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International Market Update
- European markets closed lower Friday as investors digested major reports from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank the previous day. The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed down 1.42%, with only the oil and gas sector in positive territory. Auto stocks led the losses, down 3.34%. New data on Friday showed that new car sales in the UK last month were 23% below pre-pandemic levels. Investors also assess the new economic data from the continent. Retail sales in the eurozone fell 3% in December from a month earlier, but rose 2% from a year earlier.
- The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended their best week of the year Friday as continued strength in earnings reports extended the tech-led recovery from the January rout. Amazon led the S&P and Nasdaq gains with a 13.5% rise after the company topped its quarterly earnings and cloud revenue. Friday’s rise was also Amazon’s biggest one-day gain since 2015, with the 10-year Treasury yield rising above 1.9% to its highest level since December 2019 after the Labour Market report for January showed a 467,000 increase in payrolls.
- Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed this morning as markets in mainland China reopened after last week’s New Year holiday. In early trading, the Shanghai Composite was up more than 2%, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.13%. Investors continued to monitor the situation surrounding Ukraine. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned Sunday that a Russian invasion could be imminent.
In International news
Chip shortage forces Ford to cut production of F-150, Bronco and other key vehicles
Ford Motor is curbing production of several key products this week due to an ongoing global shortage of semiconductor crisps. The automaker confirmed Friday that production of the Ford Bronco and Explorer SUVs, Ford F-150 and Ranger pickups, Ford electric crossover Mustang Mach-E electric crossover and the Lincoln Aviator SUV at plants in Michigan, Ill, Missouri and Mexico because of parts shortages. The automaker is also cutting some production of the F-150 and Ford Transit van at plants in Michigan and Missouri. The cuts signal that the shortage of crisps that rocked the auto industry last year continues. They come a day after Ford missed Wall Street’s earnings expectations by a wide margin as production came in lower than expected due to supply chain problems. Shares fell 9.7% on Friday.
Columbia CEO says early holiday shopping boosted Q4 profitability
Columbia Sportswear’s strong profitability in the fourth quarter was helped by consumers starting their Christmas shopping earlier than in previous years. The outdoor apparel specialist reported a 64% year-over-year increase in net income for Q4 and provided solid guidance for the full year. Columbia’s fourth-quarter operating income of $211.6 million was a record for the Oregon-based company. It represented 18.7% of net sales, compared with 13.5% of net sales in the same quarter of 2020. Columbia expects 2022 revenue to be between $3.63 billion and $3.69 billion, a potential increaseof between 16% and 18% over 2021 figures.