Market Event, General

Week in Review: US markets hit record highs

Annie Charalambous, Friday, 22 January 2021

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Markets reached record highs this week as Biden was sworn into the US Presidency on Wednesday. The first order of business was laying out his plans for the first 100 days in office, starting with reversing many of Trump’s policies and passing a nearly $2 trillion COVID relief plan. 

Outside of the Inauguration, here are a few of the other market movers from this past week.

Netflix misses earnings but the future looks bright

In their Q4 earnings, Netflix posted EPS just shy of analysts’ estimates, but higher revenue and subscriber number saw shares soar 16% in the trading session that followed, hitting a record high. Subscribers passed 200 million for the first time, with 37 million being added in 2020, and 8.5 of those in Q4 alone. 

Execs’ earnings call also gave insight into what they expect for the months ahead, the company saying they are close to being free cash flow positive, and were even considering a buyback program to return cash to shareholders. They went on to add that they would no longer require any more external financing, having borrowed over $16 billion over the past decade to work on their own content.

Related: the tax man is coming for Netflix in Europe – read more at The Guardian

UK Retail Sales see their worst year on record

Friday morning saw lower-than-expected Retail Sales data coming in from the UK for December. MoM, sales grew by just 0.3% compared to 1.2% expected. For the year overall, estimates are that sales fell by 1.9% which is the biggest fall on record.
Clothes sales were down 25%, also the largest drop since records of the data began in the ‘90s. Sales for non-store retailers, however, were up 43.5% with food retailers seeing growth of 79% in online sales, compared to a healthy 4.4% growth for in-store sales. Earlier in the month, it was reported that High Street job losses in 2020 were the highest they’ve been in 25 years – over 180,000 retail jobs were lost in 2020.
Get the full report via the Office for National Statistics

Movers & shakers

🔺 Apple Inc (AAPL) gained 3.67% Thursday as Morgan Stanley pre-empt record earnings next week. Get more on that from Markets Insider
🔻 Alcoa (AA) was down 12% Thursday on earnings caution, despite positive results. Read the full story on The Motley Fool

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