U.S. Stock Surge Continues as Chipotle, Tech Shares Drive Gain

Chipotle gains 9% after earnings beat estimates

U.S. equity markets are continuing their rally as solid corporate earnings boost investor optimism. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG) and Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM) gained, as the Dow and Nasdaq are both up about 200 points.

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. stocks are higher, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 each gaining more than 1% as solid corporate earnings boost investors' confidence.
  • Investors are awaiting an earnings report from The Walt Disney Company (DIS).
  • Crude oil reversed its earlier decline and is back above $90 per barrel. Bond yields declined.

Better-than-expected financial reports from restaurant chains Chipotle and Yum!, along with food sciences firm FMC Corporation (FMC), are sending their shares higher. Shares are rising for media companies after Omnicom Group Inc. (OMC) reported profit that beat forecasts, and its shares are trading near all-time highs.

Tech stocks are powering the Nasdaq's 1.5% gain. Meta Platforms, Inc. (FB) shares are up for the first day since last week's surprising earnings miss, and all the other FAAMG stocks are gaining as well.

Shares of travel-related companies are advancing again as New York became the latest state to lift mask mandates because of a decline in COVID-19 cases.

CVS Health Corporation (CVS) is the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 after the pharmacy chain didn't raise its 2020 earnings and sales guidance. Shares of Incyte Corporation (INCY) are falling after the drugmaker's profit came in short of estimates.  

Oil futures are bouncing back after two days of losses, rising above $90 per barrel again earlier today. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which has advanced for most of 2022, declined to 1.92%. 

Bitcoin (BTCUSD) and other major cryptocurrencies are trading higher (more below).

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Chart of the Day: Coin Call

Price of Bitcoin

CoinDesk

The price of Bitcoin is up to almost $44,000 today, but JPMorgan Chase argued that its "fair value" is about 13% below that. 

Strategists led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou came to that conclusion by looking at Bitcoin's volatility in relation to gold. They wrote that, if the volatility levels were the same or investors had the same weighting of Bitcoin and gold in their portfolios, their long-term Bitcoin price target would be $150,000. However, they assumed the cryptocurrency was four times more volatile than gold, putting its value at $38,000. The strategists noted that, if Bitcoin were only three times as volatile as gold, it would be worth $50,000.

Panigirtzoglou and the others added that the biggest challenge facing Bitcoin is its volatility and the boom and bust cycles that keep institutional investors from adopting it. They also pointed out that, while cryptocurrencies are experiencing hot growth compared to other asset classes, it's not because of a continuous rise in prices of more established coins such as Bitcoin and Ether (ETHUSD). Instead, the strategists said that the increase was from the expansion of the number of cryptocurrencies on the market.

Stock of the Day: Lyft (LYFT)

Lyft, Inc. (LYFT) reported that higher fares helped offset a decline in ridership in the fourth quarter, although the ridesharing company expects the effects of the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 to reduce current quarter demand.

Lyft reported it had 18.73 million active riders in the period, down from 18.94 in the third quarter and less than analysts' estimates. The company also anticipates that ridership will continue to decline in the first quarter because of the impact of the virus. It added that will reduce first quarter profit and put revenue in a range of $800 million to $850 million, below forecasts. 

CFO Elaine Paul indicated "despite short-term headwinds from omicron," the company remains optimistic about its full-year results. 

For the fourth quarter, Lyft's sales rose a better-than-expected 70% to $970 million, and earnings per share came in at $0.09, effectively in line with estimates. 

Shares of Lyft are up 2% today, but they've lost 46% of their value since their initial public offering in March 2019.

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