Stocks were under some pressure Tuesday morning coming off a three-day weekend in the U.S., with concerns over a potentially deadly virus outbreak in China knocking global markets.
With a light line-up of corporate earnings results and economic data on the schedule for the session, attention instead turned to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the start of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.
9:32 a.m. ET: Stocks edge down slightly around market open
Stocks opened slightly lower, coming off Friday’s record highs.
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:34 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): -0.2% or -6.67 points to 3,322.94
Dow (^DJI): -0.08% or -23.52 points to 29,324.58
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -0.25% or -22.84 points to 9,365.41
Crude oil (CL=F): -0.6% or -$0.35 to $58.19 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): -0.7% or -$11.00 to $1,549.30 per ounce
8:22 a.m. ET: Credit Suisse raises S&P 500 year-end target to 3,600
Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Golub raised his 2020 price target for the S&P 500 to 3,600 from 3,425 previously, suggesting about 8% upside from levels as of Friday’s close.
The call is based on an S&P 500 earnings per share estimate of $175, representing 6.2% growth over last year and accelerating after a sluggish 1% rise in 2019. He expects EPS will rise to $184 in 2021.
Three main factors inform Golub’s new price target: First, he believes the domestic economy will firm further in the first half of the year, bringing both bond yields and equity prices higher. Second, he said the headwinds facing energy and big tech stocks in 2019 will reverse this year amid an improving economic backdrop, driving earnings growth for cyclical stocks. And third, multiples could have more room to expand.
“With multiples at 18.7x – versus a 50-year average of 14.4x – investors are reluctant to project higher PEs despite an abundant return of capital to shareholders (div + buyback yield = 4.1%), and depressed volatility, rates and spreads. By contrast, P/FCF (price to free cash flow) is roughly in line with long-term averages,” Golub said. “Our work indicates that stocks are undervalued on a discounted cash flow basis, and should grind higher.”
8:02 a.m. ET: Uber-bearish investor loses bitcoin stash
Peter Schiff, a noted cryptocurrency skeptic who’s relentlessly bearish on Fiat currencies — and a fierce critic of Fed policy — said over the weekend that he’d lost access to his bitcoin stash. Apparently his digital wallet stopped accepting his password:
I just lost all the #Bitcoin I have ever owned. My wallet got corrupted somehow and my password is no longer valid. So now not only is my Bitcoin intrinsically worthless; it has no market value either. I knew owning Bitcoin was a bad idea, I just never realized it was this bad! pic.twitter.com/6SJvDJOZU6
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) January 19, 2020
Schiff has promoted bullion for years, but was one of a handful of gold bugs willing to publicly denounce bitcoin (BTC).
7:59 a.m. ET: World Economic Forum under way
The 50th annual World Economic Forum continues Tuesday through the end of the week, bringing together some of the world’s most powerful leaders in Davis, Switzerland.
President Donald Trump delivered a speech at 9 a.m. local time, touting the strength of the U.S. economy and his administration’s phase one trade agreement with China signed last week.
“I told you we had launched the ‘Great American comeback.’ Today, I’m proud to declare the United States is in the midst of a great economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” Trump told the audience at the World Economic Forum.
7:45 a.m. ET: Stock futures edge down slightly
Stocks paced toward their first down day in four sessions, with contracts on each of the three major indices slightly in the red in early trading. On Friday, stocks had closed at record highs.
Here were the main moves during the pre-market session, as of 7:45 a.m. ET:
S&P futures (ES=F): 3,315.25, down 9.75 points or 0.29%
Dow futures (YM=F): 29,231, down 48 points or 0.16%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 9,140.00, down 34.5 points or 0.38%
Crude oil (CL=F): $57.74 per barrel, down $0.80 or 1.37%
Gold (GC=F): $1,557.60 per ounce, down $2.70 or 0.17%