unusual surge in inflation and the fighting in Ukraine will likely get worse this spring as Russia looks to regain control of the war. All this to say, the Fed does not control the economy and I wouldn’t put all my eggs in the Fed basket.