Last week the markets were largely bullish as the US congress passed a $1.9 Trillion stimulus bill. US equities were trading higher as the S&P 500 index, Dow Jones 30 index and the Nasdaq 100 index were all trading at all-time highs.
The UK vaccinated more than 13.5 million people with their first dose. This is well on course to achieve 15 million vaccinations by 15th February 2021. The US had administered more than 48 million covid-19 vaccine doses while the global tall moved to 159 million. This brought renewed hope in economic recovery worldwide.
New concerns about going green were raised as Germany experienced challenges in their power supply. The current winter in Europe has had an adverse effect on Germany’s solar panels since they are covered with snow and ice. It has also affected their wind turbines since there was no wind for a significant period. Germany heavily depends on renewable energy but was forced to rely on coal and gas as the renewables were affected by winter. The German DAX index ended the week down roughly 1.2%.
Brent oil was trading above $60 per barrel for the first time since the pandemic began. WTI was trading at around $58. A level last experienced in January 2020. This was largely attributed to optimism about economic recovery, US stimulus, vaccine rollout, and the move by OPEC+ countries to curtail oil supply in a bid to manipulate prices to the upper side.
Reddit retail traders turned to cannabis stocks forcing a short squeeze on Tilray shares. ETFMG Alternative Harvest, the cannabis ETF, was up more than 70% year-to-date. This was amid a possibility of cannabis legalization in the US as well as Tilray-Aphria merger that is set to result in the biggest cannabis company in the world.
Next week we expect the vaccine rollout and the $1.9 trillion stimulus to continue influencing the market. The Reddit traders might continue running cannabis stocks higher as the current frenzy ended the week on a high.
The economic calendar will be mildly busy as retail sales data is expected on Wednesday for the US and Friday the UK & Canada. FOMC meeting minutes will be released on Wednesday. Australia will release their jobs data on Thursday. US crude oil inventories will be released on Thursday too. The week is set to end with European and UK flash manufacturing and flash services data on Friday.
Walmart, Shopify, Nestle, John Deere, Applied Materials, Airbus, Daimler (Mercedes Benz), BAT, and Palantir are all set to release their earnings reports next week. The stock markets are expected to continue their bullish run as fundamentals continue being strongly in support of the current run.
Travel and hospitality industries are expected to increase in volatility as investors place bets on a fully reopened economy.
Assets to Watch
Uber reported mixed Q4 earnings on Wednesday last week. The rides recovery was slow while food recovery was up 128% year over year. Delivery revenue soared 224% compared with the same period last year.
The company recently acquired Drizly, America’s top app for alcohol delivery. Besides this renewed hope, Uber is still not profitable. It lost $8.5 billion in 2019 and $6.8 billion in 2020. Investors are expecting the company to break even in 2021.
Lyft competes with Uber in the ride hailing business as well as the delivery business. They recently raised 2021 expectations as they reported that the company may break even in the third quarter of 2021.
Covid-19 vaccinations and US stimulus are the two fundamentals strongly supporting demand for Lyft services. In November 2020, Uber and Lyft won a court case that was pushing them to classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. A law was passed exempting them from providing certain employee benefits to their drivers.
Cemex reported their Q4 earnings report on Thursday last week. Earnings per share rose 160% to $0.06 compared with the same period last year. The Mexican company is current the largest ready-mix cement supplier in the world. It makes 24% of sales in the EU, 23% in Mexico, 30% in the USA, 13% in South America and the Caribbean while the rest (11%) is generated from Asia, Middle East and Africa.
The company reported a profit in 4th quarter of 2020 while sales revenue surged 9%. The current rise in US housing sector and the proposed $2T spending on infrastructure by Biden is set to benefit Cemex.
UBS group recently adjusted Cemex price target to $7.5 up from $5.7. The stock was trading at around $6.65 on Friday.
Research & Markets Analyst
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