Disney Will Be Tested in Today's Earnings; Stocks Gaining on Tuesday's Rally

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Walt Disney Co. (DIS) reports earnings after the closing bell today; the stock has fallen 20% since September. Investors will be looking at some key figures in today's report, including the number of subscribers to Disney+. The company had previously warned investors growth in this area may be slowing.

U.S. stock markets are gaining again this morning. Today's gains follow yesterday's 372 point rise in the Dow Jones index, which had been helped by a nearly 8% rise in Amgen Inc. (AMGN) on the back of a strong earnings report. The S&P 500 gained 0.8%, and the Nasdaq rose 1.3%

Key Takeaways

  • Stocks are gaining today on all major indexes, building on yesterday's increases as corporate earning growth boost investors' confidence.
  • Walt Disney, CVS Health and Uber Technologies report earnings today.
  • Nearly 60% of S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter earnings with roughly 77% topping earnings estimates, according to FactSet. 

In addition to Disney, companies reporting results today include CVS Health Corp. (CVS), Uber Technologies Inc. (UBER), and Yum! Brands Inc (YUM). Nearly 60% of S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter earnings with roughly 77% topping earnings estimates, according to FactSet.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged lower to 1.92%. Tomorrow the government will release its latest Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is expected to show prices rose 0.4% in January for a 7.2% gain from a year ago. Prices had climbed 0.5% in December, and 7% year-over-year. 

In Asia, major stock indexes posted gains, with the Hang Seng index jumping over 2% and the Nikkei index adding 1.1%. In Europe, stocks also rose with the STOXX Europe 600 index jumping 1.5%.

Oil prices are little changed after yesterday's declines, which followed the U.S. resuming indirect talks with Iran to revive a nuclear deal. An agreement could lift U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil quickly, adding to supplies on the market. Light sweet crude, which had gained more than $10 a barrel this year, is hovering around $89.50 a barrel.

 The price of Bitcoin gained nearly 2% in the past 24 hours, to over $44,100. The dollar is weaker against the euro.


Quick Hits: Today's Headlines

The Justice Department seized over $3.6 billion worth of digital currency stolen during the hack of a cryptocurrency exchange. Two suspects were arrested for allegedly trying to launder the proceeds. The DOJ noted this marked the largest financial seizure to date.

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) cut its production target by half a million vehicles due to the shortage of computer chips. The world’s largest automaker kept its profit forecasts for the coming year.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is introducing a new feature that will allow credit card and digital payments with just a tap on the iPhone, bypassing hardware such as Block’s Square terminals. Apple said the feature will be launched later this year. Shares of Block (SQ) fell on the news. 

Lyft Inc.'s (LYFT) stock price fell after earnings topped analyst expectations, while the company’s near-term outlook disappointed. Lyft’s active riders were also lower than the prior quarter and below analyst expectations.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) shares are on the rise after it posted better-than-expected earnings. The burrito chain’s CEO, Brian Niccol, said it will likely increase menu-prices to offset higher costs for labor and ingredients.

Disney, Sony Group Corp. (SONY), and ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC) are all set to bid for streaming rights to India’s cricket Premier League. The cricket broadcasts are seen as a major lure for India’s sizable population for streaming subscribers. 

The Big Story: Disney's Streaming Spotlight

Last month, shares of Netflix Inc. (NFLX) tumbled after the company reported slowing subscriber growth. Will Disney take a similar hit?   

Disney reports results after the closing bell today. Shares of Disney have fallen 8% this year, and 20% since September, when CEO Bob Chapek warned about slower growth for the company’s streaming service, Disney+. 

Disney shares are about 1% higher this morning.

Disney will need to hit or exceed 8.5 million new subscribers, according to FactSet estimates, bringing the total to about 127 million for the end of 2021. That is roughly half of Disney’s 2024 goals of 230 to 260 million paid subscribers. Last quarter, Disney+ attracted only 2.1 million new subscribers, the fewest since the streaming service launched in 2019. 

Much will depend on The Beatles, Star Wars bounty hunter Boba Fett, and the Marvel superhero Hawkeye to reignite subscriber growth. During the fiscal first quarter, Disney released “Get Back,” a documentary with previously unseen footage of The Beatles, the “Hawkeye” superhero series, and the first episode of “The Book of Boba Fett.”


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  1. FactSet. "Earnings Insight," Page 5.

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