Stocks opened higher Tuesday as investors attempted to look past Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's hawkish appearance on "60 Minutes." However, the main indexes ran out of steam as the session wore on as more central bankers took the wait-and-see route toward rate cuts.
The major benchmarks all closed lower Monday after Powell's Sunday night appearance on CBS' "60 Minutes" reiterated what he said following last week's Fed meeting. Specifically, Powell insisted that the Fed will not cut interest rates until it is confident inflation is sustainably moving toward the 2% central bank's target.
The S&P 500 (+0.2% at 4,954) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.07% at 15,609) traded in negative territory for most of the afternoon after Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said "it would be a mistake" to cut rates too soon. "Doing so would undermine all the good work that has gone into getting inflation to this point," she said at a bankers meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Still, the two managed to eke out modest gains by the close.
Palantir stock pops as artificial intelligence platform demand soars
Looking beyond Dow Jones stocks, Palantir Technologies (PLTR) soared 30.8% after the data analytics platform reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings of 8 cents per share. Revenue of $608 million also beat estimates. And while the company guided for lower-than-anticipated first-quarter revenue, its full-year forecast is higher than Wall Street is expecting.
Additionally, in Palantir's subsequent earnings call, Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Legal Officer Ryan Turner noted that demand for Palantir's Artificial Intelligence Platform (AIP) is "off the charts." This is evidenced by the 103 deals closed in the fourth-quarter that are worth at least $1 million each.
"We are impressed with AI Platform ramping faster than our initial expectations and believe it's appropriate to upgrade shares to reflect the momentum," said Jefferies analyst Brent Thill, who lifted his rating on PLTR stock to Hold from Underperform (Sell). Thill also said he's encouraged by Palantir's full-year free cash flow guidance – a first for the company – of $800 million to $1 billion.
Weight-loss drugs give Eli Lilly's Q4 results a boost
Eli Lilly (LLY, -0.2%) was another notable name in the earnings spotlight. The drugmaker's foray into the weight-loss drug market helped it deliver impressive fourth-quarter results, with earnings per share soaring 19% year-over-year to $2.49. Revenue surged 28% to $9.4 billion. Both figures beat analysts' estimates.
The company's financial results were boosted in part by sales for its type 2 diabetes drug Mounjaro, which rose to $2.2 billion from $279 million in the year-ago period. Revenue from its weight-loss drug Zepbound, which launched in early December, was $175.8 million.
These drugs have also helped boost LLY's share price, with the healthcare stock more than doubling over the past 12 months. And with a $668.7 billion market cap, Eli Lilly is now one of the world's most valuable companies.