Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
Wall Street looks lower on final day of dismal January trading
Big Tech, automakers lead major companies reporting earnings this week
White House says omicron spread may impact Friday’s jobs report
Spotify to add content advisory when podcasts mention Covid
Biden to meet Qatar leader as Europe energy crisis looms
1. Wall Street looks lower on final day of dismal January trading
U.S. stock futures were mostly lower Monday, heading into the final trading day of January. Despite Friday’s 2.4% rally, in the midst of weeks of turmoil, the S&P 500 is headed for its worst month since March 2020 when the Covid pandemic was declared. This past Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 564 points, or 1.7%, and the Nasdaq added 3.1%. But like the S&P 500, the Dow is tracking for its worst month since October 2020 and the Nasdaq is on pace for its worst month going all the way back to October 2008 in the throes of the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession. Friday’s rally did pull all three stock benchmarks into positive territory for last week. However, the Nasdaq remained in a deep correction.
2. Big Tech, automakers lead major companies reporting earnings this week
The flood of major companies reporting earnings takes a pause Monday, before continuing in earnest for the remainder of the week. Wall Street has so far been underwhelmed with some of what it’s seen from tech, sending shares of Tesla, Intel and Netflix sharply lower after each of those reports. Last week, Apple and Microsoft fared better, though, which could bode well for the remaining mega caps. After Chevron missed on earnings Friday, Tuesday brings Exxon Mobil as well as Google parent Alphabet and General Motors. Facebook parent Meta Platforms is out Wednesday, with Amazon, Merck and Ford a day later.
3. White House says omicron spread may impact Friday’s jobs report
The government this coming Friday is set to release its latest employment report. While economists polled by Dow Jones expect 178,000 nonfarm payrolls were added last month, there are questions about how the spread of the Covid omicron variant may impact the numbers. Brian Deese, President Joe Biden’s top economic advisor, told CNBC on Friday that Covid case spikes in early January could skew the employment data. The White House does not get access to sensitive economic numbers. However, Deese, director of the National Economic Council, and his staff are likely doing their own analysis.
4. Spotify to add content advisory when podcasts mention Covid
Audio streaming giant Spotify said Sunday it will add content advisories to any material mentioning Covid, and direct its users to public health sites for more information. Spotify is facing a declining stock price from backlash over its decision to continue to air the popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” despite concerns that it is spreading coronavirus misinformation. On Sunday, Rogan posted a video on Instagram, saying he agrees with the content advisories before podcasts containing Covid commentary. He also said he’d be open to following guests with controversial opinions on Covid with other experts who have differing views. Neil Young began the boycott of Spotify last week.
5. Biden to meet Qatar leader as Europe energy crisis looms
With oil prices trading around seven-year highs against the backdrop of political tensions in Eastern Europe, Biden is set to meet at the White House on Monday with the ruling leader of oil-rich nation Qatar. Biden hopes Qatar, who aided in last summer’s U.S. military evacuations in Afghanistan, will once again help the West as it faces the prospect of a European energy crunch if Russia invades Ukraine. The White House said Biden and Qatar’s leader would also use Monday’s meeting to discuss the Middle East, the situation in Afghanistan and U.S. efforts to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.