Before the Open (Mar 6-10)

Good morning. Happy Friday.

The Asian/Pacific markets got crushed. Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore all posted big losses. Europe, Africa and the Middle East are currently weak. The UK, Denmark, Poland, France, Germany, Greece, South Africa, Finland, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Sweden and the Czech Republic are down more than 1%. Futures in the States point towards positive open for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: The Most Important Element of Trading —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Trouble brewing?

The investing world is still trying to determine whether there is another banking crisis on the horizon following the collapse of Silvergate Capital (SI) and the shoring up of Silicon Valley Bank. Shares of the latter’s parent company, SVB Financial (SIVB), tumbled 60% on Thursday and fell another 20% in the AH session to $82.90. Panic quickly spread to the broader market as bank shares across Wall Street reacted to the developments, and pushed the S&P 500 Financials Index Sector (SP500-40) down 4% by the close, marking its worst drop since June 2020.

What happened? Stirring up fear among investors, SVB Financial Group announced it would raise $2.25B in new capital through two offerings and a private placement. The money would go to shore up its balance sheet, which was dented by the sale of a loss-making bond portfolio consisting mostly of U.S. Treasuries. The bank apparently lost $1.8B on the trade as it rushed to sell off its low-interest bonds, with an inverted yield curve creating headwinds for those that are borrowing short-term and lending long. Note that SA’s Quant system put a Sell rating on SIVB as of Feb. 16, giving it poor grades in growth, momentum and earnings revisions. By contrast, the average Wall Street analyst rating stands at Buy.

Compounding the situation: If too many customers tap their deposits at once, a bank run can ensure or trigger sector contagion. On Thursday, SVB Financial CEO Greg Becker held a conference call with clients and urged them to “stay calm” as tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund reportedly asked its companies to move their funds (Bill Ackman is advocating for a bailout). Silicon Valley Bank was known for its bets on what has now been deemed frothy tech, and as the Fed continues its aggressive monetary policy path, much of the capital and liquidity that was there is leaving the system. SIVB also revised its outlook to reflect a sharper decline in net interest income, expecting rates to stay higher for longer.

Outlook: “We remain on the sidelines with regard to SIVB and want to stress that we see it as an outlier in the industry. Other banks have underwater bond portfolios as well, but they generally have lots of retail deposits, which are much less rate-sensitive than SIVB’s deposits,” Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski wrote in a note. “While we view these actions combined with a weaker guide as a clear negative, we do not believe that SIVB is in a liquidity crisis, especially following the significant proceeds received from the AFS sales, capital raise, and low loan-to-deposit ratio in the mid-40s.” Will he be right, or is another crisis unfolding? (44 comments)

Jobs Day

If the February jobs numbers, due out at 8:30 AM ET, come in much stronger than 250K, “that will be, I think, a big shock to a lot of economists,” Glassdoor Chief Economist Aaron Terrazas said in an interview with Seeking Alpha. “Obviously, if the February data come in stronger than average, anything above 250K jobs, that is a signal that January was not an anomaly and that the underlying market is a lot more immune to much tighter lending standards than any of us anticipated.” Also watch for the Labor Department’s revisions to January’s numbers, as well as wage pressures, lost income, policy impact lags and the current two-track labor market. (7 comments)

What would ChatGPT say?

Artificial intelligence-linked stocks like (AI), Holdings (BBAI) and SoundHound AI (SOUN) slid on Thursday as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce laid out a report in which it called for regulation of AI. It’s a notable development as the business lobbying group usually takes an anti-regulatory stance. The 14-page long report notes that AI is expected to increase global GDP by $13T by the end of the decade, but it will have an impact on areas such as national security and privacy, making it important to regulate in a responsible manner. “We must address these issues clearly so that we can shape appropriate responses and achieve our goal, which is to allow the innovation machine to continue to work its magic and improve society, while protecting the basic rights of citizens,” the Chamber of Commerce declared. The EU is reportedly looking into similar plans. (2 comments)

Biden budget

President Biden has released his budget plan that aims to cut the federal deficit by $3T over 10 years. The proposal features a minimum 25% tax on billionaires, the reversal of some Trump-era tax cuts, a higher corporate tax rate and doubling the capital gains tax to 39.6%. It also calls for a large number of spending programs intended to provide low-cost childcare, affordable housing, paid family leave, guaranteed paid sick days, and lower health-care costs, among others. In essence, the proposal acts as an opening bid in negotiations with Congress, but Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said the plan “will not see the light of day.” Chances are even slimmer in the House of Representatives, where Republicans who hold a slim majority are demanding sharp spending cuts. (59 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
8:30 Non-farm payrolls
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count
2:00 PM Treasury Statement

What else is happening…

Disney’s (DIS) Iger mulls Hulu’s fate in ‘very tricky’ streaming space.

Comparable sales: Gap’s (GPS) holiday quarter comes up short.

1MDB: Former Goldman (GS) banker Roger Ng is sentenced to prison.

China’s Xi secures unprecedented third term as president.

Oracle (ORCL) sinks after revenue miss; dividend raised by 25%.

Visa (V), Mastercard (MA) pause new merchant code for guns.

General Electric (GE) hits four-year high on aviation outlook.

Tesla (TSLA) may use the Ferrari model with the Cybertruck rollout.

General Motors (GM) offers buyout across salaried workforce.

BOJ’s Kuroda defends ultra-dovish stance in last policy meeting.


Good morning. Happy Thursday.

The Asian/Pacific markets were mostly weak. Japan did well, but China, Hong Kong, South Korea, India and the Philippines were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East currently lean down. Denmark, Turkey and Greece are up; the UK, Poland, the UAE, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, Hungary, Spain, Italy and Austria are down. Futures in the States point towards a flat open for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: State of the Market —————

The dollar is down. Oil and copper are up. Gold and silver are up. Bonds are flat-to-down.

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Another crypto calamity

Silvergate Capital (NYSE:SI) plans to wind down operations and voluntarily liquidate billions of dollars in assets of Silvergate Bank, including the full repayment of all deposits. Shares of SI continued their downward descent on the news, plunging nearly 46% premarket to $2.64. Silvergate is also considering how to best resolve claims and preserve the residual value of its assets, including its proprietary technology and tax assets.

Backdrop: Silvergate Bank launched as a savings and loan association in the late 1980s, reorganized into a community bank in the mid-90s, and pivoted into cryptocurrencies a decade ago. That’s when it struck gold. At the time, no other mainstream banks were even thinking about crypto, and its assets continued to grow rapidly, especially after the launch of the “Silvergate Exchange Network.” The instant payment platform allowed clients like major crypto exchanges and institutional investors to send fiat currencies like the dollar to other Silvergate accounts at any time, even when traditional banks were closed on nights and weekends.

The hype surrounding crypto prompted Silvergate to go public in November 2019 at a share price of $13, and within two years, the price was up over 1,500% to reach an all-time high of $219. In 2021, Silvergate also attempted to launch its own stablecoin by acquiring Meta’s (META) Diem technology, but things were starting to sour on the industry. The crypto winter set in, and after nearly a year of icy conditions, Silvergate was dealt a severe blow when its digital asset customers withdrew deposits in the wake of FTX’s collapse.

Go deeper: Several SA authors were warning about the impending doom for months, especially given the exposure to Sam Bankman-Fried’s short-lived crypto empire. Contributor BlackFish cited serious red flags in November, questioning customer deposit concentration and loan quality, while Lyster Analytics predicted an existential liquidity crisis after putting SI’s balance sheet under the microscope. Later in January, Silvergate said it would streamline its product portfolio, cut headcount and reassess customer relationships, but it was not enough to stop the damage. The final red alert came last week when it discontinued the Silvergate Exchange Network and flagged its ability to continue as a going concern. (79 comments)

Newsom vs. Walgreens

DeSantis and Disney (DIS) are not the only game in town anymore. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has made good on his threat of “not doing business with @walgreens,” pulling a $54M contract for specialty prescription drugs that was set to renew on May 1. “We’re serious about not investing in companies that cave to the extremist agenda of the @GOP,” Newsom tweeted, after Walgreens (WBA) said it would refrain from selling abortion pill mifepristone in 20 states due to potential legal consequences. Will the politics spill over into a corporate exodus, as activism takes hold in the Sunshine and Golden States? (37 comments)

Scripted betting

Reports suggest that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is in discussions with state gambling regulators in Colorado and Michigan in an attempt to legalize wagering, even though its match outcomes are predetermined. It’s reportedly working with accounting firm EY to secure match results so they won’t leak to the public (similar to how PwC deals with Oscar winners at the Academy Awards). One possible strategy would see wrestlers only clued in to whether they were winning or losing just before a match, but SA users aren’t having any of it. “It isn’t just the wrestlers. Production staff, producers, writers…they all have to know the results in advance of a big PPV event,” commented Austin Newsom, while others likened the new scheme to insider trading. (13 comments)

War of words

Sino-U.S. tensions are on full display this week. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has warned Washington of “conflict and confrontation” if it failed to change course in relations with Beijing, while paramount leader Xi Jinping accused the U.S. of “all-round containment, encirclement and suppression that has brought unprecedented grave challenges to our nation’s development.” Firing back at the remarks, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said that China remains our “unparalleled priority,” and could “leverage its dominant positions in key global supply chains to threaten and cut off foreign countries during a crisis.” It comes after the Netherlands agreed to a U.S. request to impose export restrictions on China – limiting the powerful chips and deep lithography tools of Dutch company ASML (NASDAQ:ASML) – as a battle over silicon determines the technologies of the future (read how semiconductors play into the situation in Taiwan). (16 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
7:30 Challenger Job-Cut Report
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet

What else is happening…

WSB survey results: TikTok should be banned, but will it be outlawed?

Job openings fall less than expected, quit rate ticks down.

Norfolk Southern (NSC) CEO faces grilling at Senate Committee hearing.

JPMorgan (JPM) sues Jes Staley over ties to Jeffrey Epstein.

Credit Suisse (CS) considered sale of equities business in restructuring.

World’s largest producer of renewable energy calls this type a ‘bad bet.’

American Express (AXP) announced buyback, boosts dividend by 15%.

Focus on India: Apple (AAPL) said to be shaking up global sales biz.

WeWork (WE) reportedly in talks with investors to restructure debt.

Tesla (TSLA) under investigation for Model Y steering wheel issues.


Good morning. Happy Wednesday.

The Asian/Pacific markets were mostly weak. Japan did well, but China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, Singapore and Thailand were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East currently lean down. Spain and the Czech Republic are up; Denmark, Greece, South Africa, Hungary and Saudi Arabia are weak. Futures in the States point towards a positive open for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: State of the Market —————

The dollar is up a small amount. Oil is down; copper is up. Gold and silver are down. Bonds are up.

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Data dependent

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will be back in the hot seat on Wednesday, delivering his second day of semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. Markets were already jolted in the previous session following comments that suggested the central bank could put an end to its recent shift towards more gradual tightening. The dollar surged and the benchmark S&P 500 Index closed out Tuesday with a loss of 1.5%, while the key 2-year (US2Y) and 10-year (US10Y) Treasury yield curve hit its deepest inversion since 1981 (see what’s next here).

From the transcript: “The process of getting inflation back down to 2% has a long way to go and is likely to be bumpy,” Powell told the Senate Banking Committee. “As I mentioned, the latest economic data have come in stronger than expected, which suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated. If the totality of the data were to indicate that faster tightening is warranted, we would be prepared to increase the pace of rate hikes.”

The speech shows just how dependent the Fed will be on incoming data ahead of its upcoming policy meeting scheduled for March 21-22. Over the next two weeks, investors will be able to size up their positions on how hard the central bank will go, with a flurry of releases scheduled on the economic calendar. Data points include the JOLTS report today, the non-farm payrolls on Friday, as well as retail sales, the producer price index and figures on industrial production next week.

SA commentary: “The Fed will soon be entering a blackout period, and this was [Powell’s] last chance to warn the market a rate hike greater than 50 bps is still possible if the data warrants it,” wrote SA Marketplace author Mott Capital Management, outlining that the speech led to a massive repricing of rates. In fact, the CME’s FedWatch Tool now shows a 70.5% chance of a half-point hike, up from 31% before the Fed Chair’s speech. JR Research, author of Ultimate Growth Investing, also explores what this means for equities, in a new article entitled, SPY: Fortunes Will Be Made For The Brave. (248 comments)

Buffett downs more OXY

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) has resumed purchases of Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY), raising its stake in the oil company to about 22%, according to an SEC filing. That means the Warren Buffett-led conglomerate now owns 200.2M Occidental shares worth $12.2B based on Tuesday’s $60.85 closing price, as well as $10B worth of preferred stock and related warrants. The holdings would also generate around $144M of annual dividends, following OXY’s increased payout announced last month. Occidental, which is now among Buffett’s top 10 holdings, has more than doubled in price last year and was the top-performing stock on the S&P 500.

TikTok bill

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) has introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at policing the threat of technology from “adversarial” nations, a move lately pointed at a potential ban of Chinese-based hit TikTok (BDNCE). The “RESTRICT Act” would allow the U.S. Commerce Secretary to determine if a transaction poses “undue or unacceptable risk” to national security, and could be sent to the president for action, including forced divestment. “It’s safe to assume that if the CCP is willing to lie about its spy balloon and cover up the origins of the worst pandemic in 100 years, they’ll lie about using TikTok to spy on American citizens,” declared Republican Sen. John Thune, who co-sponsored the bill as support builds on both sides of the aisle. Any ban on TikTok would affect social media players like Snapchat Spotlight (SNAP), Instagram Reels (META) and YouTube Shorts (GOOG, GOOGL).

‘Adversarial’ tech

Besides impacting the stocks mentioned above, outlawing TikTok could have far-reaching consequences for the creator economy, marketing departments and national security policies. Don’t forget that the American government has already ordered the app to be removed from federal devices, as well as a probe from CFIUS. Check out an extra Wall Street Breakfast poll this week that explores whether the U.S. should and will end up banning TikTok.

Today’s Economic Calendar
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:15 ADP Jobs Report
8:30 Goods and Services Trade
10:00 Jerome Powell Speech
10:00 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
1:00 PM Results of $32B, 10-Year Note Auction
2:00 PM Fed’s Beige Book

What else is happening…

This sector shook off Powell’s hawkish remarks, but this one did not.

Climate change can erode asset values and shock financial system – Yellen.

WeightWatchers stock (WW) surges 80% on Sequence acquisition.

NTSB to probe Norfolk Southern (NSC) safety culture after recent incidents.

Earnings and outlook come in strong at CrowdStrike (CRWD).

Sleep-at-night stocks for those hedging or risk averse.

Amazon (AMZN) now ‘solidly a top pick’ at Goldman Sachs.

JetBlue (JBLU), Spirit Airlines (SAVE) push back on DOJ complaint.

Chances of Altria (MO) selling AB InBev (BUD) stake are increasing.

Occidental (OXY) sees U.S. oil production falling short of government forecast.


Good morning. Happy Tuesday.

The Asian/Pacific markets were mixed. Taiwan, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines moved up; China, Hong Kong and Indonesia moved down. Europe, Africa and the Middle East are currently mixed and little changed. Greece and Portugal are up; the UAE, Norway and Hungary are down. Futures in the States point towards a positive open for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: The Most Important Element of Trading —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Bigger hikes ahead?

Investors await Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s semi-annual testimony on monetary policy before the Senate Banking Committee later in the day for clues on the central bank’s future rate path amid a wave of strong economic data. Powell will deliver the same testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Backdrop: The Fed chief’s appearances at Capitol Hill follow the release of the central bank’s monetary policy report. While the Fed eased its aggressive rate-hiking campaign, recent data could mean a return to bigger rate hikes to rein in stubbornly high inflation. Markets are largely expecting a 25-bp rate hike at the Fed’s March 21-22 meeting, according to the CME FedWatch Tool, and have priced in the probability for ‘higher for longer’ interest rates. Meanwhile, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said disinflation is far from certain and the Fed is not done with tightening.

Outlook: “All eyes will be on whether Powell uses the opportunity to strike a more hawkish tone,” said Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid. “The question of most interest will be whether he indicates a preference to stick to the 25-bp pace going forward, or if 50-bp moves are still on the table.” Wells Fargo expects the Fed to finish raising rates by mid-2023, “once disinflation and a more rapidly slowing economy are more evident.” (4 comments)

More Meta layoffs

Meta Platforms (META) is set to cut thousands more jobs as soon as this week, despite CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s holiday-season assurance that he wasn’t expecting more layoffs. The latest round of job cuts follows the social media giant’s move last year to lay off around 11,000 workers – about 13% of its workforce. The new job cuts are tied to financial targets, and are separate from Meta’s plans to flatten its company structure to create less distance between Zuckerberg and interns. The change in structure is expected to result in thousands of job cuts, and some by attrition. (31 comments)

JetBlue deal doomed?

Regulators are reportedly looking to block the prospective merger between JetBlue Airways (JBLU) and Spirit Airlines (SAVE), sending shares of the latter sliding nearly 9% on Monday. Both the Department of Transportation and Department of Justice are looking to halt the deal on the grounds that the merger would be anticompetitive. Executives from both carriers met with the DOJ late last month in a “last-rites” meeting to assuage concerns over the merger, but it appears these efforts have failed. (34 comments)

California ‘done’ with Walgreens

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) dropped after California Governor Gavin Newsom slammed the pharmacy chain operator over its plans to stop selling abortion pills in 20 states. Newsom said the state won’t do business with any company that “puts women’s lives at risk”. He directed the California Department of Health and Human Services to review all relationships with Walgreens, including Medi-Cal and Covered California, the state’s two largest public insurance plans. (246 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
10:00 Jerome Powell Speech
10:00 Wholesale Inventories (Preliminary)
1:00 PM Results of $40B, 3-Year Note Auction
3:00 PM Consumer Credit

Google (GOOG) (GOOGL) to trim senior promotions this year amid growth slowdown.

Atlassian (TEAM) to lay off around 5% of its workforce amid rebalancing of resources.

Meta’s (META) WhatsApp agrees to be more compliant with EU privacy rules.

Snap (SNAP) jumped 11% to a month-high as likelihood of TikTok ban gains steam.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) sued by federal agency over hangman’s nooses found at Louisiana plant.

Cheniere (LNG) CEO calls lack of U.S. investment in natural gas pipelines ‘scary’.

Reserve Bank of Australia lifts key interest rate by 25 bps in record tenth consecutive hike.

U.S. solar panel imports from China on the rise, says top White House advisor.

Pfizer (PFE) is only bidder for cancer-focused Seagen (SGEN), talks ‘still very preliminary’.


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

The Asian/Pacific markets did well. Japan, South Korea, India, Taiwan and Australia posted solid gains. Europe, Africa and the Middle East lean to the upside. Poland, Turkey, the UAE, Russia, Hungary and Israel are up; Greece and Portugal are down. Futures in the States point towards a flat-to-positive open for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: The Most Important Element of Trading —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Sector watch

The market has had a wild first two months to the year, firing on all cylinders in January and paring some gains in February, only to resume its upward ascent last week. Investors are now sizing up their outlooks as trading begins for the first full week of March, with several upcoming catalysts that have the potential to sway market direction. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Fed Chair Jay Powell will head to Capitol Hill for his semi-annual testimony, ahead of the February Jobs Report released on Friday. Don’t forget the latest Consumer Price Index that will be published next week, as well as Fed’s March policy meeting (and quarterly rate projections) that will come at the end of the month.

Backdrop: One of the best gauges of market health is the benchmark S&P 500 (SP500), but perhaps an even better gauge of the internal happenings of the market are the sectors that make up the index. They adhere to the same industry taxonomy closely followed by the financial community, which was developed by Standard & Poor’s and MSCI in 1999. Called the Global Industry Classification Standard, or GICS, the structure consists of 11 sectors (as well as 24 industry groups, 69 industries and 158 sub-industries) that categorizes all major public companies.

What things have shown is that many of the big trades that were hot in 2022, namely energy, consumer staples and healthcare, have been relegated to the back burner. It appears that investors are betting that the record profits seen in 2022 will be hard to replicate in terms of future growth rates, but a rebound might be in store as the year progresses. On the other hand, information technology, which makes up nearly 28% of the S&P 500, has significantly outperformed on the back of rocketing interest in artificial intelligence and massive U.S. subsidies that are pouring into the chip sector.

Outlook: The benchmark S&P 500 Index is up 5.8% so far in 2023, after falling nearly 20% in 2022 to mark its worst performance since the financial crisis. It also gives investors plenty of time to make calls on the rest of the year. Check out the 5 Stocks To Own In The S&P 500 by Steve Cress, Head of Quantitative Strategies at Seeking Alpha, as well as SA’s stock screener, where users can discover new stocks based on each S&P sector.

Which S&P 500 sector will walk away with the biggest gain in 2023?

· Communication Services (+11.7% YTD)
· Consumer Discretionary (+12.9% YTD)
· Consumer Staples (-3% YTD)
· Energy (-1.2% YTD)
· Financials (+4.8% YTD)
· Health Care (-5.2% YTD)
· Industrials (+5.2% YTD)
· Information Technology (+12.4% YTD)
· Materials (+8.7% YTD)
· Real Estate (+4.7% YTD)
· Utilities (+6.6% YTD)

New budget, new priorities

China’s National People’s Congress convened its annual parliamentary gathering over the weekend, setting a GDP growth goal of “around 5%” for 2023 to mark its lowest target in over three decades. Perhaps unsurprisingly, China’s defense spending will rise by 7.2% – or by nearly $230B – which is greater than its economic growth objective, and ahead of its 5.7% increase in general public expenditure. The figures will be on the radar of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, with U.S. defense spending in focus amid budget cut talks on the debt ceiling. Tensions are also continuing to escalate between the world’s largest economies as the Biden administration reportedly prepares a new program that could prohibit American investment in certain sectors in China. (6 comments)

More cost cuts?

Despite a commitment by Amazon (AMZN) to expand its brick-and-mortar grocery store business, the company is shuttering nearly a third of its Go convenience stores. Speaking about the e-commerce behemoth’s physical presence, Amazon just halted construction of its second headquarters in Virginia. It said it was part of broader cost-cutting efforts amid the shifting macroeconomic climate and comes after the firm laid off over 18,000 employees earlier this year. It’s not all a surprise. In its last earnings call, Amazon said it would “exit certain shops with low growth potential,” while recording a $720M impairment charge. (3 comments)

Trading on the Hill

As the debate over conflicts of interest within the U.S. government rages on, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) is expected to reintroduce a bill today that would ban federal officials from trading stocks. The measure would apply to senior members and their spouses, requiring them to divest their stocks or place them in a blind trust within six months of starting their job (the ban wouldn’t apply to diversified mutual funds). Lawmakers in both parties have pushed for restrictions on stock trading by federal officials, especially after the discovery of well-timed trades at the start of the pandemic. While Congress has sought to counteract such misuse of power in 2012 through the STOCK Act, many say it doesn’t do enough to prevent insider trading. (2 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
10:00 Factory Orders
12:30 PM Investor Movement Index

What else is happening…

Another one! Norfolk Southern (NSC) train derails, but no toxins aboard.

Altria (MO) exits stake in Juul Labs after valuation crumbles.

Why is cancer drugmaker Seagen (SGEN) a top acquisition target?

Price watch: Tesla (TSLA) cuts prices in U.S. to boost sales.

ARM (ARMHF) may be valued at $70B in coming Nasdaq listing.

More trouble? Silvergate (SI) suspends USD transfer network for crypto.

ESPN (DIS), Turner (WBD) get ready to pay – dearly – in new NBA deal.

Apple (AAPL), (AI) make waves in the active AI sector.

J&J’s (JNJ) Stelara demonstrates long-term efficacy in Crohn’s disease.

Delinquencies on commercial real estate loans rise sharply in Q4.


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