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S&P 500 Breaks Losing Streak; Square (SQ) Sells on Q4 Beat

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Market indexes put together something of an afternoon rally today, with the S&P 500 closing in the green, breaking a 5-day losing streak. It’s only up 0.13% at the bell, however; indexes began pulling back minutes before regular trading ended. The Dow also closed in the green, but by an even slimmer +0.05%. The Nasdaq came up off intraday lows but still finished down, -0.50%, while the small-cap Russell 2000 sold off by 0.88% on the day.

It’s more of the same from a wider focus: booking profits after an extraordinary past six months for several industries, either into cash or commodities like Copper (which is enjoying a nice pop of late, up again today after crossing $4.00 per pound late last week). Today, the airlines got some positive attention, with both JetBlu (JBLU - Free Report) and Southwest (LUV - Free Report) up 3.5% on the day. Hoteliers and cruise lines performed even better: Marriott (MAR - Free Report) gained nearly 5% while Royal Caribbean (RCL - Free Report) was up 4.4%.

Fed Chair Powell doesn’t appear to be blinking at signs of inflation entering the economy with a new historic stimulus package on the way, likely within the next month. Keeping rates ultra-accommodative is designed to help bring the labor force back to pre-pandemic levels, and the Fed looks willing to take some cost increases to see that happen. Powell himself said the economy was still “a long way” from a full recovery. The Fed Chair has another day of Senate testimony tomorrow.

After today’s close, Square, Inc. (SQ - Free Report) reported a beat on top and bottom lines in its Q4 earnings report, posting 32 cents per share versus 23 cents expected by analysts, which matched the 23 cents reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $3.16 billion also topped expectations, representing top-line gains of around 140% year over year. The company announced it is taking an even bigger stake in Bitcoin currently — now $170 million worth. Shares of Square are down following the earnings release by 5%.

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