Stock Market Today: Stocks End Lower Ahead of Tech Earnings, Fed Meeting

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Stocks were choppy on Monday as investors anticipated a busy week. Along with results from Big Tech slated for release in upcoming sessions, the Federal Reserve’s latest policy decision is due out Wednesday afternoon.

“The Fed is still very well positioned to deliver another 75 basis point hike as inflation remains around a four-decade high and the economy continues to add jobs at a healthy pace,” he said. said Edward Moya, senior market strategist at Currency. OANDA data provider. “Given the Fed has been slow to fight inflation, it should come as no surprise that it is trying to stay aggressive with tightening as the [economic] the outlook is darkening.”

The energy sector (+3.7%) outperformed today as U.S. Crude Futures jumped 2.1% to $96.70 a barrel, while consumer discretionary stocks (-0.9%) lagged a strong sell-off in Weber (WEBR, -12.7%) shares. The grill maker released preliminary third-quarter sales figures well below analysts’ consensus estimate and withdrew its full-year forecast, citing “rising inflation, supply chain constraints supply, fuel prices and geopolitical uncertainty”. Weber also said he was replacing his CEO, effective immediately, as he seeks to better position himself “to meet historic macroeconomic challenges.”

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For larger markets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up 0.3% at 31,990 and the S&P 500 Index gained 0.1% to 3,966. Nasdaq CompoundMeanwhile, lost 0.4% to 11,782, semiconductor stocks like Marvell Technology (VMRM, -2.5%) and Nvidia (NVDA, -1.7%) sold.

Other news on the stock market today:

  • Small cap Russell 2000 rose 0.6% to 1,817.
  • Gold Futures Contracts fell 0.5% to $1,719.10 an ounce.
  • Bitcoin fell 3% to $21,906.41. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices shown here are as of 4 p.m.)
  • Newmont (NEM) climbed 13.2% after the mining company reported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 46 cents a share on revenue of $3.06 billion, below consensus analyst estimates. The company also said cost applicable to sales (CAS) rose 23.4% year-over-year for the three-month period, due to higher labor costs and fuel. Several other gold stocks fell in sympathy with NEM, including Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM, -4.6%) and Barrick Gold (OR, -2.78%).
  • Travelers (TRV, +2.3%) was the second-best Dow Jones stock today – just behind the energy giant Chevron (CVX, +3.0%) – after Raymond James analyst C. Gregory Peters upgraded the insurance name to Strong Buy from Market Perform (Neutral). The analyst listed several reasons why TRV “could be positioned to continue to outperform on a relative basis,” including a strong uptrend in renewal prices in its commercial insurance segment, rate increases to come for auto and home insurance and the attractive stock valuation. “TRV is a leader in the independent agency industry and has averaged a return on equity greater than 13% over the past 10 years,” says Peters.

Watch for dividend hikes this earnings season

As earnings season begins to heat up, investors will certainly be watching how companies are performing in terms of revenue and earnings, but they will also be looking for dividend announcements. Many companies tend to announce shareholder-friendly initiatives, such as stock buybacks or dividend increases, in conjunction with their quarterly updates.

And given the market turbulence we’ve seen so far this year, “investors should focus on industry leaders,” says Nancy Tengler, CEO and CIO of asset management firm Laffer Tengler Investments, especially those with “strong free cash flow and dividend”. producers if possible. »

Naturally, the best place for investors to find companies that are increasing their annual payouts is among the Dividend Aristocrats – the elite group of names in the S&P 500 Index that have increased their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. Here, we take a closer look at the top dividend-paying stocks in the S&P 500. Although they’re scattered across nearly every sector, they share one thing in common: a commitment to reliable dividend growth.

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