5 Reasons Why Sensex and Nifty Zoomed 2.5% Today

Indian share markets extended their historic Budget-day rally and ended 2.5% higher today with automobile and financial stocks leading gains.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 1,197 points (up 2.5%).

The NSE Nifty closed higher by 367 points (up 2.6%).

SBI and UltraTech Cement were among the top gainers today.

The SGX Nifty was trading at 14,730, up by 374 points, at the time of writing.


The BSE Mid Cap index ended up by 2.3%, and the BSE Small Cap index ended higher by 1.6%.

On the sectoral front, gains were largely seen in the auto sector, capital goods sector and banking sector.

Asian stock markets ended higher today. As of the most recent closing prices, the Hang Seng ended up by 1.2% and the Shanghai Composite ended up 0.8%. The Nikkei ended higher by 1%.

US stock futures are trading higher today indicating a positive opening for Wall Street indices. Nasdaq Futures are trading up by 132 points (up 0.1%), while Dow Futures are trading up by 256 points (up 0.9%).

The rupee is trading at 72.97 against the US$.

Gold prices for the latest contract on MCX are trading down by 0.6% at Rs 48,130 per 10 grams.


Here are Top 5 Factors Why Indian Share Markets Rallied Today

Progress in US Stimulus: Top Democrats in the US Senate and House of Representatives filed a joint US$ 1.9-trillion Budget measure on Monday, in a step toward bypassing Republicans on Covid-19 relief before President Joe Biden met with Republican senators.

Union Budget 2021: Proposals of the Union budget were the biggest factors moving stock markets. Global rating agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) said that India's Budget represents a comprehensive effort by the central government to shore up the country's economic recovery.

Banking Stocks Rally: The Nifty Bank index rallied as much as 8% post Budget and majority of gains were led by ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, SBI, and IndusInd Bank. The index continued its upward journey today as well when it rose 3.6%.


In our new video series called Momentum Moves, Brijesh Bhatia spoke about why the Bank Nifty ratio chart is indicating that the next leg may be led by banking stocks.

You can watch the video here: The Bulls Have to Fight Hard Going into the Budget

Firm Global Cues: Positive cues in Asian share markets also improved sentiment. Asian shares rose higher on optimism about economic stimulus and global recovery as the Covid-led worries ease.

FII Inflows: In the run-up to the Budget, Indian share market witnessed selling by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) for five consecutive sessions. However, FIIs seem to be back as NSE data shows they net bought worth Rs 14.94 billion on February 1.

We will keep you updated on how these factors develop in the coming days and what effect they have on Indian stock markets. Stay tuned!

Speaking of the current stock market scenario, note that the BSE Sensex crossed the historical milestone of 50,000 last month on 21 January.

The BSE Sensex rose from 40,000-mark hit on October 8, 2020 to 50,000 in just 74 sessions. Developments on the vaccine front, a change of guard in the United States, FII buying and recovery in economic growth are the key factors behind this rally.

Yesterday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021 and the markets gave a huge thumbs up to the measures announced.

The Sensex rallied over 2,300 points yesterday and ended 1,197 points higher today. The Sensex is trading just shy of the 50,000 mark.

The Sensex had lost over 3,500 points in the six sessions before the Budget, but the massive rally on the Budget day, followed by extended gains today lifted the benchmark index to the same level.

Our editors have been pointing out for many weeks now about the risky nature of the market as Covid-19 remains an overhang and the economic outlook remains uncertain.

Have a look at the two charts below, in the order they have been placed.

Near Term Volatility in Sensex Compensated by Long Term Gains

The year-on-year change in the Sensex was hardly predictable but someone who stayed invested multiplied every lakh nearly 14 times.

As per Co-head of Research at Equitymaster, Tanushree Banerjee, 2021 could be one of the best years for individual investors.

Here's what she wrote in one of the editions of Profit Hunter:

  • 2021 could be one of the best years for individual investors.

    You read that right. Investing is one of those rare pursuits where amateurs can have an advantage over professional fund managers.

    It happens in almost no other field. If you compete against a professional sports person, you'd lose every time. As an amateur doctor or scientist, you need years of training before performing highly specialised tasks.

    However, individual investors who have a strategy to create long term wealth, stand a good chance at outperformance.

    Most professional fund managers can't afford to have long time horizons. A year or two of poor performance and they risk the sack.

    But an individual investor can sit tight over high conviction stocks and invest consistently to see the magic of compounding.

    Just like the investors in Titan saw their wealth creation unfold since 2004.

    So, 2021 could be extremely profitable, over time, provided you reset your portfolio with the right kind of safe assets and safe stocks.

    For the next decade, your best fund manager could be none other than you!

    Prepare well and ensure you make the most of it.

In her latest video, Tanushree discusses the best safe assets for 2021. You can watch the video here: Safest Assets in 2021 are Not What You Think...

In news from the IPO space, Indigo Paints share price listed on bourses today with a stellar premium of 75%.

Further, the stock rallied as much as 110% to hit an intraday high of Rs 3,129 on the BSE, which was also a 20% upper circuit over opening price.

The initial public offering (IPO) of Indigo Paints had garnered 117 times subscription, generating bids worth Rs 962.2 billion. The qualified institutional buyer (QIB) portion of the issue was subscribed 190 times, while the high net worth individual or HNI segment was subscribed 263 times. The retail and employee portions were subscribed 16 times and 2.5 times, respectively.

We will keep you posted on more updates from this space. Stay tuned.

In news from the capital goods sector, shares of capital goods companies witnessed huge buying interest today, with the S&P BSE Capital Goods index surging 4% to hit an all-time high after the government's strong capital expenditure push in the Budget 2021.

Shares of Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Havells India, BHEL, Kalpataru Power Transmission, Thermax, Finolex Cables, ABB and Siemens from the capital goods index were up in the range of 5-7%.

L&T share price hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 1,593, up 8%, rallying as much as 15% in the past two trading days.

The government has stepped up its capex at Rs 5.54 trillion in the Budget, up 26%, to ramp-up infrastructure spending with focus on economic revival.

Further, Rs 2 trillion towards additional capex to nudge states, allocation of Rs 200 billion toward setting up a development financial institution (DFI) to have lending portfolio of Rs 5 trillion over the next three year with the aim to mobilise funding required fulfilling National Infrastructure Plan (NIP).

Speaking of the Union Budget 2021, which stocks and commodities should you trade after the Budget?

India's #1 trader, Vijay Bhambwani answers this question in his recent video for Fast Profits Daily.

Tune in here to find out more:

Moving on to news from the plastic products sector, shares of Finolex Industries surged 16% today after reporting more-than-doubled net profit at Rs 2.6 billion in the December quarter (Q3FY21), on back of strong revenue growth.

The plastic products company had posted profit of Rs 0.93 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues increased 52.5% year-on-year (YoY) at Rs 10.7 billion, against Rs 7 billion in Q3FY20.

EBITDA jumped 150% YoY at Rs 3.5 billion, while margins improved to 32.5% from 19.9% in previous year quarter.

The company's management said a decent monsoon and the subsequent increase in area under Rabi crop sowing are encouraging signs to expect higher demand on the Agri side.

Yesterday, the company's board also approved the splitting of each equity share into five.

The company said that the rationale behind the stock split is to improve the liquidity of the company's shares on the stock market and also to make the same available to small investors.

Finolex Industries share price ended the day up by 8.3%.

To know more, you can read Finolex Industries' Q3FY21 result analysis on our website.

And to know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

Sensex Trades Over 1,000 Points Higher; Dow Futures Up by 144 Points
12:30 pm

Share markets in India are presently trading on a strong note.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 1,019 points, up 2.1% at 49,619 levels.

Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty is trading up by 286 points.

Tata Motors and HDFC are among the top gainers today. HDFC Life and Bajaj Finserv are among the top losers today.

The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 1.4%.

The BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 1.2%.


On the sectoral front, stocks from the automobile sector, are witnessing most of the buying interest.

On the other hand, stocks from the energy sector, are witnessing most of the selling pressure.

US stock futures are trading higher today, indicating a positive opening for Wall Street.

Nasdaq Futures are trading up by 80 points (up 0.6%) while Dow Futures are trading up by 144 points (up 0.5%)

The rupee is trading at 72.97 against the US$.

Gold prices are trading down by 0.4% at Rs 48,200 per 10 grams.


Gold prices fell sharply in Indian markets today for second day in a row. On MCX, gold futures fell 0.6% to Rs 48,438 per 10 grams. Silver futures slumped 2.2% to Rs 72,009 per kg on profit-taking after the recent surge. Gold prices had plunged 1.2% or Rs 627 per 10 gram in the previous session while silver had surged 6% or Rs 4238 per kg.

Note that in Budget 2021, the Indian government has slashed import duties on gold and silver. The government cut import duties on gold and silver to 7.5% from 12.5%, but imposed a 2.5% cess on the imports. After the changes, gold imports would effectively attract 10.75% tax against 12.5% earlier. The government also reduced import duty on gold dore and silver dore, non-refined mined gold or silver.

To know more about gold, check out our article on how to invest in gold here: How to Invest in Gold?

Speaking of stock markets, India's #1 trader, Vijay Bhambwani, talks about why he thinks the big boys in the market are now under threat from retail traders., in his latest video for Fast Profits Daily.

Tune in here to find out more:

Moving on to stock specific news...

Among the buzzing stocks today is ICICI Bank.

Private lender ICICI Bank reported a 19% year-on-year (YoY) growth in its net profit to Rs 49.4 billion for the quarter ended December (Q3FY21) against a profit of Rs 41.4 billion in the same period a year ago.


The bank's net interest income (NII) increased by 16% YoY to Rs 99.1 billion in the quarter under review from Rs 85.5 billion in Q3FY20. The net interest margin was at 3.7% in Q3FY21 compared to 3.6% in the quarter ended September 30, Q2FY21 and 3.7% in Q3FY20.

Provisions (excluding provision for tax) were Rs 27.4 billion in Q3FY21 compared to Rs 20.8 billion in Q3FY20. During Q3FY21, the bank made contingency provisions amounting to Rs 30 billion for borrower accounts not classified as non-performing assets (NPAs) according to the interim order of the Supreme Court. The bank utilised Rs 18 billion of Covid-19 related provisions made in the earlier periods.

As of December 31, 2020, the bank held aggregate Covid-19 related provision of Rs 99.8 billion, including contingency provision for pro-forma NPAs amounting to Rs 35.1 billion for loans not classified as NPAs.During the quarter, the gross additions to NPAs were Rs 4.7 billion. Recoveries and upgrades, excluding write-offs, from nonperforming loans were Rs 17.7 billion (US$ 243 million) in Q3FY21. The net NPA ratio was 0.6% on December 31, 2020.

The retail loan portfolio grew by 15% YoY and 7% sequentially. Retail loans comprised 65.6% of the total loan portfolio. Including non-fund outstanding, retail was 54.1% of the total portfolio. Growth in the performing domestic corporate portfolio was about 10% YoY driven by disbursements to higher-rated corporates to meet their working capital and capital expenditure requirements.

At the time of writing, ICICI Bank share price was trading up by 1.1% on the BSE.

Speaking of the banking sector, check out the monthly returns of major sectors for the month of March and October 2020 in the chart below.

In the chart above, you can see that banks were among the major losers with a cut of 34% in the month of March.

Cut to October they are the biggest gainers for the month with 11% returns!

If you're interested in knowing what could be the reason behind such a change in sentiment, you can read about it in one of the latest editions of Profit Hunter: Banks are booming in a Covid World

Moving on to news from the ipo space...

Indigo Paints Makes Solid Debut; Lists At 75% Premium Over Issue Price

Shares of Indigo Paints made a solid debut on the bourses on Tuesday, listing at Rs 2,607.5, a 75% premium against issue price of Rs 1,490 on the NSE and BSE. The stock surged to Rs 2,756, up 85% against issue price on the BSE, while on the NSE, it touched a high of Rs 2,747, exchange data shows.

The attractive pricing, relative to its peers, along with its higher growth potential had attracted investors towards the issue. The initial public offering (IPO) of Indigo Paints had garnered 117 times subscription, generating bids worth Rs 962.2 billion. The qualified institutional buyer (QIB) portion of the issue was subscribed 190 times, while the high net worth individual or HNI segment was subscribed 263 times. The retail and employee portions were subscribed 16 times and 2.5 times, respectively.

Pune-based Indigo Paints is the country's fifth-largest decorative paints company. The company generates nearly half its sales from southern India, and is ranked third in terms of market share in Kerala. The firm plans to use bulk of the issue proceeds to meet its expansion goals.

Indigo Paints' product innovation (largely differentiated products), increase in dealers reach (especially in the large cities) and support for products with adequate brand investments will be the key growth levers in the coming years. Though Indigo's valuations are at premium to peers, strong financial track record, promoters experience and confidence to lead the business coupled with industry par return profile makes it an emerging play in the domestic decorative paint industry.

Indigo Paints also has a track record of consistent growth in a fast growing industry with entry barriers. The company has differentiated products leading to greater brand recognition and enabling expansion into a complete range of decorative paint. It has leveraged its brand equity and distribution network to populate tinting machines. Strategically located manufacturing facilities with proximity to raw materials helps to report better gross margins, the brokerage firm said in a note.

Indigo Paints built upon its position in the high entry barrier industry by developing differentiated products portfolio (29% of sales). Given the early mover advantage in this space, these products yield relatively higher margin for Indigo which is now at par with peers. It also made it easier for the company to build upon its brand, expand its distribution network pan India (11000 dealers) and install 4,600 tinting machines at dealers which helped push up sales.

We will keep you posted on more updates from this space. Stay tuned.

And to know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

Sensex Rallies 1,200 Points in Opening Trade; Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank & Tata Motors Surge 5%
09:30 am

Asian stock markets advanced amid receding concerns about volatile retail trading, progress on vaccinations and talks over US stimulus.

The Hang Seng is trading up by 1.7% while the Nikkei is trading higher by 0.9%.

US stock markets ended higher, bouncing after the worst weekly loss since October after worries about frenzied trading in GameStop Corp. and a handful of other heavily shorted stocks sparked a ripple of selling on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 229 points, up 0.8% while the Nasdaq Composite surged 333 points or 2.6%.


Back home, Indian share markets have opened on a strong note, following the trend on SGX Nifty and tracking gains in Asian peers.

Market participants will track shares of HDFC, Escorts Tata Consumer Products, PI industries, Dixon Technologies, Ajanta Pharma and Vinati Organics as these companies will announce their December quarter results later today.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 1,211 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 349 points.

Bajaj Finance is among the top gainers today. Hindustan Unilever, on the other hand, is among the top losers today.

The BSE Mid Cap index has opened up by 2.3%. The BSE Small Cap index is trading higher by 1.9%.


All sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks in the banking sector, finance sector and auto sector witnessing most of the buying interest.

The rupee is trading at 73.06 against the US$.

Gold prices are trading down by 0.1% at Rs 48,386 per 10 grams.

In news from the commodity space, silver prices fell more than 2% today as investors booked profits following a rally of as much as 11.2% to a near eight-year peak in the previous session.

Spot silver was down 1.7% to US$ 28.48 an ounce, having hit US$ 30.03 on Monday, its highest since February 2013.

Silver prices rocketed as retail investors, egged on by messages on Reddit, pile into the market in an attempt to push up prices.


The spike in prices came after retail sites were overwhelmed with demand for bars and coins at the weekend. Outlets including Apmex said they were unable to process orders until Asian markets open because of unprecedented consumption.

Meanwhile, domestic gold prices plunged over Rs 2,100 yesterday after the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the changes in customs duty rate for precious metals.

April gold futures tumbled Rs 2,136 intraday to Rs 47,201 per 10 grams while silver futures surged Rs 4,720 to Rs 74,426 per kg.

The customs duty on gold and silver was reduced to 7.5%. India slashed import duties on gold and silver yesterday in a surprise move that industry officials say could boost retail demand and curtail smuggling.

Speaking of stock markets, which stocks and commodities should you trade in this bullish environment?

India's #1 trader, Vijay Bhambwani answers this question in his recent video for Fast Profits Daily.

Tune in here to find out more:

In news from the defence sector, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday the budget announced by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will expedite the country's economic transformation as he congratulated her for presenting a financial document, which he said laid a strong foundation of a self-reliant India.

In a series of tweets, Singh thanked the finance minister for increasing the defence budget to Rs 4.78 lakh crore and pointed it was nearly a 19% increase in India's defence capital expenditure, and the highest ever increase in the capital outlay for defence in more than a decade.

Out of the total amount allocated by the Centre towards the defence sector, Rs 3.62 lakh crore will be for the armed forces and Rs 1.35 lakh crore had been set aside for capital outlay to buy new weapons, aircraft, warships and other military hardware, Sitharaman said during the budget presentation.

In last year's Union budget, Rs 4.71 lakh crore was allocated for the defence sector of which capital outlay stood at Rs 1.13 lakh crore.

The total revenue expenditure for defence, which comprises expenses on payment of salaries and maintenance of establishments has been pegged at Rs 3.37 lakh crore. Meanwhile, Rs 1.15 lakh crore has been set aside for payment of pensions under the revenue expenditure.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments from this space. Stay tuned.

Speaking of the defence sector, have a look at the chart below which shows the top 5 military spending countries in the world as of 2019:

According to a SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) report, India was the third largest military spending country in the world in 2019.

Here's what we wrote about it in one of the editions of Profit Hunter:

  • If you look at the chart closely, you will realise it is likely to remain among the top spenders in the coming years.

    It's because of the second largest spender shown in the chart, China.

    With rising tensions between the two countries, the incentive is strong for India to keep up with China.

    It all makes sense for the government to focus on this sector in a big way in the near future.

    The government's 'Atmanirbhar' push will get a massive boost through local defence manufacturing. This will create profitable opportunities in defence stocks for astute investors.

Co-head of Research at Equitymaster, Tanushree Banerjee keeps a close watch on stocks in the defence space. As per Tanushree, defence will be a big wealth-creating opportunity.

Back in June, she recorded a video about India's best defence stocks.

Tune in to the video here:

Moving on to stock specific news...

Tata Motors is among the top buzzing stocks today.

Tata Motors has recorded 94% growth in the domestic passenger vehicle segment in January. Compared to just 13,894 units in January 2020, Tata Motors sold 26,978 units of passenger cars last month.

The company also clocked a 15% rise in sales compared to December 2020. The Tata group company had sold 23,545 units of passenger cars in the last month of the previous year.

Tata Motors had reported 84% increase in sales in December 2020 as well with 23,545 units sold compared to 12,785 units in the year-ago period.

The massive growth numbers in the passenger vehicle segment has helped the company clock an impressive overall growth in January this year. The carmaker said it registered an overall growth of 28% across segments, including exports, in January.

The company issued a statement saying, "limited sales in the domestic & international market for January 2021 stood at 59,959 vehicles, compared to 47,862 units during January 2020."

Tata Motors share price has opened the day up by 5.4%.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

SGX Nifty Up 108 Points, Union Budget 2021 Highlights, FMCG Market Growth in 2020, and Buzzing Stocks Today

Share markets in India broke the six-day losing streak yesterday and gave complete thumbs up to the measures announced in the Union Budget 2021 by the Finance Minister to speed up growth.

The Budget announcements for healthcare, auto, and infra gave a fillip to the stock markets and benchmark indices surged over 4.5%, while the Bank Nifty hit its record high level yesterday.

The stock market was also relieved as the government avoided any extra cess or increase in Securities Transaction Tax.

Absence of the much-feared COVID-19 cess and the surcharges on Income Tax also boosted stock market sentiment.

At the closing bell yesterday, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 2,314 points (up 5%).

Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty ended up by 646 points (up 4.7%).


IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank were among the top gainers.

UPL, on the other hand, was among the top losers.

The BSE Mid cap index and the BSE Small cap index ended higher by 3% and 2%, respectively.

On the sectoral front, banking stocks, finance stocks and realty stocks witnessed huge buying interest. The banking sector ended higher by 8.3% yesterday.

At 8:00 am today, the SGX Nifty was trading up by 108 points, or 0.8% higher at 14,470 levels. Indian share markets are headed for a gap-up opening today following the trend on SGX Nifty.

Gold prices for the latest contract on MCX were trading down by 1.7% at Rs 48,245 per 10 grams at the time of closing stock market hours yesterday.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to cut duty on gold and silver to 7.5% from 12.5%, meeting industry demand. This led to a sharp drop in gold futures prices that fell by nearly Rs 1,800 from day's high to below Rs 48,000.

To know more about gold, you can check out our detailed article on investing in gold here: How to Invest in Gold?


Speaking of the Union Budget 2021 and stock markets, which stocks and commodities should you trade in this bullish environment?

India's #1 trader, Vijay Bhambwani answers this question in his recent video for Fast Profits Daily.

Tune in here to find out more:

Union Budget 2021 Highlights and Stock Market Implications

Here are some important highlights of Union Budget 2021:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government had two main objectives when making the Budget:

  • Spend big on infrastructure.
  • Attend to the need of the health sector.

PM Narendra Modi said that the Budget focuses on increasing farmers' income and several measures have been taken in this direction. Farmers will be able to get loans easily. Provisions have been made to strengthen APMC markets with the help of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund


New agri infra cess to be applicable from February 2, 2021.

  • Agri cess of Rs 2.5/litre on petrol & Rs 4/litre on diesel.
  • Agri infra cess of 2.5% on gold, silver, & dore bars.
  • Agri infra cess of 100% on alcoholic beverages.
  • Agri infra cess of 17.5% on crude palm oil.

The Budget left personal income tax rates unchanged. Some announcements from the personal income tax space included:

  • There is a change in double taxation on non-residential Indians (NRIs), especially those who return to India. Relief is also being looked at for those who face difficulty in getting credit for taxes paid in India.
  • There is massive relief extended to a section of senior citizens. For those aged 75 or more, and who only have pension and interest income, filing their income tax returns will not be required.
  • Affordable housing got a boost as the benefits available to those who avail deduction for buying an affordable home will now be extended to those who take a housing loan until March 31, 2022.
  • Several tax-paying citizens who lost their jobs last year due to Covid-19 and had to take up freelancing assignments will get some relief from Budget 2021. Social Security Benefits will be extended to gig and platform workers. E-commerce workers will now be brought under Employees' State Insurance Scheme (ESI), Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) and the minimum wage rule. Women will be allowed to work in all categories in night shifts too.

The government raised the limit for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the insurance sector to 74% from 49% - with safeguards. FM Sitharaman also that that the government intends to amend the Insurance Act, 1938 and will launch a new investor charter for investor protection. It will launch a securities market code which will include the Government Securities Act and the Depositories Act.

An asset reconstruction and management company will be set up for stressed assets. In FY22, PSU bank recapitalisation plan is of Rs 200 billion. The government will allow sale of distressed assets to Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs). The NCLT framework will also be strengthened to implement e-courts. All divestments announced so far, are to be completed in FY22.

It also proposes to divest two PSU banks and one general insurance company in FY22. Further, divestments of BPCL, Container Corporation, Pawan Hans, and Air India will be completed in FY22. FY22 divestment target is at Rs 1,750 billion.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also said that Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will go for an initial public offering in 2021-22. The much-awaited LIC IPO is likely to be the largest share sale.

With the optimism seen in stock markets on the back of budget announcements, the question on your mind must be - Is it Time to Plan for Sensex 100,000?

Tanushree Banerjee answers this question in yesterday's edition of the Profit Hunter. Here's what she wrote...

  • So, the time to prepare for Sensex 100,000 is here, as long as you set your expectations right. The ride won't be smooth.

    And the gains may no longer be concentrated in Sensex stocks.

    Yes, you read that right.

    Today, the markets may cheer Budget day gains in Sensex stocks.

    But the underdogs, according to me, are the stocks beyond the Sensex.

    Sound, solid, well managed businesses with tons of free cash could attract more investor interest in the days to come.

    Sectors that have been side lined for years could be back in the spotlight.

    Promising startups may fuel of the growth of companies that acquire them.

    And the real Budget gains could be in the most underrated stocks over the years to come.

    So, sit back and enjoy the gains.

    But remember, act only when the time and valuations are right.

Top Stocks in Focus Today

PVR and Inox Leisure will be among the top buzzing stocks today.

Cinema halls across the country will be permitted to operate at full capacity from February 1 with adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Prakash Javadekar announced on Sunday.

According to the new guidelines, no film shall be allowed to screen in containment zones and states and union territories may consider "proposing additional measures" as per their assessment.

If any person visiting cinema hall is found Covid-19 positive the entire premise will have to be disinfected.

PVR share price will also be in focus today as India's largest multiplex chain operator has launched a qualified institutional placement (QIP) offering last week, aiming to raise as much as Rs 8 billion by selling shares to institutional investors.

PVR has set a floor price of Rs 1,495.93 per share for this fundraise.

IndusInd Bank Q3FY21 Results: 37% YoY Growth in Net Profit

Private sector lender IndusInd Bank reported a 37% year-on-year (YoY) decline in its December quarter net profit at Rs 8.3 billion on provisions for sour loans and a negligible loan growth.

For the quarter under review, its core net interest income (NII) grew by 11% YoY to Rs 34.1 billion on the back of loan book being stable and a marginal narrowing of the net interest margin (NIM) to 4.12%. The other income came down 8% YoY to Rs 16.4 billion, which resulted in an only 4% increase in the overall income to Rs 50.2 billion.

Even as the income generation faced setbacks, it saw an additional pile-up of potentially sour assets for which it had to set aside money as provisions which in turn ate into the profits. The bank said the gross non-performing assets ratio would have come at 2.9% if not for the Supreme Court standstill order on not recognizing NPAs, as against 2.2% in the year-ago period and 2.2% in September.

The overall provisions rose to Rs 18.5 billion that included Rs 11 billion of Covid-19 related provisions, as against Rs 10 billion in the year ago period.

The bank decided to provide 100% of the requirements for unsecured assets, while in the secured ones, it was lower. Over Rs 5.4 billion of advances on credit cards or nearly 10% of the overall portfolio were slippages, and much of the cards where slippages have been observed are old customers.

The bank expects a capital infusion of over Rs 20 billion from the promoter by February 18 and will not need additional infusion for at least six more months. Any capital will be needed for loan growth purposes or if any inorganic growth opportunity crops up.

India's FMCG Market Expands 4.2% in 2020

Moving on to news from the FMCG sector...

India's fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market expanded 4.2% in the last calendar year, twice the rate in 2019 despite manufacturing and distribution hurdles in late March and April, helped by the rise in the packaged food and hygiene segments as many Indians stayed home due to Covid.

The market for daily groceries and household products had grown 2.1% by volume in 2019, according to the latest study by global consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel (formerly IMRB).

Except for beverages, which declined 3.8%, all other segments including personal care, household and foods witnessed significantly higher growth during the year.

Colgate global chairman Noel Wallace said he was pleased with the growth rebound that the oral care giant saw in India during the second half of 2020. "Generating 7% organic in the third quarter and just shy of 10% organic in the fourth, we think is a terrific performance," Wallace said on an earnings call.

During the December quarter, most FMCG companies posted high volume growth. Dabur and Marico posted 18% and 15% expansion, respectively while HUL volume growth was at 4%.

This rose in successive quarters was due to the gradual reopening of the economy as restrictions were progressively eased.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments from this space. Stay tuned.

And to know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.