Dow dips, Macy's and Lowe's gain, Viking Therapeutics soars

Note: Figures recorded at 7:40am AEDT. Updated figures and a video recording will be available at 9am AEDT.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined over 100 points Tuesday as the market rally took another breather, with investors looking ahead to key inflation data slated for release later this week.

The Dow fell 86 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 inched up 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.4%.

Retail giant Macy’s advanced 3% after announcing it would close around 150 of its struggling stores after reporting a revenue miss in the prior quarter. Lowe’s gained 2.4% after posting an earnings beat. Zoom Video and Hims & Hers Health rose 6.7% and 31.1%, respectively, following earnings reports that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Viking Therapeutics' shares surged by over 90% following promising results from its phase 2 trial of VK2735, a potential competitor to Eli Lilly's Zepbound, causing slight declines in Eli Lilly's stock as investors showed enthusiasm for Viking's oral anti-obesity drug. Despite this, analysts anticipate continued growth in the obesity drug market, suggesting room for additional players alongside market leaders like Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly.

Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce released on Tuesday showed that orders for long-lasting goods declined more than expected in January, with the leading factor being a large drop in demand for transportation.

The latest consumer confidence numbers also fell on worries regarding a potential labour market slowdown and polarised political landscape, according to a Conference Board gauge released Tuesday. The board’s Consumer Confidence Index declined to to 106.7, which was lower than the downwardly revised 110.9 in January and below the Dow Jones estimate for 115.1.

Those come before January’s reading of the closely watched personal consumption expenditure price index, as well as data on personal income, slated for release on Thursday. Investors will watch these releases for future clues into the health of the economy and for insights into the path of monetary policy.

Oil prices rose as uncertainty surrounding Gaza cease-fire negotiations and expectations of OPEC+ extending production cuts beyond the first quarter drove market sentiment, with West Texas Intermediate climbing 1.56% to $78.79 a barrel and Brent rising 1.22% to $83.54 a barrel. President Biden expressed hope for a cease-fire by March 4th, but Hamas officials indicated dissatisfaction with current proposals, while Goldman Sachs forecasts OPEC+ production cuts to extend into the second quarter before gradually easing in the third quarter.

Figures around the globe

European markets closed mixed. London’s FTSE fell 0.02 per cent, Frankfurt added 0.76 per cent, and Paris closed 0.23 per cent higher.

Turning to Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.01 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.94 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 1.29 per cent..

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.13 per cent higher at 7,663.01.

Bell Financial Group (ASX:BFG) is paying 4 cents fully franked
Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) is paying 2 cents fully franked
ECP Emerging Growth (ASX:ECP) is paying 2.3 cents fully franked
EVT Limited (ASX:EVT) is paying 14 cents fully franked
Fortescue Ltd (ASX:FMG) is paying 108 cents fully franked
Gryphon Capital (ASX:GCI) is paying 1.4 cents unfranked
Mitchell Services (ASX:MSV) is paying 2 cents unfranked
Maxiparts Limited (ASX:MXI) is paying 2.57 cents fully franked
MyState Limited (ASX:MYS) is paying 11.5 cents fully franked
Ooh!Media Limited (ASX:OML) is paying 3.5 cents fully franked
Perpetual Cred Trust (ASX:PCI) is paying 0.6395 cents unfranked
360 Capital Mortgage (ASX:TCF) is paying 3.5 cents unfranked
The Lottery Corp (ASX:TLC) is paying 8 cents fully franked
Telstra Group (ASX:TLS) is paying 9 cents fully franked
Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX:WOW) is paying 47 cents fully franked

Dividends payable
Symbio Holdings Ltd (ASX:SYM)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.

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