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Dow dips, Macy’s and Lowe’s gain, Viking Therapeutics soars

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite ended Tuesday’s session with modest gains as investors prepared for key inflation data to be released later this week.

The S&P 500 inched up 0.17 per cent to 5,078.18. The Nasdaq added 0.37 per cent to end at 16,035.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 96.82 points, or 0.25 per cent, to close at 38,972.41.

Retail giant Macy’s advanced 3.4 per cent after announcing it would close around 150 of its struggling stores following a revenue miss in the prior quarter. Lowe’s gained 1.7 per cent after posting an earnings beat. Zoom Video and Hims & Hers Health rose 8 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively, following earnings reports that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Viking Therapeutics’ shares surged by over 90 per cent following promising results from its phase 2 trial of VK2735, a potential competitor to Eli Lilly’s Zepbound, causing slight declines in Eli Lilly’s stock as investors showed enthusiasm for Viking’s oral anti-obesity drug. Despite this, analysts anticipate continued growth in the obesity drug market, suggesting room for additional players alongside market leaders like Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly.

Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce released on Tuesday showed that orders for long-lasting goods declined more than expected in January, with the leading factor being a large drop in demand for transportation.

The latest consumer confidence numbers also fell on worries regarding a potential labour market slowdown and polarised political landscape, according to a Conference Board gauge released Tuesday. The board’s Consumer Confidence Index declined to to 106.7, which was lower than the downwardly revised 110.9 in January and below the Dow Jones estimate for 115.1.

Those come before January’s reading of the closely watched personal consumption expenditure price index, as well as data on personal income, slated for release on Thursday. Investors will watch these releases for future clues into the health of the economy and for insights into the path of monetary policy.

Oil prices rose as uncertainty surrounding Gaza cease-fire negotiations and expectations of OPEC+ extending production cuts beyond the first quarter drove market sentiment, with West Texas Intermediate climbing 1.56 per cent to $78.79 a barrel and Brent rising 1.22 per cent to $83.54 a barrel. President Biden expressed hope for a cease-fire by March 4th, but Hamas officials indicated dissatisfaction with current proposals, while Goldman Sachs forecasts OPEC+ production cuts to extend into the second quarter before gradually easing in the third quarter.

GlobalData estimates a significant 11.7 per cent increase in global uranium production in 2024 to over 60.3Kt, driven mainly by rising output from Kazakhstan and Canada, with Kazakhstan expected to lead due to increased production from Kazatomprom. Conversely, iron ore prices have fallen to their lowest levels since October 2023 amid concerns over a potential decline in Chinese steel demand after the Lunar New Year holidays, prompting Vale SA to seek increased sales outside of China, reflecting a lack of optimism among miners regarding a demand revival from China.

Turning to US sectors, all closed higher overnight except for Health, Energy and Consumer Staples. Utilities was the best performer.

Futures

The SPI futures are pointing to a 0.3 per cent gain.

Currency

One Australian dollar at 8.30am was buying 65.44 US cents.

Commodities

Gold added 0.03 per cent. Silver fell 0.22 per cent. Copper gained 0.52 per cent. Oil added 1.37 per cent.

Figures around the globe

European markets closed mixed. London’s FTSE fell 0.02 per cent, Frankfurt added 0.76 per cent, and Paris closed 0.23 per cent higher.

Turning to Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.01 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.94 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 1.29 per cent..

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.13 per cent higher at 7,663.01.

Ex-dividends
Bell Financial Group (ASX:BFG) is paying 4 cents fully franked
Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) is paying 2 cents fully franked
ECP Emerging Growth (ASX:ECP) is paying 2.3 cents fully franked
EVT Limited (ASX:EVT) is paying 14 cents fully franked
Fortescue Ltd (ASX:FMG) is paying 108 cents fully franked
Gryphon Capital (ASX:GCI) is paying 1.4 cents unfranked
Mitchell Services (ASX:MSV) is paying 2 cents unfranked
Maxiparts Limited (ASX:MXI) is paying 2.57 cents fully franked
MyState Limited (ASX:MYS) is paying 11.5 cents fully franked
Ooh!Media Limited (ASX:OML) is paying 3.5 cents fully franked
Perpetual Cred Trust (ASX:PCI) is paying 0.6395 cents unfranked
360 Capital Mortgage (ASX:TCF) is paying 3.5 cents unfranked
The Lottery Corp (ASX:TLC) is paying 8 cents fully franked
Telstra Group (ASX:TLS) is paying 9 cents fully franked
Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX:WOW) is paying 47 cents fully franked

Dividends payable
Symbio Holdings Ltd (ASX:SYM)
BWP Trust (ASX:BWP)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.

Disclaimer

The views, opinions or recommendations of the commentators in this presentation are solely those of the author and do not in any way reflect the views, opinions, recommendations, of Sequoia Financial Group Limited ABN 90 091 744 884 and its related bodies corporate (“SEQ”). SEQ makes no representation or warranty with respect to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the content. Any prices published are accurate subject to the time of filming and shouldn’t be relied upon to make a financial decision. Commentators may hold positions in stocks mentioned and companies may pay FNN to produce the content at times. The content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Independent advice should be obtained from an Australian Financial Services Licensee before making investment decisions. To the extent permitted by law, SEQ excludes all liability for any loss or damage arising in any way including by way of negligence.