Stock Market News for Jan 18, 2022

·3 min read

Wall Street closed mixed on Friday following mixed fourth-quarter 2021 earnings results of banking industry. A series of weak economic data also dented market participants’ confidence. The Dow ended in red while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite finished in positive territory. Wall Street was closed on Monday (Jan 17) for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 0.6% or 201.81 points to close at 35,911.81. Notably, 15 components of the 30-stock index ended in red while 15 in green. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished at 14,893.75, rising 0.6% due to strong performance by large-cap technology stocks.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 dropped 0.1% to end at 4,662.85. Four out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in positive territory while seven in negative territory. The Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE) and the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) fell 1.2% and 1%, respectively, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) gained 2.4%.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 5.56%% to 19.19. A total of 10.74 billion shares were traded on Friday, higher than the last 20-session average of 10.34 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.63-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.19-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

Mixed Earnings Results for Banks

The fourth-quarter 2021 earnings season gathered pace from Jan 14 as major banks started reporting their quarterly financial numbers. Citigroup Inc. C surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both earnings and revenues. However, the share fell 1.3% after the company’s quarterly net profit plunged 24% year over year.

First Republic Bank FRC outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both earnings and revenues. However, its shares tumbled 4.2% after the company’s fourth-quarter 2021 non-interest expenses surged nearly 30% year-over-year to $866 million.

Positive News for Casinos

Major casino stocks gained on Friday following the decision of the Macau government that the number of casinos allowed to operate there would remain limited at six. Licenses of the incumbent operators – including Wynn Macau, Sands China and MGM China – are set to expire this year.

As a result, share of Las Vegas Sands Corp. LVS, Wynn Resorts Ltd. WYNN and MGM Resorts International MGM jumped 14.2%, 8.6% and 0.5%, respectively. Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Economic Data

The National Bureau of Statistics of China reported that the country’s GDP in the fourth quarter of 2021 dropped to 4% from 4.9% in the previous quarter. However, in 2021, China’s GDP grew at 8.1%, marking the largest jump since 2011. The data was slightly better than the IMF and World Bank's expectations of 8% growth and well above the 6% target set by the Chinese government.

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