The New York Stock Exchange oscillated between red and green on Tuesday, while hundreds of reports are published these days from leading firms, including Microsoft scheduled to close, then on Wednesday, Apple, Facebook, and Tesla, or Friday, Caterpillar and Chevron. Overall, almost a fifth of the participants of the S&P 500 Index is announcing this week their 2021 results and estimates, which are widely awaited against the backdrop of a health crisis. Markets are still expecting the Fed’s forthcoming decisions, which started on Tuesday with a two-day meeting, and are likely to affirm their long-term ultra-accommodative strategy.
The Dow Jones gave up 0.07 percent to 30,937 points at the end, while the S&P 500’s larger index dropped 0.15 percent to 3,849 points, and the Nasdaq Composite index, heavy in electronics and biotech stocks, fell 0.07 percent to 13,626 points, aiming for a historic fifth consecutive close.
New highs were set by Tesla (up 0.26 percent) and Apple (up 0.17 percent), while the stock of video game seller GameStop (up 91 percent to $146.88) continues to be the focus of wild speculation. After better-than-expected reports and hopes of promising outcomes from the Phase 3 trial of its Covid vaccine declared for “early next week” Johnson-Johnson climbed 2.7 percent.
Corporate announcements carry up health and political questions in the minds of consumers in the near term. This week, the firms concerned represent almost 40 percent of the large benchmark S&P 500 in market capitalization. Compared to the same time in 2019, the new FactSet consensus models a 5 percent reduction in the S&P index’s earnings for the year. But the chief analyst of FactSet does not rule out that earnings would eventually improve marginally, taking into account past evidence indicating that analyst forecasts are typically mostly out of date.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index for November grew sharply by 1.4 percent, compared with a forecast of 0.8 percent on the adjusted 20-City index compared to the previous month, in today’s economic news around the country. Compared to the previous month, the unadjusted index rose by 1.1 percent and by 9.1 percent year on year. In line with consensus in November, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index was up 1 percent from the previous month.