Stock market today: Tech stocks lead market slide with Nvidia earnings on deck | February 20, 2024

Stock market today: Tech stocks lead market slide with Nvidia earnings on deck | February 20, 2024

Market News

  • The stock market experienced a down day, with tech stocks underperforming and the Nasdaq finishing down by 0.9%.
  • NVIDIA, a leading A.I. stock, dropped 4.35%, while other tech giants like AMD and Tesla also faced declines.
  • Walmart and Home Depot reported earnings, with Walmart reaching a record high and Home Depot also performing well.
  • Investors are anticipating NVIDIA's earnings report after the close tomorrow, which could further impact market sentiment.
  • Ken Ho, CEO of MA Ho Knee Asset Management, believes that the market is experiencing a rotation from leading stocks to lagging ones, with liquidity remaining high.
  • Despite the recent decline, Ken Ho remains positive about the prospects of tech companies like NVIDIA, emphasizing their long-term growth potential in the artificial intelligence revolution.

Deals and Mergers

  • Capital One is acquiring Discover Financial for $35 billion, creating the largest U.S. credit card company by loan volume.
  • The Capital One and Discover deal would create the sixth-largest bank by deposits and total assets, and the largest bank by credit card loans.
  • Potential cost savings from the deal include utilizing Discover's credit card network and reducing marketing and technology expenses.
  • Senator Warren expressed concerns about the proposed deal between Capital One and Discover, stating that it could negatively impact competition.
  • Antitrust experts believe that the deal is unlikely to face formal challenges from regulators due to the low market dominance of the merged firm in the card-issuing market.
  • Walmart is buying Vudu for nearly $3 billion, expanding its presence in the advertising space.
  • Walmart's acquisition of Vizio is seen as a strategic move to combine retail media networks with data from television viewing, creating a powerful advertising combination.
  • The downside risk for Walmart's acquisition of Vizio lies in carrying the device business to obtain the valuable data.

Company News

  • Ford is slashing prices on its Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle due to falling demand.
  • Astra Space is targeting a landing on Thursday, with optimism building around the potential success of the mission.
  • Roth MKM recently raised their target price for Astra Space from $4 to $15, reflecting increased confidence in future mission success.
  • Walmart reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, with e-commerce sales jumping 23% year over year.
  • Walmart's CFO noted that customers are being "choiceful" in their spending, with fewer items in their baskets but more frequent shopping trips.
  • Walmart's guidance for the current fiscal year is softer, forecasting sales growth between 3% and 4%, indicating some uncertainty in the quarters ahead.
  • Walmart's advertising business grew 28% in the quarter, and the company is looking to further expand its non-retail revenue streams.
  • Home Depot's 2024 outlook was slightly below expectations, with a projected 1% decline in same-store sales.
  • Despite the challenging housing market, Home Depot is expected to gain market share in the home improvement sector.
  • Home Depot's valuation is currently stretched compared to historical levels, but it is expected to normalize as top-line growth and margins recover.
  • Home Depot is preferred over Lowe's due to its stronger pro market, which is more resilient than the discretionary big-ticket purchases that DIY consumers are pulling back on.
  • Deere & Company (DE) is a cyclical stock heavily influenced by the farming cycle and farm income.
  • Farm income is projected to decrease in 2024, indicating a potential trough in the farming cycle, which is generally a good time to invest in cyclical stocks like DE.
  • DE is benefiting from the increasing adoption of precision farming technology, such as self-driving tractors and targeted pesticide applications, which provide cost savings and environmental benefits.
  • Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) is not primarily involved in farming equipment but focuses on construction and mining industries.
  • CAT has outperformed DE in the past 12 months, but its order backlog has started to decline, indicating a potential turning point in the construction cycle.
  • The non-residential construction sector in the US is currently at an all-time high, driven by factors such as the IRA and reshoring of manufacturing.
  • CAT's valuation is higher than DE's, trading at about 15 times its 2024 earnings estimates, suggesting less caution among investors about the sustainability of the current construction boom.
  • Ford is cutting the price of its 2023 Mustang Mach-E SUV to stay competitive against Tesla.
  • Elon Musk is increasing his ownership in Tesla to over 20% and is receiving support from ARK Investment CEO Cathie Wood.
  • Former Tesla board member Steve Westley agrees that Elon Musk is a transformational leader but believes Tesla needs appropriate governance.
  • Tesla and Elon Musk should focus on one

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