Stocks came under pressure Friday afternoon, reversing early gains.

The Dow Jones Industrials eked higher 0.98 points to 31,494.32, for a gain on the week of nearly 36 points. The blue-chip index had jumped more than 150 points earlier in the session.

The S&P 500 demurred 7.26 points to 3,906.71, for a loss on the week of 28 points.

The NASDAQ Composite added 9.11 points to 13,874.46, for a tumble on a short week of 221 points, or 1.6%.

Though the major indexes traded higher for most of the morning, a combination of rising interest rates and profit taking in some of the market’s largest technology companies appeared to dampen optimism after noon.

Cyclical stocks posted some of the strongest gains with the industrials up 1.8%, materials and financials sectors each ahead 1.6%. Utilities and consumer staples stocks were among the biggest laggards.

Applied Materials, which makes the equipment used … Read the rest

After today’s Supreme Court ruling that Uber drivers should be classed as workers and not self-employed the inevitable comparisons with our old case have already started.

For those that need reminding, one of our former plumbers, Gary Smith sued Pimlico for employment rights, including back-dated holiday pay, despite being a self-employed plumbing contractor and signing a contract to that effect and earning more than £500,000 over three years from the company.

During his time with Pimlico Plumbers, he operated as self-employed and was VAT registered. He paid taxes on a self-employed basis, bought his own tools and materials, on which he reclaimed tax, also claiming for an office in his home, chose when he wanted to work, and even employed his wife to carry out secretarial tasks for him and offset that as a business expense.

This included a trip to the Supreme Court where Mr Smith was deemed to … Read the rest

Monday

U.S.

Economic Lookahead

Leading Economic Indicators (Jan.)

Featured Earnings

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW) (Q2) EPS projected for a loss of 32 cents, compared to a loss of 43 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Nordson Corporation (NASDAQ: NDSN) (Q1) EPS projected to be $1.06, compared to 89 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (NYSE:HTA) (Q4) EPS projected to be 43 cents, compared to 42 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) (Q3) EPS projected to be 47 cents, compared to 75 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Canada

Featured Earnings

Equitable Group Inc. (T.EQB) (Q4) EPS projected to be $3.63, compared to $4.13 in the prior-year quarter.

GFL Environmental Inc. (T.GFL) (Q4) EPS projected to be 50 cents, compared to 13 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Lucara Diamond Corp. (T.LUC) (Q4) EPS projected for a gain of one cent, compared to a loss of two … Read the rest

We’ve often heard COVID-19 described as a health emergency, but, as the pandemic continues to rumble on, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we’re also in the grips of an economic emergency.

Almost two million people in Britain have not worked for more than six months during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by The Resolution Foundation.

Paul Naha-Biswas, CEO and Founder of Sixley explains that report found that up to 1.9 million people in January had either been out of a job or on furlough full-time for half a year – highlighting the lasting impact of the pandemic on the labour market.

At the same time, redundancies are rising at a record rate. And the Treasury’s independent economic forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, has predicted that unemployment will hit 2.6 million by the middle of 2021 as the furlough scheme ends.

With the vaccine rollout underway, many … Read the rest

Stocks rose on Friday after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a large COVID-19 relief package is needed for a full recovery in the U.S.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 82.26 points to 31,575.60,

The S&P 500 nicked 1.88 points higher to 3,915.72.

The NASDAQ Composite acquired 55.11 points to 13,920.47. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Microsoft all fell.

Apple, up 0.3% on Friday, is down 3.9% on the week.

Friday’s gains weren’t enough to scrub the S&P 500’s losses for the week: The index was down 0.3% for the period as of the latest reading. The Dow Jones has fared better with a gain of 0.5%. The NASDAQ is down 1% since last Friday’s close.

Cyclical stocks posted some of the strongest gains with the industrials up 1.6%, materials, improving 1.4%, and financials sectors ahead 1%. Utilities and consumer staples stocks were among the biggest laggards.

Applied Materials, which makes the … Read the rest

New research finds that one in three still don’t trust online bank transfers despite branch closures leaving no other option.

Since 2015, 3,836 bank and building society branches have closed, making online banking the only option for some consumers.

With HSBC marking the latest significant closures in the banking world, research from anti-money laundering specialists,

Faster Payments’ figures show that over two billion online bank transfers were carried out in the UK in the year leading up to September 2020, with a total transactional value of £1.3 trillion.

Despite this vast number of online bank transfers taking place, one in three consumers stated they do not trust bank transfers to be carried out safely and securely online.

The research also shows varying levels of trust across banks when it comes to money transfers.

In terms of age groups, 65+ year olds are the most sceptical, with 42% of this age … Read the rest

Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday as a jump in monthly jobless claims raised concerns over the country’s economic recovery, while delays in rollouts of coronavirus vaccines also hit sentiment.

The S&P/TSX Composite slid 80.36 points by noon Thursday to 18,294.42.

The Canadian dollar inched down 0.02 cents to 78.72 cents U.S.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Crescent Point Energy, which jumped 56 cents, or 13.3%, to $4.74, and Aphria, which rose 4.8%.

Canfor regained 55 cents, or 2.1%, to $26.59, while Ballard Power, down $1.87, or 4.6%, to $38.78.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada said its new housing price index rose at its fastest pace since October, increasing 0.7% nationally in January.

Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign started on the same day in December as the United States, but it now lags dozens of countries, including its southern neighbor, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is … Read the rest