A flurry of news from U.S. policymakers heavily affected stocks the past week, with the markets still going up and down on uncertainty long-tern. President Biden banned Russian oil, put out an executive order on crypto and changed its trade status with Russia. It even threatened China-based companies would be delisted from U.S. exchanges without more accounting scrutiny – and caused selling.
Some analysts believe energy and metals may be at a top, but they’ve been faring well as Russia-Ukraine tangles supplies of needed materials. Major companies reporting earnings include FedEx (FDX), GameStop (GME) and Cogent Biosciences (COGT).
- While the price of gold itself has faltered over the past week, demand for the precious metal is still clearly up over a long-term horizon. This can be seen in the rise of shares in Gold Fields Limited (GFI), one of the largest gold mining companies in the world. Gold is seen as an investment in trying times and has lots of use in many industries.
- Oil has fallen from its high close to $130 after U.S. President Joe Biden banned Russian oil the past week. However, supply shortage expectations have energy stocks focused on crude oil production up. One example of this is Chevron (CVX), which seems to be leading the way in a surge of its stock price – ExxonMobile (XOM) is faring well too.
- Biotechnology firm Seagen (SGEN), a developer of solutions to treat cancer, was one of the leaders in the healthcare sector this past week, a sector that showed better results than some others. The company, a rival to AstraZeneca (AZN), reversed course after a dismal drop after reporting a worse-than-expected outlook in earnings a month ago.
- The tech sector continues to get hammered, with most companies in the red. One bright spot is technology provider Infosys (INFY). The company hit an all-time high in January and looks to be going on a positive run-up again as investors buy on the company’s artificial intelligence, cloud computing, blockchain, and metaverse plans.
- Cybersecurity firms, which help customers better protect their technology systems, took a big hit this past week. Two of the biggest names, Fortinet (FTNT) and Zscaler (ZS) both saw investors hit the sell button. One reason may be Google parent Alphabet (GOOG) purchasing rival Mandiant (MNDT) for $5.4 billion, changing the competitive landscape.
- The supply chain problems associated with Ukraine-Russia continue to mount, and automakers, who require thousands of parts to assemble their products, are most affected. Auto parts suppliers such as Magna International (MGA) and Gentherm (THRM) saw shares slide as investors are concerned about the outlook for the auto industry overall.
- Delisting fears of China-based firms flagged by the Securities and Exchange Commission have caused many of the more well-known Chinese stocks to flop. Major brands such as ecommerce platform Alibaba (ADR)’s flagging stock and transportation firm Didi Global (DIDI) suspending its Hong Kong IPO are not good news for China companies.
- Ahead of an earnings report next week, eyeglasses provider Warby Parker (WRBY) has not fared well the past week. The company, which started as an ecommerce-only brand, is making attempts to grow into the larger vision care market which requires a more physical presence. It doesn’t appear that investors are impressed.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- It had seemed the past week that oil prices would continue to rise after crude hit the highest level since way back in 2008. However, Biden’s banning of Russia oil and loosening of sanction restrictions on Venezuela seemed to have softened investor fears. This doesn’t mean many aren’t keeping an eye on oil prices and the effect they have on the market.
- Another commodity to look out for: The price of nickel impacting manufacturing. Companies like EV manufacturer Rivian (RIVN) have said they will make changes to avoid using nickel and its skyrocketing prices. But not every company can simply stop using nickel so easily, and it will impact bottom lines and stock prices depending on how much higher it will go.
- U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell recently said Interest rates would rise, which would impact the ability for individuals and businesses to borrow money. The expectation is that it would happen Mid-March, and there’s not a sign it won’t happen. A rate increase would probably lead stocks lower, at least in the short-term.
- The price of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) went on a rollercoaster ride the past week. Prices of both cryptos gained double digits after President Biden issued an executive order to study cryptocurrencies, including the possibility of a digital U.S. dollar. Bitcoin hit a high of $42,584 and ether hit $2,773 before dropping.
DIVIDENDS – Companies expected to boost quarterly dividend payouts
- Horace Mann Educators (HMN) from $0.31 to $0.32
- Templeton Global Income Fund (GIM) from $0.0342 to $0.0362
- Sun Communities (SUI) from $0.83 to $0.88
- Globe Life (GL) from $0.1980 to $0.2075
- Toll Brothers (TOL) from $0.17 to $0.20
- DICK’S Sporting Goods (DKS) from $0.4375 to $0.4880
- Johnson Controls International (JCI) from $0.34 to $0.35
- American Express (AXP) from $0.43 to $0.52
- Colgate-Palmolive (CL) from $0.45 to $0.47
- Applied Materials (AMAT) from $0.24 to $0.26
Earnings this week
Thursday (3/17) – Warby Parker Inc. (WRBY), Hut 8 Mining Corp. (HUT), Scholastic Corporation (SCHL), FedEx Corporation (FDX), GameStop Corp. (GME), Accenture plc (ACN), Dollar General Corporation (DG),
Friday (3/18) – Krispy Kreme, Inc. (DNUT),
STAY IN THE LOOP!
Have you listened to this week’s episode of PassCast?
@FinPlanKaluAja1 discusses what is happening with commodity prices, US inflation and what to expect this week from the US market.
Get together with our community of global investors and stay up to date with important announcements while sharing knowledge and connecting with other users by joining our official Telegram groups:
Also don’t forget to check out the Passfolio Blog for more insights!
Keep in mind that different investments carry different levels of risk. Past gains do not guarantee future returns. Every investment should be carefully studied, in order to understand if a certain investment is the right fit for you.