Stock futures traded higher on Thursday as investors awaited the release of U.S. inflation data. Economists are expecting the consumer price index to have risen by 3.2% year over year in December. This data could potentially offer insights into whether the Federal Reserve will consider cutting interest rates as early as March.
Citigroup Faces Charges Amid Exposures
Citigroup has announced that it will incur one-time charges of $1.3 billion due to exposures to geopolitical and economic risks in Argentina and Russia. Additionally, the bank revealed that it will record a charge of about $1.7 billion to operating expenses in the quarter, related to a previously disclosed special assessment by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. These charges will impact the bank's fourth-quarter earnings, which will be reported on Friday. As a result, the stock experienced a 0.6% decline in premarket trading.
Impressive Performance by Meta Platforms
During premarket trading, Meta Platforms saw a 0.7% increase to reach $372.87. On Wednesday, the stock experienced a remarkable 3.7% surge, closing at $370.47, marking its highest close in over two years. According to Dow Jones Market Data, this was also the stock's largest single-day percentage gain since July 28, 2023. Furthermore, analysts at Mizuho raised their target price on Meta Platforms' stock from $400 to $470 on Wednesday.
Market Reacts Favorably to SEC's Approval
Coinbase recorded a 4.6% increase, MicroStrategy gained 2.6%, and Marathon Digital was up by 5.1% following the Securities and Exchange Commission's approval of the launch of the first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This regulatory approval is expected to facilitate easier and more affordable access to Bitcoin for retail investors.
In conclusion, stock futures suggest a positive start to the day as market participants eagerly await the U.S. inflation data. Meanwhile, Citigroup faces charges related to its exposures, Meta Platforms continues to impress, and the approval of Bitcoin ETFs opens up new opportunities for investors.
KB Home Reports Lower Q4 Earnings, but Sees Improved Demand Amid Falling Mortgage Rates
KB Home, a renowned home builder, has recently released its fourth-quarter earnings report, reflecting a decline in earnings and sales compared to the previous year. However, the company remains optimistic as it observes a notable increase in net orders during the first five weeks of the current quarter. This surge in demand is credited to consumers' positive response to the recent decrease in mortgage rates. Chief Executive Jeffrey Mezger stated, "We have experienced a meaningful sequential increase in our net orders for the first five weeks of our 2024 first quarter, as consumers are responding favorably to the recent decline in mortgage rates." Despite this promising news, KB Home's stock experienced a 2% drop.
Berkshire Hathaway Boosts Stake in Occidental Petroleum
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway made a significant move by increasing its stake in Occidental Petroleum to 34%, according to a filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission late Wednesday. This development indicates the confidence Berkshire Hathaway has in the energy company. Following this news, Occidental Petroleum's shares rose by 1.5%.
Skydance Media CEO Explores Bid for Paramount Global's Parent Company
David Ellison, the CEO of Skydance Media, is reportedly in discussions to make a bid for National Amusements, the parent company of Paramount Global. Several sources familiar with the matter have revealed that Ellison, along with his billionaire father Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, and other investors, is considering an all-cash bid to acquire a majority stake in National Amusements from Shari Redstone's family. Paramount's shares experienced a 1.4% increase following the news.
Mastercard Achieves Impressive Milestone with Market Capitalization Exceeding $400 Billion
Mastercard, a leading credit-card company, demonstrated its impressive strength in the market as its market capitalization surpassed $400 billion for the first time. The company's stock finished Wednesday with a 1.3% increase, leading to this remarkable achievement. During premarket trading, Mastercard experienced a 1% surge, reaching a value of $432.42.