Stock Market Today: January 11, 2022
Mario Ferro | 1/11/2022
Before The Bell - U.S. stocks started the week off with a sharp move to the downside, but an afternoon rally helped erase some of the losses.
The major indexes have largely trended downward since the start of the year, as investors weigh the potential impact of the Federal Reserve’s planned rate increases. Notably, government bond yields have continued to move higher as traders sell their Treasury holdings (bond yields move inversely to prices, rising as prices fall). This suggests that the Fed, which had been widely expected to make its first move around June, may act sooner rather than later. The coronavirus also continues to weigh heavily on the market, particularly as new cases of the Omicron variant continue to set daily records across the globe. On a positive note, Moderna (MNRA) is working on a booster shot that specifically targets the fast-spreading mutation. The biotech company says the new shot will soon enter clinical trials and may be available by autumn of this year. Moderna has reportedly already booked more than $18 billion in advance sales. Meanwhile, Pfizer (PFE) said it could have a vaccine that targets Omicron (as well as other variants) ready by March.
The Dow Jones Industrials, which had lost more than 500 points by late morning yesterday, ended the session down 162 points, or just under half a percentage point. The broader S&P 500 kept to a narrower range, closing down six points. The NASDAQ made the most impressive comeback on the day. At one point, the tech-heavy composite was down as much as 2.7% from its previous close, and nearly 10% off of its record high close from last November. However, earlier losses were erased, and the NASDAQ ended six points ahead of breakeven. Most of the major market sectors were in the red, with the largest losses coming from industrials (-1.2%), materials (-1%) and consumer staples (-.7%). On the other side of the ledger, healthcare issues were up 1%, while technology and communication services closed just above the unchanged mark.
Elsewhere, oil prices retreated slightly, with light sweet crude down 0.6%, to about $78.45 a barrel. Meanwhile, in Europe, shares spent most of the day trending down. France’s CAC-40 took the biggest hit, slipping 1.4%. Germany’s DAX didn’t do much better, falling 1.1%, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 managed to keep losses to half a percentage point.
As we look to the new day, markets in Asia closed mostly down, but the European bourses are all trading in the green, and U.S. stock futures are suggesting a positive open for the major indexes. In the energy markets, crude oil prices are up more than 1%.
On the economic calendar for this week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the Consumer Price Index figures for December on Wednesday. The Wall Street consensus is calling for the rate of increase to be down compared to November, at around half a percentage point or so, but the year-over-year comparison is expected to be up slightly, to around 7%. That will be followed on Thursday with December’s Producer Price Index, which is expected to mirror the change in the consumer index. Finally, on Friday, the U.S. Census Bureau will report the retail sales figures for December, which are likely to be down slightly due to weakness in the automotive sector. – Mario Ferro
At the time of this article’s writing, the author did not have positions in any of the companies mentioned.