Daily JAM

Saturday Night Quarterback says (on a Sunday), For the week ahead expect…

Saturday Night Quarterback says (on a Sunday), For the week ahead expect…

This week brings fourth quarter earnings reports from Microsoft (MSFT) on Tuesday, and Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) on Wednesday to add fuel to the Big Tech rally. The NASDAQ 100, the home of big tech stocks, climbed 4.4% last week. Apple is expected to report record fourth quarter earnings. And that will certainly help technology stocks in general. But I’d also count the diversity of the companies reporting this week on the positive side of the ledger.

New claims for unemployment dip slightly, remain elevated

New claims for unemployment dip slightly, remain elevated

Initial jobless claims in regular state unemployment programs declined–on an adjusted basis–by 26,000 to 900,000 for the week ended January 16, the Labor Department announced today, January 21. On an unadjusted basis, initial claims for unemployment dropped by more than 151,000 to 960,668. Continuing claims in state programs–the number of people receiving ongoing jobless benefits–decreased by 127,000 to 5.05 million in the week ended January 9. In the week ended January 2 there were 3.03 million continuing claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which provides federal extended jobless benefits for those who have exhausted their regular state benefits

Gold is behaving like Biden stimulus is on its way

Gold is behaving like Biden stimulus is on its way

Gold futures on the COMEX for February delivery closed up 1.4% today, January 20, at $1866.50 an ounce. That’s the highest finished for the most active contract on the futures market since January 7. Silver for March delivery closed up 1.8% to $25.766 an ounce. All the talk about the need for a big stimulus program, bigger even than in response to the global financial crisis and the Great Recession, has sent some traders looking for inflation plays.

Today’s rally: Was it Biden or Netflix?

Today’s rally: Was it Biden or Netflix?

Today the Standard & Poor’s 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the NASDAQ Composite all hit record highs. Likely cause? The peaceful inauguration of Joe Biden as President? Yesterday’s report of blow out gains in subscribers in the fourth quarter from Netflix (NFLX)? While the sigh of relief that the country wasn’t enveloped in another wave of violence at the 46th President took the oath of office certainly played a role, my vote on causation today goes to yesterday’s news from Netflix that the company added 8.5 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, far ahead of Wall Street projections for 6.03 million added subscribers. Netflix shares closed up 16.85% today.

Stocks stage 180 as Yellen tells Senate Finance Committee that she, as Treasury Secretary, would support Biden’s plan to “go big” on coronavirus relief and stimulus

Stocks stage 180 as Yellen tells Senate Finance Committee that she, as Treasury Secretary, would support Biden’s plan to “go big” on coronavirus relief and stimulus

When she was chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen’s words would often move stocks. Well, she was at it again today when in her Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing for Treasury Secretary she told Congress to go big in coronavirus relief and economic aid. Stocks, which had been trading significantly lower in the morning hours abruptly reversed direction in the afternoon session. The Standard & Poor’s 500 had been down 0.33% at 11:18 a.m. New York time, but it closed up 0.81%.

ExxonMobil shares drop on reports of SEC investigation

ExxonMobil shares drop on reports of SEC investigation

Shares of ExxonMobil (XOM) closed down 4.81% today on a Wall Street Journal report that the Securities & Exchange Commission was investigating a whistleblower complaint alleging that the company overvalued assets in the Permian Basin oil shale geology. The whistleblower complaint alleges that during a 2019 internal assessment workers were forced to use unrealistic assumptions about how quickly wells could be drilled to reach a higher valuation.