Stock Market Today: Markets to Take a Pause Before Inauguration Day

stock market todayDow Jones Expected to Trade Lower

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost about 22 points on Wednesday to close at 19,804.72.

The Nasdaq Composite gained 16.93 points and closed at 5,555.65. The S&P 500 index ended slightly up, gaining four points, to close at 2,271.89.

Stocks are likely to take direction from a number of quarterly results that are scheduled today. But overall, trades shall be subdued as Donald Trump takes the office tomorrow and the market participants try to get some clarity on his policies in the coming days.

Stocks to Watch Today

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)

NFLX stock is up almost eight percent in extended trading on the back of a strong Netflix earnings report. The video streaming giant announced its Q4 earnings results after closing hours Wednesday.

Netflix stock is soaring as the company posted its biggest-ever quarterly subscriber growth that beat its guidance announced earlier. Netflix added 7.05 million subscribers during the fourth quarter in contrast to 5.2 million subscribers as expected earlier.

In the fourth quarter, Netflix added 1.93 million members in the U.S. and 5.12 million members globally. The results are particularly impressive given the fact that the rising content costs and the competitive landscape had been the concerns of analyst in the past.

But the investment in original TV shows and movies as well as expansion in global markets is paying off. Moreover, the company has issued strong subscriber guidance the first quarter of 2017.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Tesla stock gained over one percent Wednesday and it is up almost three percent in pre-market trading. Investors are optimistic about the future growth of the company as its “Gigafactory” production and autonomous driving plans gain strength.

According to a recent report, the sustainable energy company is likely to spend up to $350.0 million and hire about 550 workers to ramp up production of drive trains, which go into the making of its upcoming “Model 3.” A manufacturing base in the U.S. and higher investments in the future are likely to put Tesla stock (TSLA) in a good position under the Trump administration. (Source: “Tesla confirms Model 3 drive unit production at the Gigafactory, announces $350 million investment & 550 more jobs,” Electrek, January 18, 2017.)

Moreover, Panasonic Corporation has indicated that it would like to get into a partnership with Tesla in self-driving technology as well, besides batteries. The Japanese conglomerate also works with Tesla in the manufacturing of solar cells.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT)

Lockheed Martin stock is likely to be in the limelight in the stock market today on the news that the United States Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin are about to finalize a deal for a contract worth about $9.0 billion. The negotiations are going on to bring the cost of each “F-35” fighter jet to below $100.0 million, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday, as reported by Reuters. (Source: “Exclusive: Pentagon, Lockheed near deal on $9 billion F-35 contract – sources,” Reuters, January 19, 2017.)

LMT stock had plunged last month following a tweet from Donald Trump who had criticized the rising costs of the company’s F-35 program. This was after he threatened Boeing Co (NYSE:BA)with canceling the order for a new “Air Force One” due to high costs.  

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) stock closed almost flat yesterday, at $254.07.