It was a choppy day for trading as stocks struggled for direction following two straight down days.
Investors are jittery ahead of next week’s release of the January consumer price index (CPI), particularly after last Friday’s shockingly strong jobs report and an unexpected upward revision to the December CPI. A round of disappointing earnings weighed on investor sentiment, too, though a solid day for energy stocks kept the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average above water.
The January CPI will be released before next Tuesday’s open. Ahead of this, the Labor Department today revised data to show that consumer prices actually rose in December (opens in new tab), versus declining as initially reported. “This morning’s revision in the updated version of the estimated CPI index for December shows prices rose rather than declined and is adding to angst among investors who are struggling with a hawkish Fed that appears to have minimal tolerance for inflation,” says José Torres, senior economist at Interactive Brokers.
On the earnings front, shares of Lyft (LYFT (opens in new tab)) plunged 36.4% after earnings. While the ride-hailing firm beat on the top line, its Q4 loss was wider than expected. LYFT also gave weaker-than-expected first-quarter revenue guidance, and said it expects EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) to arrive between $5 million and $15 million – well below Wall Street’s estimate for EBITDA of $33.4 million.
“In 22 years on the Street as a tech analyst we have listened to 1,000’s of conference calls with many highs and lows,” says Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who downgraded LYFT stock to Outperform from Neutral, the equivalents of Buy and Hold, respectively. “Last night’s Lyft call was a Top 3 worst call we have ever heard as in our opinion as management is trying to play darts blindfolded with the expense structure going forward and gave an EBITDA outlook which was a debacle for the ages.”
At the close, the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.6% at 11,718. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 ended up 0.2% at 4,090, and the Dow rose 0.5% to 33,869, as Chevron (CVX (opens in new tab)) gained 2.1%. Lifting the blue-chip energy stock and its sector peers was a 2.1% gain in U.S. crude futures to $79.72 per barrel amid reports Russia is cutting crude output by about 500,000 barrels per day next month.
Why bulls should root for the Philadelphia Eagles
History suggests market participants should root for the Philadelphia Eagles to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in this Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII. “While not statistically significant, sometimes superstitious investors want to ride the wave of interesting historical trends,” says Larry Adam, chief investment officer at Raymond James (opens in new tab). “So, if you have not decided which team to root for, history suggests that the best equity market performance has occurred when Philadelphia’s conference (NFC) defeats Kansas City’s (AFC).”
And investors will want a high-scoring game, says Adam. Specifically, since 1967, Super Bowls where teams have scored at least 45 cumulative points have resulted in an average stock market gain of 12.6% in the 12 months following the game.
Now, it should go without saying that indicators such as these are for fun, and should not be used to make investing decisions. “Unquestionably, our positive outlook for the U.S. equity market is based on healthy fundamentals,” Adam says. In other words, focus on the best dividend stocks, the top recession-proof stocks and stocks with the highest dividend yields in the S&P 500 to make sure your portfolio has staying power.