Before the Open (Jan 8-12)

Good morning. Happy Friday.

The Asian/Pacific markets leaned up. Japan, India, New Zealand, Indonesia and the Philippines led, while China and South Korea were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East are doing great. The UK, Denmark, France, Turkey, Germany, Finland, Norway, Hungary, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden are leading. Futures in the States point to a moderate gap down for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: What Does a Bad Start to the Year Imply? —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Ready, set, earnings

Get ready for the Q4 earnings season. Four of the biggest U.S. banks will kick off the festivities this morning, with results from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Keep in mind that while the potential for rate cuts later this year spurred a rally in bank stocks in late 2023, Q4 results should reflect peak interest rates, putting pressure on deposit costs, net interest income, and available-for-sale securities portfolios.

What to watch: “Expect some incremental NIM (net interest margin) pressure for the quarter, but abating from here,” Morgan Stanley analysts led by Betsy Graseck wrote in a note to clients. “This quarter we saw the first evidence that deposit price competition is easing, as banks began cutting offer rates for new CDs over the past month (down by 8 bps in December), which should benefit NIM starting in 1Q24.” Also keep an eye on the outlook for revenue, expenses, credit quality, and capital returns, as well as one-time charges from things like portfolio re-evaluations, costs from Basel III endgame requirements, and replenishing FDIC funds, which can skew Q4 results.

Most of the big banks are expected to post lower earnings than a year ago, with JPMorgan (JPM) being a notable exception. It’s expected to earn $3.61 per share in Q4 2023, compared with $3.57 a year ago. While Goldman Sachs (GS) is expected to earn $4.27 per share vs. $3.32, the year-ago figure had significant one-time charges. Most lending will still likely be strong or stable, with commercial industrial loans rising after multiple quarters of weakness and real estate lending turning positive.

Investing angle: Attention has shifted to the Federal Reserve’s anticipated rate cuts, resulting in the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index soaring 26% since the end of Q3, outpacing the S&P 500’s 11% increase. Note that as the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield (US10Y) has eased, bank stocks have risen. For those looking to navigate the banking sector, SA analyst The Beginner Investor is out with a fresh article entitled, JPMorgan Vs. Bank Of America Vs. Wells Fargo, while David Zanoni explores what earnings guidance means for the overall market. (12 comments)

Retaliatory strikes

Oil prices are responding to the U.S. and British airstrikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, with West Texas Intermediate (CL1:COM) climbing 2.4% to $73.71/bbl early Friday. Shipping stocks also rose during the premarket session. “These strikes are in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks [that] have endangered U.S. personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardized trade, and threatened freedom of navigation,” President Biden declared, adding that he would “not hesitate to direct further measures” if necessary. Reacting to 16 airstrikes that hit radar installations, storage sites and missile launchers, the Houthis pledged to continue targeting ships around the Red Sea, saying that “any American attack won’t go unpunished” and would elicit a “big” response. (6 comments)

Dumping EVs

Electric vehicle stocks are still under pressure after Hertz Global (HTZ) said it would cut its EV adoption losses by offloading a third of its global fleet to buy gasoline-powered cars. That’ll put 20,000 EVs up for sale, including those from Tesla (TSLA), in response to weak take-up and elevated repair costs. The decision adds to growing EV demand worries, which were already amplified by pullbacks on production targets. What about the rest of the fleet? Hertz plans to improve profitability by providing more charging stations and making it easier for customers to acclimate to an EV rental. (151 comments)

Going live

The first spot bitcoin (BTC-USD) ETFs debuted on the U.S. exchanges with a roaring start as more than $4.6B worth of shares changed hands on Thursday, propelling the top cryptocurrency briefly above $48K. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTC:GBTC) saw the largest trading volume at $2.3B, while BlackRock’s (BLK) iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) saw over $1B and $688M in trading volumes, respectively. While some analysts expect up to $100B in bitcoin ETF flows this year, many on Wall Street believe the investment is too risky, including Vanguard and Merrill Lynch. Also see Bitcoin ETF Approval: What Does It Mean For Crypto Stocks by SA Investing Group Leader Bram de Haas.

Today’s Economic Calendar
8:30 Producer Price Index
10:00 Fed’s Kashkari Speech
1:00 PM Baker Hughes Rig Count

What else is happening…

CPI comes in a little hotter than expected, driven by housing.

Tesla (TSLA) hikes pay at U.S. factories following union efforts.

FAA formally notifies Boeing (BA) of probe into 737 Max mishap.

Airbus (OTCPK:EADSF) sets record for orders on surging demand.

AT&T, Verizon (VZ) dip as EPA seeks meetings on lead cable data.

DocuSign (DOCU) jumps amid buyer interest from two PE firms.

China-U.S. relationship faces a test as Taiwan elects new leader.

Amgen (AMGN) may be evaluating bid for Cytokinetics (CYTK).

Apple adds Wanda Austin to board; Al Gore, James Bell to retire.

Meet the contenders for a casino license near New York City.


Good morning. Happy Thursday.

The Asian/Pacific markets did well. Japan, China, Hong Kong and the Philippines posted big gains; Australia and Singapore posted smaller gains. Europe, Africa and the Middle East lean to the upside. Poland is down, but Greece, South Africa, the Netherlands, Israel, Sweden and the Czech Republic are up. Futures in the States point to a mixed open for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: What Does a Bad Start to the Year Imply? —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Prices and policy

Investors this morning will get a better picture of the inflation landscape in the U.S., which has influenced everything from market expectations to interest rates. The Consumer Price Index will be released at 8:30 AM ET, and if all goes well, it will likely show that price pressures continued to decelerate in the final weeks of 2023. That’s largely due to lower prices for core goods, like energy and fuel, as well as cheaper prices in other categories such as used vehicles.

Engage the core: Headline CPI is expected to come in at 3.2% Y/Y in December, just a tad higher than the 3.1% seen in the prior month. It would also mark the seventh straight month that inflation was pegged at the 3% level after starting the year at nearly double that figure. The core measure, which is favored by the Fed and considered more of a reliable indicator of inflation trends, is forecast to clock in at 3.8% Y/Y, down from 4.0% in November, and mark the lowest reading since May 2021.

That could provide additional proof for the Federal Reserve that the disinflation process has been fully engaged and a change in monetary policy might be warranted. Currently, market participants put a 95.3% probability on the central bank keeping the federal funds rate target range at 5.25%-5.50% at its Jan. 30-31 meeting. Traders have increased their bets that the Fed will make its first cut at its March 19-20 meeting, with the probability of a 25 bps cut at 66.3%, up from 43.2% a month ago, according to the CME’s FedWatch Tool.

All-time highs: While there’s always a chance of upside surprises, “looking through the noise that could muddy the waters for any given month, the disinflation trend remains on track, even if that’s not always obvious for any one CPI update,” according to SA analyst James Picerno. However, some are more mindful of the elevated costs of certain categories, like services and high rents. Despite breaking a nine-week winning streak upon entering 2024, the S&P 500 is still within a whisker of its record high, and further belief in the Fed’s pivot could get it over the finish line.

Finally approved

The long wait is over as the Securities and Exchange Commission finally approved 11 spot bitcoin (BTC-USD) ETF products after years of rejecting the applications. SEC commissioners had mixed reactions to the approval, while SA analyst Logan Kane called it a watershed moment for crypto. “If you bought Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTC:GBTC) for the discount, then congrats on the win,” he wrote, “[but] you can now consider swapping it for a lower-fee ETF.” The news lifted bitcoin to around $47,500, building on a rally in recent weeks, while most of the ETF products are expected to begin trading today, sparking a battle for market share. (139 comments)

On the map

Japanese stocks soared overnight, while a weaker yen boosted exporter shares, prompting the benchmark Nikkei 225 index (NKY:IND) to cross 35,000 points for the first time since the economic bubble over 30 years ago. Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, noted that Japanese stocks have been cheap for a long time due to corporate governance reforms and Warren Buffett’s bets on trading houses have helped to lift sentiment. While traders continue to expect growth to return to the Japanese economy after years of deflation and tighter monetary policy, weaker wage data capped bets of the Bank of Japan raising interest rates soon. (2 comments)

Texts from space

SpaceX (SPACE) has revealed that its Starlink team successfully delivered and received text messages via T-Mobile’s (TMUS) network through one of its newly launched direct-to-cell satellites. SpaceX now plans to launch a constellation of satellites to enable text service this year, as well as voice, data, and IoT services in 2025. “We will no longer read about these tragedies that happened where people got lost and if only they could have called for help they’d be okay,” Elon Musk declared in August 2022 after first unveiling the partnership with T-Mobile that aimed to eliminate “dead zones.” (1 comment)

Today’s Economic Calendar
8:30 Consumer Price Index
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
12:40 PM Fed’s Barkin Speech
1:00 PM Results of $21B, 30-Year Bond Auction
2:00 PM Treasury Statement
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet

What else is happening…

Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.B) share of Occidental (OXY) hits 34%.

Skydance weighs bid for Paramount parent National Amusements.

Cummins (CMI) to pay $1.7B fine to settle vehicle test cheating lawsuit.

Boeing CEO vows Alaska Airlines (ALK) mishap won’t happen again.

Salesforce (CRM), chat subsidiary Slack implement hiring freeze.

Amazon (AMZN) may not offer iRobot remedies in Europe.

Top oil trade group warns against U.S. slowing LNG exports.

SAP to pay around $222M to settle global bribery charges.

Lowe’s (LOW) offers loyalty program to prop up DIY sales.

Novo Nordisk (NVO) CEO sees Wegovy users sticking with drug.


Good morning. Happy Wednesday.

The Asian/Pacific markets closed mostly down. Japan did well, but China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East currently lean to the upside. Denmark, Turkey, Russia, Hungary and Portugal are up; South Africa and Saudi Arabia are down. Futures in the States point towards a flat open for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: Where are We in the Big Picture – MoneyShow presentation —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Coming of crypto age

How will Bitcoin trade following the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF? The market got a glimpse of that on Tuesday after the SEC’s account on X made such an announcement, with Bitcoin (BTC-USD) spiking to as high as $47,900. The only thing was – the account had been compromised and the tweet turned out to be fake. Confusion ensued as SEC officials tried to get the message out to the media, and it wasn’t before long that Bitcoin took a turn south, sliding to as low as $45,145 in volatile trade.

Buy the rumor: The truth is, Bitcoin has been climbing for months in hopes of approval for a spot ETF, extending the gains of the cryptocurrency, which has more than doubled since last January. The thinking here is that a simple-to-understand and well-structured ETF can bring crypto more mainstream and, in turn, result in many institutional investors and retail portfolios allocating percentages to Bitcoin. Buying and reporting would be easier due to liquidity and transparency; it can offer investors another opportunity for diversification; and the product would track the performance of Bitcoin as an underlying asset.

On the flip side, Bitcoin exposure has already been available for years. There are closed-end funds like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTC:GBTC), as well as ETFs that track Bitcoin futures, such as the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO). There are also publicly traded companies whose balance sheets are mostly made up of Bitcoin, like MicroStrategy (MSTR), mining firms that include Riot Blockchain (RIOT) and Marathon Digital (MARA), and crypto exchanges like Coinbase (COIN). Retail traders have found additional ways to directly own Bitcoin (BTC-USD) through trustworthy custodians and often don’t report profits on their tax returns, which would be a lot harder if they owned shares in a spot Bitcoin ETF.

What to watch: Despite a lot of confusion, a spot Bitcoin ETF is expected to be approved for the first time today following last summer’s court ruling involving Grayscale. Big asset managers with skin in the game include BlackRock (BLK) and Fidelity Investments, but even if the product were finally cleared, it wouldn’t deter the SEC’s critical stance on an industry that is rife with “market manipulation and misconduct” (Tuesday’s fake tweet didn’t help). “If you’re considering an investment involving crypto assets, be cautious,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler wrote on X. “Crypto asset securities may be marketed as new opportunities but there are serious risks involved.” See pending spot Bitcoin ETFs here. (6 comments)

Sky high ambitions

Walmart (WMT) is set to make the largest drone delivery expansion by a U.S. retailer, with plans to cover up to 1.8M more households in Texas. The expansion will include stores across more than 30 towns and municipalities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, covering up to 75% of the region. The deliveries will be powered by Walmart’s partners, drone startup Zipline and Alphabet’s (GOOG, GOOGL) unit Wing, both of which are FAA-approved to fly drones beyond visual line of sight. “With nearly 4.7K stores located within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population, we’re uniquely positioned to scale when that time comes,” Walmart announced in a press statement. (2 comments)

Type of worker

The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that will force companies to reclassify some workers as employees instead of independent contractors. The rule, effective from March, will likely increase costs for industries that rely on contract labor, including healthcare, restaurants, and transportation. However, Uber Technologies (UBER) responded to the classification rule by saying it wouldn’t materially change the law under which it operates or impact the over 1M Americans who turn to Uber to earn money flexibly. Note that independent contractors don’t receive federal labor protections like minimum wage and unemployment benefits.

Red Sea barrage

Shipping rates continue to rise steeply as vessels face long delays amid increasing Red Sea attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The average shipping cost for a 40-foot container has nearly doubled since the attacks began, according to Drewry’s World Container Index, with $200B in cargo estimated to have been diverted since early December. Late on Tuesday, U.S. and U.K. forces shot down the Houthis’ biggest attack yet, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken warning of consequences if they continue. Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council will vote today on a resolution demanding an immediate halt to the Houthi assaults that have impeded global commerce. (10 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
10:00 Wholesale Inventories (Preliminary)
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
1:00 PM Results of $37B, 10-Year Note Auction
3:00 PM Fed’s Williams: Economic Outlook

What else is happening…

HPE (HPE) confirms $14B deal for Juniper Networks (JNPR).

Boeing (BA) CEO: We must acknowledge aircraft quality issues.

Tesla (TSLA) reduces driving ranges as EPA beefs up testing rules.

Microsoft’s (MSFT) OpenAI investment may face EU merger probe.

BlackRock will cut 600 jobs to shift resources to high-growth areas.

Google (GOOG) sees multibillion-dollar patent suit related to AI tech.

Meta (META) restricts harmful social media content for teen users.

Rite Aid (OTC:RADCQ) gets court nod for sale of Elixir business.

More delays: NASA’s crew moon landing pushed to 2026.

BofA lists 10 surprises that could affect markets this year.


Good morning. Happy Tuesday.

The Asian/Pacific markets were mixed. Japan, Australia and New Zealand did well; Hong Kong, South Korea and Indonesia were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East lean to the downside. The UAE, Greece and Norway are up; France, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Italy and Israel are down. Futures in the States point to a down open for the cash market.

————— Audio Course: Guidelines to Successful Trading —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Tech tunes into CES

CES 2024, the world’s largest consumer electronics show, kicks off today with a slew of new product launches by tech heavyweights. While the event is usually headlined by the presence of flashy cars, new PCs and TVs, analysts expect this year’s attention to be on artificial intelligence.

New launches: Nvidia (NVDA) took the wraps off its GeForce RTX 40 SUPER Series family of GPUs, as it looks to maintain its lead in the space. AMD (AMD) gained more than 4.5% after it introduced its new Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card, with other semiconductor names participating at the event rising too. PC makers Acer (OTC:ACEYY), Lenovo (OTCPK:LNVGY), and Dell (DELL), among others, have all launched new high-performance laptops.

CES has become more of a car show in recent years and automakers including BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY), Ford (F), and GM (GM) are expected to have a large showing. Increased use of AI in cars will also be a major theme, as well as advanced driving assistance systems and autonomous driving. Sony (SONY) and Honda (HMC) showcased their joint venture – the Afeela electric car – the highlight of which was the electronics maker’s COO driving the car on stage with a PS5 controller.

Bigger picture: Sleek new cars and tech gear may garner the attention of CES floor walkers, but at the end of the day, the theme of the event is still focused on two letters: AI. More than half of all companies that Wedbush surveyed said they see more than 20 use cases for generative AI and over 80% said they see 10 or more, including data analysis and marketing content creation, to improve efficiency. “We believe companies will be executing and building off of this trend with CES a major launching pad to kick off 2024 as software, chip, and hardware tech players bet heavily on AI,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. (17 comments)

Loose bolts

United Airlines (UAL) found loose bolts on multiple Boeing (BA) 737 Max 9 planes during inspections carried out after a metal door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines (ALK) plane soon after takeoff on Friday. Alaska Airlines also identified loose hardware on some 737 Max 9 planes, raising more concerns about the aircraft’s quality controls. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Friday’s incident, while Boeing is inspecting the plugs on undelivered Max 9 jets at its Washington factory and at Spirit AeroSystems’ (SPR) Kansas plant. SA analyst Tim Dunn sees schedule interruptions for several airlines, but Boeing and Spirit Aero (which makes the 737 fuselages) will likely bear the brunt of investor concern. (57 comments)

Adjusted stance

Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman, a long-standing hawk, has adjusted her stance to signal that interest rate hikes are likely over, although she does not believe rate cuts are appropriate just yet. Based on the progress made on inflation over the past six months, Bowman’s “view has evolved to consider the possibility that the rate of inflation could decline further with the policy rate held at the current level for some time.” However, she pointed to upside risks to inflation from the food and energy markets, the recent easing in financial conditions, and continued labor market tightness. “I recommend scaling back on bets on declining interest rates for now,” said SA analyst Jeremy Blum in his review of the latest jobs data. “It’s higher for longer this time.” (1 comment)

AI boost

Juniper Networks (JNPR) jumped 23% after hours Monday as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is said to be in advanced talks to buy the networking name for about $13B. Shares of HPE fell 8.6% in postmarket trade. The deal, which could be announced as soon as this week, will likely boost HPE’s artificial intelligence position via Juniper’s Mist AI, which optimizes wireless access. Juniper is worth a little under $10B after declining about 5% over the past year. Prior to the development, SA analyst Normad Capital noted that HPE’s long-term growth outlook remains bright, given strong demand for high-performance computing and AI. (10 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
6:00 NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
8:30 International Trade in Goods and Services
12:00 PM Fed’s Barr Speech
1:00 PM Results of $52B, 3-Year Note Auction

What else is happening…

WSB survey results: Tech stocks may be the biggest winners again.

Exxon, Koch Industries rejected by Supreme Court in climate lawsuit.

Cathie Wood expects spot bitcoin (BTC-USD) ETF approval this week.

JetBlue (JBLU) CEO Hayes to step down, COO Geraghty to succeed.

Sony (SONY) plans to call off $10B merger with Zee Entertainment.

Four drugmakers under Senate probe over asthma inhaler pricing.

ByteDance (BDNCE) eyes sale of gaming assets; Tencent in fray.

Activist Elliott builds $1B stake in Tinder parent Match Group (MTCH).

Unity Software (U) slashes 25% jobs as it refocuses its core business.’s Dada Nexus (DADA) audit uncovers ‘suspicious practices.’


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

The Asian/Pacific markets closed mostly down. Malaysia did okay, but China, Hong Kong, South Korea, India, Australia, Indonesia and Thailand suffered losses. Europe, Africa and the Middle East are split. Turkey, Greece, Sweden and the Czech Republic are up; Denmark, South Africa, Finland, Norway, Portugal and Israel are down. Futures in the States point to a flat-to-up open for the cash market.

————— Audio Course: Guidelines to Successful Trading —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Fasten your seat belt

A weekend plane accident that could have ended in tragedy continues to make waves, putting a spotlight on the aerospace industry and what it might mean for one of America’s leading exporters. A so-called door plug on Alaska Airlines (ALK) Flight 1282 blew out on Friday evening, causing the cabin aboard the Boeing (BA) 737 Max 9 to rapidly depressurize only 6 minutes after it departed from the Portland International Airport. Luckily, the jetliner was cruising at an altitude of 16,000 feet at the time of the incident, and no one was sitting in the two seats next to the affected area, though things could have ended a lot differently if the plane had been flying much higher.

Clues: A probe is underway to examine the door plug, a panel where an optional emergency exit can be placed if a plane is manufactured with a high-capacity seating configuration. All of Alaska Airlines’ aircraft are permanently “plugged,” leading many to speculate that something may have been wrong with the installation of bolts or the pressurization system aboard the plane. In response to the accident, the FAA temporarily grounded 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes worldwide, requiring fresh inspections and safety checks before the plane variant returns to service. The missing door plug was also located in the backyard of a Portland, Oregon-area resident.

It’s bad news for Boeing (BA) shareholders as the stock opened the premarket session on Monday down 9% to $226. Aerospace supplier Spirit AeroSystems (SPR), which manufactures and installs the door plugs in question, also tumbled over 20% in early trade to $25/share, with both companies involved in the complex, two-tier installation process. SA Investing Group Leader Dhierin Bechai believes the latest investigation will solely focus on the 737 MAX 9 (with deactivated doors) of which Boeing has around 300 in backlog by November 2023 and over 200 airplanes delivered.

Outlook: The entire situation could not have come at a worse time for Boeing. The stock was just recovering from lows last seen during COVID as the U.S. planemaker attempted to ramp up output and take back the delivery crown from Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY). Its French rival has held the top spot ever since the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX in 2018, which was in response to two jetliner crashes that had killed 346 people. Since then, it has been hard for Boeing to shake off financial and reputational damage, and the latest episode will likely put the company back in the crosshairs of regulators. (20 comments)

Spending levels

Top Congressional leaders have reached a $1.59T bipartisan federal spending deal for the current fiscal year, significantly reducing the odds of a government shutdown next week. House Speaker Mike Johnson said the deal would secure $16B in additional spending cuts, with the top-line figure including $886B for defense and $704B for non-defense spending. However, there appears to be some discord on the numbers discussed in the agreement. While President Biden hailed the bipartisan deal, Republicans have been more critical, with the House Freedom Caucus calling it a “total failure.” (5 comments)

Supply and demand

While oil prices ended last week on a high note, they turned red on Monday as Saudi Arabia (ARMCO) cut the February selling price of its flagship Arab Light crude to Asian customers amid rising supply, growing competition from rival suppliers and demand concerns. Meanwhile, U.S. oil production is now near record levels, with weekly exports at a fresh high as the Red Sea crisis and the resulting run-up in costs for diverting tankers have driven up demand for cheaper American crude. Traders are also closely watching the U.S. government’s oil purchases to replenish the strategic petroleum reserve, which may help in capping oil’s slide. (4 comments)

Next bankruptcy

Buckling under plunging advertising sales, troubled radio and audio-streaming giant Audacy (OTCPK:AUDA) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A restructuring plan would slash its debt from $1.9B to around $350M, while Audacy secured $57M in DIP financing, which along with its available cash and reserves, will enable it to fulfill commitments to staff, advertisers and partners. “The perfect storm of sustained macroeconomic challenges over the past four years facing the traditional advertising market has led to a sharp reduction of several billion dollars in cumulative radio ad spending,” CEO David Field declared. Audacy shares, which were delisted from NYSE in November and now trade on the Pink Sheets, have dropped 97% over the past year.

Today’s Economic Calendar
12:30 PM Investor Movement Index
12:30 PM Fed’s Bostic: Economic Outlook
3:00 PM Consumer Credit

What else is happening…

Is your EV underperforming EPA range estimates?

Florida wins FDA nod for mass drug imports from Canada.

Harpoon (HARP) surges as Merck eyes $700M acquisition.

Lithium prices poised to continue lower, but Janus sees bottom.

Kroger-Albertsons merger terms are still being hammered out.

Walgreens (WBA) dividend cut may hasten its exit from Dow.

Apple (AAPL) bull Dan Ives is ubiquitous, but not always right.

Eyes on consumer finance stocks with delinquencies on the rise.

Major retail conference kicks off today – watch these stocks.

‘Oppenheimer’ (CMCSA) dominates the 81st Golden Globes.


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