A brutal week for the markets is coming to a close, and it couldn't arrive fast enough for most investors.
While stock futures gained ground early on Friday, the S&P 500 is on track to shed an astounding $1 trillion in market value this week. The benchmark index is down about 19% from its January highs and is closing in on its seventh straight weekly decline. Such a losing streak hasn't been seen since March 2001, according to Bloomberg data.
The intense selling pressure this week has been fueled by rising recession fears, in part driven by terrible earnings and outlooks from major retailers Walmart, Target, and Kohl's.
Wall Street pros warn the bottom in the markets may not have yet arrived given badly damaged investor sentiment.
"I think the psychology is rotten right now," Interactive Brokers Chief Markets Strategist Steve Sosnick said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). But the problem is I look at our customer data. We still see customers buying their favorite stocks, looking for that dip. You've heard the term capitulation. That's really what you need to sort of get at least an intermediate term bottom. And we're not seeing that."
All that said, here are some hot tickers on this Friday via the Yahoo Finance Trending Ticker page:
China EV makers: China-based EV (electric vehicle) makers Nio and Xpeng are catching bids on an unexpected interest rate cut today by the country's policymakers. The People's Bank of China lowered its benchmark rate for loans five years or more to 4.45% from 4.6%, which WSJ noted is the single largest cut since the rate became included in the bank's policy toolkit in 2019.
The rate cut is spurring optimism the EV industry will see an upswing in sales. despite the fact that Nio and Xpeng production and sales continue to be plagued by China's strict COVID-19 lockdown policy and the ongoing shortage of semiconductors.
Meme stocks: Shares of top meme stocks AMC, GameStop and SoFi are all putting in pre-market gains today — extending bullish moves in the past five sessions. On the week, shares of SoFi are up 36%, AMC has tacked on 17% and GameStop has added 11%.
Ross Stores: The latest retail stock to catch a post-earnings beatdown is Ross Stores. Shares of the off-price retailer are down 27% to $68 in pre-market trading, and it's all deserved.
The company said late Thursday that first-quarter same-store sales fell 7%. The important retail figure also badly lagged the performance of rival TJX Companies, which saw unchanged first-quarter sales. Ross' operating profit margins dropped 340 basis points from a year ago on high levels of transportation inflation, a common theme amongst retailers at the moment.
The company slashed its full-year profit outlook to $4.34 to $4.58 a share from $4.71 to $5.12 previously.
"We believed investors had been hiding out in Ross Stores (and shunning Burlington Stores)," BMO Capital Markets Analyst Simeon Siegel, who lowered his price target on Ross Stores to $99, wrote in a note to clients. "We continue to see Ross Stores as a long-term share taker, but also recognize a very high short-term bar to own consumer discretionary."
Foot Locker: A rare winner in the beat-up retail patch this week is Foot Locker. Shares of the footwear retail popped as much as 5% in pre-market trading on a 6 cent earnings beat.
Same-store sales fell 1.9%, however.
“We are off to a strong start in 2022, reporting a solid quarter against the tough comparisons of fiscal stimulus and historically-low promotions from last year,” Foot Locker CEO Richard Johnson said in a statement.
Expectations were low going into the report: Shares fell 34% in late February after Foot Locker warned of less business from Nike, which is pushing deeper into opening its own stores and selling merchandise on its website/mobile app.
Since then, Foot Locker has struck a new deal to work closer with Adidas and now, with this better than expected earnings report, sentiment on the company could be turning the corner.