Before the Open (Mar 29-Apr 2)

Good morning. Happy Thursday.

The Asian/Pacific markets did well. China, Hong Kong, South Korea, India and Taiwan each gained more than 1%. Europe, Africa and the Middle East are currently mostly up. Denmark, Turkey, Greece, South Africa, the Netherlands, Portugal and Austria are up more than 1%; the UK, France and Germany are also doing well. Futures in the States point towards a moderate gap up open for the cash market.

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The dollar is down. Oil is up; copper is down. Gold is up; silver is down. Bonds are up. Bitcoin is unchanged.

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Eyes on a rare payrolls day

The tech stock rally looks to keep going with Nasdaq futures solidly higher at the open, but the broader market is more cautions, with S&P futures up slightly and an unusual jobs report set for tomorrow.

The Department of Labor will release its March jobs report tomorrow, Good Friday. It is a market holiday but not a federal holiday, and it’s rare that the big payrolls figure lands on a Good Friday.

Ahead of the number: Weekly initial jobless claims will be released at 8:30 AM ET today, with economists looking for a slight dip to 680K from 684K the week before. Continuing claims are forecast to drop to 3.775M. It’s those continuing claims, which demonstrate the trend in the labor market, that will have more bearing on tomorrow’s payrolls report, where the survey comes in the first half of the month.

Private jobs bounce: Yesterday ADP reported its measure of private-sector employment, which showed a rise of 517K, about in line with estimates. The service sector added 437K jobs and “significantly outpaced its monthly average,” ADP said, while the manufacturing sector added 80K jobs. The ADP report tends to have a bad correlation with the official government figures, though, and Wall Street is looking for bigger gains tomorrow.

1 million jobs added? The consensus is for nonfarm payrolls to have risen by 647K last month, which would be the biggest gain since September 2020. The unemployment rate is seen falling to 6% from 6.2%. But there’s some big variation in what the big banks are calling for.

“We look for nonfarm payrolls to increase by 1 million in March, pushing the unemployment rate down to 5.9%,” Merrill Lynch says. Morgan Stanley is looking for a net payrolls gain of 700K, but also predicts that the jobless rate will fall to 5.9%. JPMorgan Chase is close to the average prediction at 650K.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, is also predicting a bullish gain of 1M jobs, which would be the highest since last August when the summer rebound was still strong.

“Private sector payrolls are expected to rise by 850,000 while gains mostly at the state and local levels make up the remaining 150,000 of those increases,” Swonk writes in a blog. “Employment gains in restaurants, bars and accommodation are expected to account for more than half of overall job gains. Hiring in health care is also expected to post outsize gains.”

“In fact, one of the ironies of the pandemic was the blow to health care employment,” she adds. “We were still down more than a half million jobs in the health care sector in February compared to the year prior. Cuts at the onset of the crisis were particularly large because smaller offices were forced to close for lockdowns almost entirely. Hospitals were forced to put more profitable elective surgeries on hold as people with non-COVID conditions shied away.”

Bonds tumble, M&A jumps in Q1

The broader market and cyclicals outperformed tech shares in Q1, while bond prices sank and deals had their biggest quarterly performance in 20 years.

The S&P (SP500, SPY) is up 5.8% year to date, outpacing the Nasdaq (COMP, QQQ), which rose 2.8%. The Dow (DJI, DIA), with its cyclical tilt to financials and industrials and its price-weighted calculation, rose 7.8% through the first three months.

“Given the carnage we saw in some areas of the market recently, it may not seem that way but March was a very positive month for US equities across different styles and sectors,” Bespoke Investment Group writes in a note. “At the index level, the Dow led the way surging nearly 7%, but the S&P 500 was also very strong, gaining more than 4.5%. Large Cap Tech was an area of relative weakness, but even the Nasdaq 100 was up 1.71% (just about all of which came on the last trading day of the month).”

“Continuing a trend that has been in place all year, value stocks left growth in the dust, more than doubling the gains of growth stocks during March,” Bespoke adds.

In its review of Q1, DataTrek Research says the outsize moves seen in volatility in previous years are returning to normal at a fairly brisk pace. “Lots of liquidity into the US economy and financial system has helped corporate earnings rebound and valuations stabilize quickly,” DataTrek’s Jessica Rabe writes. “That, along with a solution to the crisis issue (i.e. vaccines) and lower equity sector correlations, have dampened volatility faster than prior post-crisis periods.”

Yields take off: One of the big weights on technology and other high-valuation stocks has been the rise in U.S. Treasury yields (TBT, TLT). Treasury prices sank the most since 1980, when the fed funds rate surged in an attempt to curb inflation. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury Index is off 4.25% over the past three months. Inflation expectations are a big reason for the rise in yields, with the 10-year breakeven rate approaching 2.4, levels not since in nearly eight years.

“I think yields continue to go up,” Bob Parker, senior adviser at Quilvest Wealth Management says.

M&A booms: Mergers and acquisition enjoyed their best performance in two decades in Q1 at $1.1T. A big boon to that activity is SPACs putting money raised to use. The amount reported of public companies buying private companies rose to $435B in Q1, up 86% from the year-ago period, according to a Bloomberg estimate. North America led dealmaking with $644B, followed by Europe at $286B and Asia Pacific at $261B.

J&J vaccine snafu

Human error led to the accidental mixing of vaccines at an Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS) plant in Baltimore, rendering 15M doses of Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine useless, The New York Times reports.

SPACs set to take off in Asia

With Asia in third place in regional M&A, a jumpstart of SPAC activity could lead to more deals in the area.

A flurry of investment is set to bring the red-hot trend of “blank-check” entities going public in order to find a private merger partner to Asia, where it’s played a small part so far. The region’s merger/acquisition activity is heating up, and one banker notes the only issue may be running out of merger candidates with so many SPACs coming on board to invest.

Japan’s Kioxia in the deal crosshairs

Also in the M&A space, Micron (NASDAQ:MU) and Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) are reportedly considering making separate bids for Japanese chip maker Kioxia Holdings that could value the company at $30B. A deal could be finalized this spring, though it’s not guaranteed, according to a WSJ report.

TSMC to invest $100B

In more news on chips, Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM) says it plans to spend $100B over the next three years to expand its chip fabrication capacity. TSMC, whose customers include Apple and Qualcomm, already had indicated plans to spend $25B-$28B this year to develop and produce advanced chips.

Infrastructure plan also calls for chip spending

President Biden’s $2T American Jobs Plan unveiled Wednesday asks Congress to approve a $50B investment in domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research. Last September, a study from lobbying group Semiconductor Industry Association and Boston Consulting Group said that the United States needed to spend that amount on semi manufacturing to increase its global market share above the current 12%.

Apple goes ‘grid scale’ in solar

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) says it will build a “grid scale” battery-based renewable energy storage facility in California near a solar farm that already provides daytime energy needs for its headquarters in Cupertino. The project will store 240 MWh of energy, or enough to power more than 7K homes for one day.

What else is happening…

XPeng (NYSE:XPEV) delivered a total of 5,102 Smart EVs in March 2021, an increase of 384% year over year.
NIO (NYSE:NIO) delivered 20,060 vehicles in Q1 2021, +423% Y/Y, topping forecasts.
These ETFs will be affected by the White House infrastructure plan.
Social media in focus as Fox News says former President Trump is “moving forward” on plans to start his own platform.
NBCUniversal (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is considering pulling its Universal Studios movies from other streaming services, notably Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and HBO Max and preserving the titles for its Peacock service.
The FAA says it approved the design for the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737-8200, part of the 37 MAX series, a necessary step before the company can begin delivering the planes to Ryanair.

Wednesday’s Key Earnings
Micron (MU) +5% PM after FQ2 beats with record auto sales and upside guidance.
XpresSpa (NASDAQ:XSPA) -15.7% PM after Q4 earnings. Riot Blockchain
(NASDAQ:RIOT) +3.4% PM after hitting GAAP profitability in Q4.

Today’s Economic Calendar
7:30 Challenger Job-Cut Report
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index
10:00 ISM Manufacturing Index
10:00 Construction Spending
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count
1:00 PM Fed’s Harker Speech
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
6:05 PM Fed’s Kaplan Speech


Good morning. Happy Wednesday.

The Asian/Pacific markets were mostly weak. New Zealand and Australia did well, but Japan, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines dropped more than 1%. Europe, Africa and the Middle East are currently mixed and little changed. Denmark, Portugal and Saudi Arabia are up; Greece, South Africa and Finland are down. Futures in the States point towards a positive open for the cash market.

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The dollar is down. Oil is down; copper is up. Gold is up; silver is flat. Bonds are up. Bitcoin is down.

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Eyes on infrastructure

Stock index futures are mixed in early morning trading with politics in focus. Nasdaq 100 futures (NDX:IND) are up 0.1%, while Dow futures (INDU) are off 0.2% and S&P futures (SPX) are flat. Treasury yields are also little changed, with the 10-year up 1 basis point to 1.73%.

President Joe Biden will travel to Pittsburgh today to unveil plans for an overhaul of infrastructure and manufacturing. Details are reportedly still being ironed out, but the plan would be another injection of stimulus into the economy. The cost is a major concern for GOP lawmakers, though, as are plans to partially pay for the plan with tax increases.

ADP will report its measure of private sector employment before the bell, with economists predicting a rise of 550K in March payrolls.

Shortly after the open, numbers on February pending home sales arrive, with a drop of 2.6% forecast.

Cannabis stocks could be active today after the New York State Senate and Assembly Tuesday evening approved a bill that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.

BofA seeks chip industry winners from massive infrastructure spending

With President Biden set to queue up a massive infrastructure plan (ranging to $2 trillion in cost over eight years), BofA zooms in on the semiconductor segment to highlight companies it says could be important beneficiaries as “key building blocks of the digital economy.”

BofA calls out four areas ripe for change in a digital infrastructure push: Semicap equipment; 5G infrastructure/broadband; Smart industrial/automation; and Clean energy/electric vehicles. Semicap equipment vendors are ideally positioned to benefit from “silicon nationalism,” the BofA team writes, referring to the push to enhance domestic remanufacturing to become more self-sufficient in chips.

U.S. semiconductor manufacturing capacity as a percentage of the total world has fallen from 37% to about 12%, it notes, but the fiscal 2021 defense reauthorization features the CHIPS for America Act as an incentive for domestic manufacturing, with billions in matches to state and local incentives for foundries, along with money for new R&D streams and equipment purchases.

The recent increase in capital expenditures from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) – and its longer-term plans to rejuvenate the foundry model – is also a positive for semicap vendors, BofA says. Its top pick in the sector is Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT), though other beneficiaries include KLA (NASDAQ:KLAC), Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) and Teradyne (NASDAQ:TER).

Turning to 5G, the Biden administration could use funds to incentivize deployment in the U.S. in order to catch up to China, BofA says. The U.S. has been behind, but the record C-band spectrum auction combined with government support should offer a shot in the arm.

Key beneficiaries in that area include Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) as the leading supplier to Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson; Analog Devices (ADI) a leader in 5G radio; Qorvo (QRVO) a leader in RF radio; and RF power amp suppliers NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) and Cree (NASDAQ:CREE). Also likely to benefit from increased broadband rollouts are Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS) and MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings (NASDAQ:MTSI), it says.

Amazon-backed Deliveroo tumbles in market debut

Food delivery service Deliveroo’s initial public offering continues to see trouble as shares sank on their first day of trading on the London Stock Exchange.

The company priced shares this morning at £3.90 ($5.36), the bottom of its expected range. That gave Deliveroo a market value of £7.59B ($10.44B). Shares slumped as much as 30% in early trading. Retail investors will not be able to buy shares until April 7.

Last year, Amazon increased its stake in a move that prompted an antitrust investigation. Regulators ultimately determined that Deliveroo, before the pandemic-driven delivery boom, couldn’t meet its financial commitments without the infusion. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is selling 23.3M shares.

The IPO has been plagued by concerns about driver working conditions at the company and also whether Deliveroo will have to classify them as workers owed a minimum wage, as recently occurred with Uber, leading to higher costs for the company

The company is trading under the symbol “ROO” and narrowed its IPO price range. It cited volatile market conditions, but also said the price point would offer better value for long-term investors.

Germany to ban AstraZeneca vaccine for those under 60

In a fresh blow to AstraZeneca’s (NASDAQ:AZN) COVID-19 vaccine, Germany says it will halt its use for people under 60 starting Wednesday. The move, endorsed by regional health ministers and announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel, comes after new cases of blood clots associated with the vaccine. The clots mainly occur in those under 60.

“These are findings that we cannot ignore,” Merkel said late Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. “We all know that vaccination is the most important tool against the coronavirus – that we have different vaccines at our disposal is our good fortune.”

The Paul Ehrlich Institute reported that as of March 29, a total of 31 cases of blood clots have been reported out of 2.7M AstraZeneca vaccine doses administered in Germany. The vaccine was already suspended in regions of Germany yesterday.

On the other hand, the U.K. declared the vaccine safe, with Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick saying the government is “100% confident” in its efficacy.

Shares of AstraZeneca are down 0.3% in premarket trading.

New York State Legislature approves recreational marijuana bill

The New York State Senate and Assembly Tuesday evening approved a bill that would legalize marijuana for recreational use. The Senate vote was 40-23 and the Assembly vote was 100-49.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Dem.) has said he will sign the legislation, the Marijuana and Taxation Act, which would take effect immediately. However, marijuana sales in stores would take 18 months to two years to start, according to State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

Cuomo’s office has said that once fully implemented, marijuana legalization is expected to rake in $350M annually in tax revenue.

Cathie Wood’s new ETF ARKX saw $295 million in value traded in debut

Cathie Wood’s latest actively managed ETF has completed its trading debut. On its first day, the exchange-traded fund ARK Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (NYSEARCA:ARKX) closed -1.07% and saw $295 million in value traded.

Just under 14.5 million shares exchanged hands on the ARKX launch. To put that into perspective, the total volume of shares traded was higher than ARK’s flagship fund, ARK Innovation ETF (NYSEARCA:ARKK) +2.92%, which exchanged 14 million shares and that was above its daily average of 12 million.

ARKX, with its 41 holdings, will invest in domestic and foreign equity securities of companies engaged in the fund’s investment theme of space exploration and innovation.

What else is happening…

BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) anticipates a double-digit billings growth for cybersecurity and BTS for FY 2022.
Regeneron’s (NASDAQ:REGN) Eylea reduces vision loss by 68% after two years in diabetic retinopathy. (AMZN) is developing a chip to power the hardware switches used in networking.
Reports generated out of China indicate that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Toyota (TM) are considering working together on developing a small SUV platform.
National Football League owners filed paperwork Monday for an initial public offering to raise as much as $460M for its eighth SPAC.

Tuesday’s Key Earnings
BlackBerry (BB) -8.1% AH as Q4 revenue falls short.
Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) 10.5% AH after earnings beat, setting guidance ahead of expectations.
Voxeljet (NASDAQ:VJET) -11.8% AH as Q4 sales decline amid weak 3D printer demand.
Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) -1.8% AH after Q4 results.

Today’s Economic Calendar
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:15 ADP Jobs Report
9:45 Chicago PMI
10:00 Pending Home Sales
10:00 State Street Investor Confidence Index
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
10:45 Fed’s Bostic Speech
3:00 PM Farm Prices


Good morning. Happy Tuesday.

The Asian/Pacific markets leaned up. China, Hong Kong, South Korea and India did great, but Japan, Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East currently lean to the upside, but movement is minimal. France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Sweden are up; Poland and Russia are down. Futures in the States point towards a moderate gap down open for the cash market.

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The dollar is up. Oil and copper are down. Gold and silver are down. Bonds are down. Bitcoin is up.

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Yields take hold of stocks again

The broader market is pointing to a slightly higher open on Wall Street, but Treasury yields are pressuring tech shares again. The S&P (SPX, SPY) and Dow (INDU, DIA) futures are up, but the Nasdaq 100 futures (NDX:IND) are losing ground.

The 10-year Treasury yield, which ramped up yesterday, is now up another 5 basis points to 1.77%. It’s now up to the highest level since last January. The selloff in bonds has come with a combination of optimism over the U.S. vaccine rollout and the possibility of an infrastructure bill providing more stimulus to the economy.

Rupert Thompson, chief investment officer at wealth manager Kingswood, told the Financial Times that the “massive” scale of stimulus has caused “considerable nervousness over inflation and has been behind the recent sell-off in government bonds.”

Financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) are recovering, up about 1% premarket, as it looks like the U.S. banks have avoided the worst of the fallout from the Archegos collapse.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were quick off the mark to sell shares on Friday. But Wells Fargo may have more ViacomCBS shares to sell.

Wells Fargo shopping shares

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) may be shopping a large block of ViacomCBS (VIAC, VIACA), CNBC’s David Faber said, citing people familiar.

Wells Fargo executed five block trades valued at a combined $2.14B, according to a Bloomberg report. The bank was trying to sell a block of 18 million ViacomCBS Inc. shares at $48 apiece before the market opened today, the report noted.

According to Bloomberg, Wells Fargo also offered block sales in Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU), Farfetch (NYSE:FTCH), Vipshop (NYSE:VIPS) and iQIYI (NASDAQ:IQ).

Credit Suisse may be down $4B

Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) reportedly lost between $3B and $4B due to the Archegos Capital liquidation, FT reported earlier, citing two people close to the bank.

Credit Suisse earlier commented that the size of the could be “highly significant.” The stock is up nearly 2% in Zurich after a 12% plunge Monday.

“While at this time it is premature to quantify the exact size of the loss resulting from this exit, it could be highly significant and material to our first-quarter results, notwithstanding the positive trends announced in our trading statement earlier this month,” Credit Suisse said in a statement.

Tesla snags semi order

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has secured an order for 10 electric semi-trucks and 2 Megachargers, according to Electrek. The deal includes about $2M in support from the U.S. government.

The Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) awarded California-based logistics company MHX Leasing funds to deploy the ten Tesla Semi class 8 trucks and two overhead electric cranes. MHX won the grant from MSRC’s Zero & Near-Zero-Emission Trucking-to-Warehouse, Distribution, & Intermodal Facilities in Riverside & San Bernardino Counties grant program. That program is part of a new government incentive that aims to speed up the electric semi-truck adaption by logistics companies.

Last week, the biggest development with the Tesla Semi was a report that PepsiCo is likely to take delivery of 15 electric trucks this year.

IT spending looking strong

Evercore ISI’s quarterly enterprise technology spending survey is pointing to an outlook that’s “very strong,” with 80% saying they expect to see their IT spending rise and 14% expecting it to stay the same. That’s in line with some optimism shown in the November survey – but confidence is higher in these new numbers, with 81% feeling more upbeat with regard to IT spending.

The survey encapsulates responses from executives at the VP-or-higher level at large companies with insight into their IT spending process – casting a wider net than just chief information officers in seeking a “bottom-up” view of the process for a better look.

Digging into particulars, Evercore says 88% of respondents agree (strongly or somewhat) that COVID-19 has accelerated their shift to cloud offerings. It says that heading into the bulk of 2021, the top three IT spending priorities are: Service Desk & IT Workflow modernization; Artificial Intelligence; and Infrastructure refresh.

As for who’s expected most to benefit from a net increase in wallet share from vendors, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) tops out with 55%, just ahead of (NASDAQ:AMZN) at 49%. Also doing well on the growing-wallet-share measure: IBM (NYSE:IBM) at 45%; Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM); and Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) at 40%.

Meanwhile, with offices looking to reopen this year, Evercore says there will be a renewed focus on hybrid/on-premise after 2020’s big shift toward the public cloud. In three years, respondents expect the workload mix will be 52% private – and that’s a positive, Evercore says, for Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) and IBM.

The survey indicates storage spending is set to inflect higher – a positive, Evercore says, for NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) and Pure Storage (NYSE:PSTG). Servers will be an area of strength, benefiting Dell and HPE, while there’s potential for a demand vacuum on the personal computer side.

It also notes that within the networking space, software-defined solutions and Wi-Fi 6 should be notable areas of strength. That makes notable winners out of Cisco and HPE, the firm says.

What else is happening…

T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) is shutting down its TVision streaming bundle just two years after launch, replacing it with discounted deals on YouTube TV (GOOG, GOOGL) and Philo.
An (AMZN) unit last week won FDA Emergency Use Authorization for a quick-response COVID-19 test it says it intends for its own employees.
The Biden administration today unveiled a goal to expand U.S. offshore wind energy in the coming decade by opening new areas to development, accelerating permits and increasing public financing for projects.
AeroCentury (NYSEMKT:ACY) plummets 40% after-hours in reaction to an announcement that the company and certain of its subsidiaries have commenced a voluntary case under Chapter 11.
Financial giant Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) filed paperwork Monday for an initial public offering to raise as much as $460M for its eighth SPAC, Apollo Strategic Growth Capital III (APGC.U).

Monday’s Key Earnings
Canoo (NASDAQ:GOEV) -5.2% PM after Q4 results.

Today’s Economic Calendar
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
9:00 Fed’s Quarles Speech
9:00 S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index
9:00 FHFA House Price Index

10:00 Consumer Confidence
12:00 PM Fed’s Bostic Speech
2:00 PM Fed’s Williams Speech


Good morning. Happy Monday. Hope you had a good weekend.

The Asian/Pacific markets did well. Japan, China, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines posted solid gains; Hong Kong and Indonesia were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East are currently mostly up. Poland, the UAE, Russia, Greece, Hungary, Israel and Saudi Arabia are up more than 1%. Futures in the States point towards a moderate gap down open for the cash market.

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The dollar is unchanged. Oil is up; copper is down. Gold and silver are down. Bonds are up. Bitcoin is up.

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Archegos implosion

Wall Street is on tenterhooks as the fallout from a hedge fund implosion that roiled the stock market Friday moves to its second trading day.

Traders will be “glued to their screens,” one portfolio manager told Bloomberg. Archegos Capital, the family office run by Bill Hwang that was pushed to liquidate, was forced to sell more than $20B of stocks on Friday after margin calls.

Archegos, a biblical word that means “prince,” led to a tumble in ViacomCBS (VIAC, VIACA), Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) and Chinese internet stocks after a margin call.

Hedge fund manager Bill Hwang formerly ran Tiger Asia Management, a spinoff from hedge fund legend Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management.

Financials weigh on futures

The drop in bank stocks is weighing on stock index futures, which point to a lower open on Wall Street.

S&P futures (SPX) (NYSEARCA:SPY) -0.6%, Nasdaq futures (NDX:IND) (NASDAQ:QQQ) -0.6% and Dow futures (INDU) (NYSEARCA:DIA) -0.6% are all lower.

The SPDR S&P Financial Sector ETF (NYSEARCA:XLF) is down 1.4% in premarket trading. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley moved quickly to exit positions on Friday, but others weren’t so quick off the mark.

“It is unclear why Nomura sat on their hands and racked up these large losses,” an executive at a Wall Street bank told the Financial Times.

Credit Suisse warns on profit

Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) shares are down 10% in Swiss trading after the company said it was forced to exit positions after the Archegos Capital fire sale.

“While at this time it is premature to quantify the exact size of the loss resulting from this exit, it could be highly significant and material to our first quarter results, notwithstanding the positive trends announced in our trading statement earlier this month,” Credit Suisse said.

It said that other banks are also exiting positions.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting $30B in stock sales and adds that Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) was also selling large blocks of stock. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have also been reported as offering block trades.

Suez Canal progress

The Ever Given, the ship that has been stranded in the Suez Canal for almost a week, has been partially refloated, according to shipping officials.

Maritime services provider Inchcape Shipping Services said that the vessel had been refloated at about 4:30 a.m. local time in Egypt and was being secured.

Ten tug boats participated in the refloating operation, the Suez Canal Authority said earlier. The breakthrough in the rescue attempt came after diggers removed 27,000 cubic meters of sand, going deep into the banks of the canal.

The ship became stranded in the canal on March 23, after running aground while entering the Suez Canal from the Red Sea, bringing one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes to a standstill and sparking fears of disruption to world trade.

Oil prices retreated, with U.S. crude down 0.8%, around $60.50 a barrel.

Facebook ad rates bounce back

The rates Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) draws for its advertising took a hit in 2020, buffeted by headwinds ranging from an industry slump alongside the COVID-19 pandemic to the “Stop Hate For Profit” campaign, which led hundreds of advertisers to boycott the platform last summer.

But those rates (measured in cost per thousand impressions, or CPM) have returned to pre-pandemic levels and are showing continued growth – back to business, as it were.

The cost of Facebook advertising is up 30% compared to mid-March 2020, data from Aisle Rocket show.

What else is happening…

Tencent Music Entertainment’s (NYSE:TME) board has approved a share buyback program to repurchase up to $1B.
Heavily shorted GSX Techedu (NYSE:GSX), which sank 42% on Friday, may be seen as a victory for shorts who have been critical of the Chinese online tutoring company over the past year.
SPAC CM Life Sciences II (NASDAQ:CMIIU), the SPAC backed by activist Keith Meister’s Corvex Management LP and life sciences investor Casdin Capital, is reportedly nearing a transaction to take protein analysis company SomaLogic public.
Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) is reportedly near an agreement to buy the consumer arm of educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) for an unspecified sum, which could be announced as soon as tomorrow.

Today’s Economic Calendar
10:30 Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey
11:00 Fed’s Waller Speech


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