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What Did the Stock Market Do? Jan. 15, 2021

Latest Updates:

Dow Sheds 150+ Points to Close Out Friday

[Friday, January 15, 4:02 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

  • The S&P 500 closed lower by 0.72%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.57%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed lower by 0.87%
  • The Russell 2000 closed lower by 1.49%

IPO Watch: Playtika, Driven Brands, Bumble

[Friday, January 15, 3:59 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Missed the latest IPO news today? Get caught up with InvestorPlace.

  1. Mobile gaming company Playtika (NASDAQ:PLTK) starts trading on the Nasdaq Exchange.
  2. Auto care company Driven Brands (NASDAQ:DRVN), parent of Meineke and Maaco brands, also started trading on the Nasdaq.
  3. Dating platform Bumble filed for Nasdaq IPO under ticker BMBL.

Global Covid-19 Death Toll Crosses 2 Million

[Friday, January 15, 3:46 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

A grim headline for a grim day in the stock market.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, the global death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic has now surpassed 2 million. This comes after weeks of elevated case counts, deaths and hospitalizations, and as governments around the world move to try and contain the winter surge. Additionally, despite the ongoing rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN), experts are calling for a deadly January as well.

What else should investors watch? Along with the winter surge, other influential headlines have included the more-contagious strains of the virus found in the United Kingdom and South Africa. After researchers reported two similarly contagious strains in Ohio on Wednesday, concerns rose about the likelihood of a national spread. On Friday, the Centers for Disease control and Prevention warned that the U.K. strain could become the dominant one by March.

There is one reason for optimism, however. As part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal, President-elect Joe Biden is hoping to up spending on vaccines and testing. That could be one way for the U.S. to regain control of this surge and return to reopening plans.

Midday Update: Major Indices Remain in a Slump

[Friday, January 15, 12:56 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

  • The S&P 500 is down 0.43%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.27%
  • The Nasdaq Composite is down 0.47%
  • The Russell 2000 is down 1.36%

BlackBerry Shares Lead the Way Friday

[Friday, January 15, 12:54 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Without any updates from BlackBerry (NYSE:BB), investors may be wondering why BB stock is leading the way on Friday. However, as InvestorPlace contributor William White found out, it looks like shares have been trekking higher following an announcement earlier this week.

Importantly, many people associated BlackBerry with the mobile phone brand. However, the company behind BB stock no longer is behind those phones. Instead, it focuses on cybersecurity, 5G, internet of things (IOT) and artificial intelligence solutions. It actually spun those assets off to TCL Communication and startup Onward Mobility. In the latest move as BlackBerry distances itself from mobile devices, the company announced this week it sold off more patents. Who was the buyer? None other than Huawei, the company caught in the middle of U.S.-China tensions.

However, the potential for controversy is not stirring up trouble for BB. Instead, at the time of this writing, the stock was up more than 14%.

For more, read the InvestorPlace.com brief on BB stock here.

Precious Metals: Silver Will Soar in 2021

[Friday, January 15, 11:43 am]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Looking to the rest of 2021, analysts are confident that the rally in precious metals will only continue.

During 2020, the novel coronavirus pandemic sparked quite a bit of panic. When the stock market took a tumble, investors were looking for a way to protect their wealth. And what better way to protect their wealth than stockpile gold and other precious metals?

That same stockpiling theme, combined with government debt, negative returns on bonds, threats of inflation and market turbulence will all continue supporting precious metals in 2021, according to independent analyst Ross Norman. As part of this, gold should also continue to gain this year… but those gains may be limited.

Norman and a whole group of other analysts agree that 2021 presents a unique opportunity for precious metals other than gold. Specifically, silver looks ready to be the top winner thanks to these same catalysts. Just as with calls for an altcoin rally in the crypto space, silver could benefit in precious metals.

3 Big Stories to Watch Today

[Friday, January 15, 10:48 am]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

  1. Another stimulus plan. On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden unveiled his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, and investors were closely watching. Biden calls for $1,400 direct payments, which would combine with the $600 payments from December. This brings the total individual relief to $2,000 and matches calls from many lawmakers for that amount. The new stimulus proposal also includes $400 per week in enhanced unemployment benefits, a $15 federal minimum wage, eviction moratoriums through September and $350 billion in aid for state and local governments. Although the major indices are struggling today, the plan could spark new buying optimism next week. In the past, investors have cheered on the thought of stimulus measures that would buoy consumer spending and fuel Robinhood-esque trading.
  2. Bank earnings. As usual, the big banks are kicking off the start of this earnings season. Today JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) all beat earnings per share estimates. However, while JPM beat analyst revenue estimates, Citigroup and Wells Fargo missed. Despite the earnings beats, all three bank stocks are trading down today.
  3. Retail sales and consumer sentiment. Unfortunately, this morning saw consumer sentiment and retail sales updates miss estimates and dip month-over-month. This is not entirely surprising given the rise in Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths we have seen since the start of the winter. However, with many investors waiting for economic recovery, this morning dealt another blow. Consumer sentiment readings dipped to 79.2 from 80.7, missing estimates for 79.5. Retail sales dipped 0.7% last month, while online sales fell 5.8%.

Major Indices Open Down

[Friday, January 15, 9:31 am]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

  • The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.4%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 0.61%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened lower by 0.09%
  • The Russell 2000 opened lower by 2.05%

Stock Market Futures Dip Friday

[Friday, January 15, 8:54 am]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

  • S&P 500 futures are down 0.44%
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are down 0.53%
  • Nasdaq Composite futures are down 0.02%
  • Russell 2000 futures are down 1.18%
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