A busy day for political and monetary events finds stocks and commodities around the world trading higher again this morning. US index futures are up 0.1% to 0.9% with the NASDAQ leading the charge. Overseas, the FTSE is flat (but the Pound is up 0.25% against the US Dollar and 0.5% against the Euro), the Dax is up 0.4% and the Hang Seng is up 1.0%. WTI Crude Oil is up 0.8%, but natural gas is down another 3.5%. Metals (gold, silver and copper) are all holding steady so far today.
Today’s main event is the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President at noon EST. Following the ceremony and speech, Biden is expected to hit the ground running and issue a number of executive orders related to climate (rejoining the Paris Accord and cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline), immigration, and other areas, with more expected over the next several days. US stocks have come a long way since election night, and with several major US indices hitting new all-time highs since the start of this year, significant positive expectations have been built into the market for the new administration.
The Bank of Canada is meeting this morning with a decision and statement due at 10:00 am EST. No changes to interest rates or asset purchases are expected at this time but investors may still look to the statement for clues about the state of the Canadian economy or hints of whether the bank is planning additional support measures to offset the negative economic impact of increased lockdowns and curfews.
Earnings season continues to ramp up with a number of results out this morning, headlined by Netflix which is up 13.1% in premarket trading after announcing quarterly numbers. Results were mixed with sales beating expectations ($6.64B vs street $6.62B) but EPS falling short of analyst estimates ($1.19 vs street $1.39). It appears investors have decided to focus on the news that the company topped 200 million subscribers for the first time and talk from management about moving toward becoming free cash flow positive plus the potential for share buybacks in the coming year.
Other senior US companies reporting results today include: Procter & Gamble ($1.64 vs street $1.51) and UnitedHealth ($2.52 vs street $2.41). Alcoa and United Airlines are scheduled to report after the close this afternoon.
SIA Wealth In The Media
Chief Market Strategist Colin Cieszynski recently appeared on BNN Bloomberg where he discussed relative strength in North American markets, and the potential impact of the incoming Biden Administration on stocks and markets.