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Market Moves You Need to See
Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks Ended Mixed Yesterday, NVIDIA Posted Another Record Quarter And Raised Guidance After The Close

Stocks closed mixed yesterday with the Dow and the S&P modestly in the green, while the Nasdaq finished moderately in the red.

Traders were anxiously awaiting two pieces of data -- the FOMC minutes from the Fed's January meeting, and after-hours earnings from tech leader NVIDIA.

Let's start with the latter.

After the close, NVIDIA did not disappoint. They posted a positive EPS surprise of 13.41%, and a positive sales surprise of 8.82%. That translated to another record quarter with a quarterly growth rate of 486% vs. this time last year, and sales growth of 265% on $22.1B in sales. Moreover, they guided above views for the current quarter with $24B in sales, an 11.73% increase over the consensus for $21.48B. NVDA was down -2.85% in the regular session before earnings, but jumped more than 10% in after-hours trade.

The other piece of info the market was waiting on was the FOMC minutes. Much of this was already known, such as policymakers wanting "greater confidence" that inflation was continuing to ease. But acknowledging that rate hikes were likely over.

Caution was the underlying theme in an effort to mitigate the "risks of moving too quickly" on rate cuts. And the minutes showed that "participants highlighted the uncertainty associated with how long a restrictive monetary policy stance would need to be maintained."

There were no new revelations in the minutes. But it did suggest a deeper discussion on the timing of rate cuts will be had at the March meeting (March 19-20).

In other news, yesterday's MBA Mortgage Applications fell -10.6% w/w with purchases down -10.1%, and refi's down -11.4%.

And the Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations rose to 2.3% y/y vs. last month's expectations for 2.2%.

Today we'll get Weekly Jobless Claims, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, the PMI Composite report, and Existing Home Sales.

We'll also get more earnings with 316 companies on deck to report, including headliners Intuit, Booking Holdings, MercadoLibre, Copart, and Dominion Energy to name a handful.

At the moment, stocks are ever so slightly down for the week with two more days to go. But it won't take much to get them into the green.

And with 6 trading days left in the month, the big three indexes are so far up for the month. If they can do it again this month, that'll make it 4 up months in a row.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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