Before the Open (Feb 5-9)

Good morning. Happy Friday.

The Asian/Pacific markets were either closed or little changed. Europe, Africa and the Middle East currently lean to the upside. Denmark, Turkey, Norway, Hungary, the Netherlands and Portugal are up; South Africa, Finland, Austria and the Czech Republic are down. Futures in the States point positive open for the cash market.

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

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Super Bowl economics

Wings, dips and hot dogs are on the menu this weekend as the reigning Kansas City Chiefs go up against the San Francisco 49ers, in a rematch of Super Bowl LIV that completed the 2019 season. Households across the U.S. will huddle around screens to watch the big game and take part in the great tradition of featured commercials, which cost around $7M for a 30-second slot. Viewership might also be subject to the “Taylor Swift effect,” with some predicting the total figure could top 118M, meaning the cost per impression would come in at just under $0.06 per viewer.

Ready for kickoff: The Super Bowl is taking place in Las Vegas this year and will throw an extra spotlight on the Strip. Hotel room rates have soared since a somewhat rare red-on-red game was inked by the Chiefs and the 49ers despite additional room supply that was added following the opening of the new Fontainebleau. The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently reported that Las Vegas Strip GGR was up 11% Y/Y in December to a record tally of $905M, and all indications are that high-end consumers are not pulling back on their Vegas expenditures. While the price of Super Bowl tickets varies greatly, the average cost has been north of $8,000, according to recent figures from StubHub.

Many have already started betting on the big game, with legal wagers expected to top $1.35B across the 39 regulated U.S. markets. Notably, this year will mark the first time legal Super Bowl bets will be made in Florida, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Maine, Vermont and Nebraska. The earnings potential could send sportsbooks into a strong formation, but they could also have a tough time keeping things balanced due to public bettors strongly favoring the Chiefs or having to cover the spread in a high-scoring game. Compare related sports betting stocks here.

A new player: Flutter Entertainment (FLUT), which owns a majority stake in FanDuel, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange last week just in time for Super Bowl LVIII. A proposal to move the primary listing from the London Stock Exchange to the NYSE will go to shareholders at the company’s next annual meeting, which could raise the profile of the entire sports betting sector. “We see a virtual lock on an upside ahead,” writes SA Investing Group Leader Howard Jay Klein, referencing Flutter’s share of the online gaming sector that generates 60% of its revenue. (16 comments)

The AI Project

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is reportedly in talks with investors to raise as much as $5T-$7T (you read that right) for a major project that would boost the world’s chip-making capacity and its ability to power artificial intelligence. Apart from the semiconductor industry, Altman has discussed the ambitious initiative with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and investors like the UAE government. The news comes as the ChatGPT maker’s yearly run rate hit $2B in December, making it one of the fastest-growing tech companies ever. Elsewhere, OpenAI – along with 200 companies including Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) – is joining a new consortium to help manage AI development. (16 comments)

CPI revisions

Market participants and policymakers are closely watching revisions to the consumer price index this morning. That’s because of what happened last year, when CPI data was revised significantly higher, sparking concerns over progress in taming inflation. To note, the revisions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will only affect the seasonally adjusted CPI data and experts believe last year’s shock revision was an outlier. “Friday could be a bit of a non-event,” noted ING Economic and Financial Analysis. “That is our base case, but we have to remain open to the potential for a surprise that could meaningfully alter the market’s view on the timing of Fed policy changes.”

Fundamentally broken

Greenlight Capital was forced to shift its investing strategy as passive investors grew and algorithmic trading transformed the landscape, according to founder David Einhorn. He believes markets are “fundamentally broken” since passive investors “have no opinion about value” since “they’re going to assume everybody else has done the work.” Passive investments, such as index funds, made up more than 50% of publicly traded assets in the U.S. by late 2019, which Einhorn said would pose a problem for funds investing in undervalued companies given less attention to individual stocks. In related news, U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Thursday, with the benchmark S&P 500 (SP500) index briefly crossing the historic 5,000-point mark. (137 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
1:00 PM Baker Hughes Rig Count
1:30 PM Fed’s Logan Speech

What else is happening…

M&A watch: BlackBerry (BB) board changes spark takeover speculation.

Shopify (SHOP) hikes Plus subscription price, third-party transaction fees.

Boeing (BA) plane reportedly showed signs that door plug had moved.

Boosting chip stocks, Arm (ARM) gain extends to 58% after earnings.

Cloudflare (NET) soars on better-than-expected profit outlook.

Pinterest (PINS) slides on revenue miss and light guidance.

Philip Morris (PM) points to strong momentum with smoke-free sales.

Affirm (AFRM) posts earnings beat; sees drop in GMV profit margin.

ConocoPhillips rises amid higher-than-expected shareholder payout.


Good morning. Happy Thursday.

The Asian/Pacific markets were split. Japan, China and South Korea did well; Hong Kong, India, New Zealand and Thailand were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East are currently mixed. France, Turkey, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and the Czech Republic are up; Denmark, Poland, South Africa, Finland, Norway and Portugal are down. Futures in the States point down open for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: Impose Structure on your Trading Operations —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

The S&P 5000

Another Wall Street milestone is within grasp as the S&P 500 (SP500) continues to charge higher, powered by a robust earnings season. Corporate profits and upbeat guidance are showing healthy spending patterns among consumers and businesses alike, while AI momentum appears to justify the massive valuations seen in the tech sector. Coming up… The benchmark S&P 500 Index is a whisker away from the 5,000 milestone after closing at 4,995 on Wednesday and climbing as high as 4,999.89 during the session.

Bigger picture: Despite Fed Chair Jay Powell ruling out a rate cut in March, it’s clearly the end of a rate-hiking cycle, unless some incoming economic data throws a curveball at the central bank. Traders continue to celebrate that in style, especially if holding off on policy easing guarantees a significantly softer landing for the U.S. economy. The latest figures have also continued to boost sentiment, with GDP growth expanding at a 3.3% clip in Q4 and another 353K jobs added in January, highlighting the strength of the macro story.

“The question for bulls is whether this market continues to be propelled upward by a handful of mega-cap tech names or the rally broadens, and the average stock leads us higher, while the Magnificent 7 tread water from here,” notes Lawrence Fuller, Investing Group Leader of The Portfolio Architect. “There should be plenty of opportunities between now and March to position for the next leg up in this bull market.”

By the numbers: Only a month into the new year, the S&P 500 (SP500) is up 4.7%, which is more than halfway towards the 9% average annual return seen over the past two decades. Some FOMO may also be taking place among investors who missed out on the big rally last year when the benchmark index soared more than 24%. Top heaviness could be a concern given that the five largest stocks – Alphabet (GOOG) (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Nvidia (NVDA) – account for 27% of the S&P 500, but that has been going on for some time and hasn’t stopped the index from hitting the 3,000 level in 2019 and 4,000 only two years later.

The magic returns

Disney (DIS) gained 6.7% to $105.79/share AH on Wednesday after posting earnings that landed on the high side of expectations and offered upbeat guidance as ongoing cost cuts pay off. Meanwhile, Disney+ core subscribers shrank by 1.3M sequentially – an unsurprising result given price hikes on the service. Besides headlines surrounding Fortnite maker Epic Games and Taylor Swift, CEO Bob Iger said the renewed strength of all businesses (from sports and entertainment to experiences) sets the stage to boost shareholder returns. The media giant also raised its semi-annual dividend by 50% and announced it would start buying back shares for the first time since fiscal 2018. (40 comments)

Treasury time

Signaling strong investor demand despite the auction’s large size, the U.S. government on Wednesday sold a record $42B of 10-year notes at lower-than-expected yields than the past six auctions. The Treasury’s quarterly debt refunding will be completed later today with the auction of $25B of 30-year bonds, which analysts believe is the bigger test, as it’s longer in interest rate risk. SA analyst Crystal Allen feels bond investors will be motivated to take advantage of the current higher rates “if Wall Street is convinced that rates will soon go down.” See how Treasury yields have done across the curve at the Seeking Alpha bond page. (4 comments)

Made in Mexico

Amid diversification efforts and growing trade tensions, Mexico overtook China to be the top source of goods imported by the U.S. in 2023 for the first time in more than two decades. Imports from Mexico increased $20.8B Y/Y to $475.6B last year, while Chinese imports decreased $109.1B to $427.2B, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Economists said the data is a clear indication of the impact of escalating trade disputes between Washington and Beijing. “We’re decoupling, and that’s weighing heavily on trade flows,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. (5 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 Fed’s Barkin Speech
10:00 Wholesale Inventories (Preliminary)
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
11:30 Fed’s Barkin Speech
1:00 PM Results of $25B, 30-Year Bond Auction
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet

What else is happening…

Arm Holdings (ARM) surges after raising full-year profit guidance.

PayPal (PYPL) slides as active accounts slip, outlook disappoints.

NYCB (NYCB) in talks to shed residential mortgage risk, sell RV loans.

China’s top securities regulator replaced amid stock market rout.

More China worries… Retail inflation drops to more than 14-year low.

Uber (UBER) tops gross booking estimates amid record engagement.

Cost cuts: Some Tesla (TSLA) employees may be on the firing line.

CVS Health (CVS) in charts: Q4 revenue rises across all segments.

AMD (AMD) continues to take CPU market share from Intel (INTC).

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square files to launch new closed-end fund.


Good morning. Happy Wednesday.

The Asian/Pacific markets leaned up. China, South Korea, Singapore and the Philippines did well; Hong Kong was weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East currently lean down. Russia and Saudi Arabia are up; Greece, Norway, Hungary, Spain, Portugal and Austria are down. Futures in the States point positive open for the cash market.

————— BLOG: Bad Breadth is Everywhere —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

Commercial break

The warnings have been coming since the Fed started its aggressive rate-hiking cycle two years ago, but worries are piling up about the health of commercial real estate properties and the bank loans that support them. According to the St. Louis Fed, two-thirds of CRE loans are held by community or regional banks, meaning if things go sour, the sector can fall under immense pressure. As a result, financial regulators are keeping a close eye on the industry, but as in the case of Silicon Valley Bank (OTC:SIVBQ), it may be hard to take “sufficient steps” in time despite many supervisory warnings.

Quote: “I do have a concern about commercial real estate,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in her testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. “I believe it’s manageable although there may be some institutions that are quite stressed by this problem. The higher interest rate environment, and in some cases, particularly the case in office building shifts due to the pandemic, coupled with many commercial real estate loans coming due and needing to be refinanced in a context where vacancy rates in some cities are quite high, is going to put a lot of stress on the owners of these properties. And so the banking agencies are very focused on the banks managing through these situations. They’re, in some cases, working to make sure that loan loss reserves are built up to cover losses, that dividend policies are appropriate, that liquidity is adequate.”

Industry players are also taking notice. Moody’s Investors Services downgraded New York Community Bancorp’s (NYCB) credit rating to “junk” late Tuesday (just after Yellen’s testimony), citing “financial, risk-management and governance challenges.” Shares of the lender, which has been in the spotlight, plunged 16.7% to $3.50 in AH trading after tanking 22.2% during the regular session. It was only a week ago that the stock was changing hands near the $10 level, but a surprise quarterly loss and provisions for credit losses set off alarm bells, while commercial real estate worries didn’t help the situation.

Whatever it takes? There are those that are concerned about broader stability or systematic risks, especially if disruptions spread to financial markets and the real economy. Interest rates are also likely to remain high with the Fed taking a March cut off the table, while the long inversion of the yield curve isn’t helpful for banks that borrow short to lend long. A full contagion and CRE crisis could see thousands of banks fail under a worst-case scenario, according to SA Investing Group Leader Avi Gilburt, who explores non–owner–occupied property loans, office building vacancies and default rates in a recent Seeking Alpha article. (12 comments)

New sports app

Walt Disney (DIS), Fox (FOX) and Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) are teaming up on a joint venture to produce a streaming platform that would share sports assets. The companies would each own a third of the platform, which would combine their interests and provide scale negotiating power as the price of sports rights continues to arc ever higher. Shares of Fox and Warner Bros. continued to rise in premarket trading on the news, climbing 5.2% and 3%, respectively, while Disney slipped 1.1%. Activist investor Nelson Peltz was reportedly planning to push for bundling ESPN+ with a larger streaming player, perhaps Netflix (NFLX). (77 comments)


Adam Neumann, who co-founded WeWork (OTC:WEWKQ) and was ousted when its planned IPO flopped in 2019, is teaming up with capital providers in an attempt to buy the co-working space provider out of bankruptcy. Dan Loeb’s Third Point and Neumann have been seeking information from WeWork since December to put together a bid for the company. “We continue to believe that the work we are currently doing – addressing our unsustainable rent expenses and restructuring our business – will ensure WeWork is best positioned as an independent, valuable, financially strong and sustainable company long into the future,” WeWork said in a statement, adding that it receives expressions of interest “on a regular basis.” (1 comment)

That was quick

Less than a month into the recommendation, traders at J.P. Morgan have issued a mea culpa on their cautious call on U.S. stocks, with the trade desk now saying it is “tactically bullish.” That stands in contrast to the global strategy team, headed by Marko Kolanovic, which has consistently warned about stretched valuations in tech names and the all-in attitude of the market on a U.S. soft landing. The trade desk team says the big change is megacap tech earnings decoupling from bond yields. If investors are also looking to go beyond Overweight on a group, now may be the time to do that with the Magnificent 7 and some hedges. (6 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 International Trade in Goods and Services
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
11:00 Fed’s Kugler Speech
11:30 Fed’s Collins Speech
12:00 PM Fed’s Barkin Speech
1:00 PM Results of $42B, 10-Year Note Auction
2:00 PM Fed’s Bowman Speech
3:00 PM Consumer Credit

What else is happening…

Snap (SNAP) slides 30% as revenue shortfall overshadows user growth.

Boeing 737 Max was missing bolts in Alaska Airlines (ALK) midair blowout.

Higher traffic at Chipotle (CMG) drives comparable sales, margin beat.

Increase in credit card delinquencies signal ‘financial stress’ – New York Fed.

$250M deal: Spotify (SPOT) prefers to lose money over losing Joe Rogan.

Buffett’s Berkshire (BRK.B) snaps up more Occidental Petroleum (OXY).

Cannabis stocks on watch ahead of decision on rescheduling marijuana.

Better-than-expected Q4 profit at BP (BP) and more stock buybacks.

Woodside (WDS), Santos end talks to create $52B Australian LNG giant.

Four- and five-star rated ‘Dividend Aristocrat’ stocks for 2024 by CFRA.


Good morning. Happy Tuesday.

The Asian/Pacific markets leaned up. China and Hong Kong posted big gains; India, Indonesia and Thailand also did well. Japan, South Korea and Australia were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East are currently mostly up. The UK, Denmark, Poland, France, Turkey, South Africa, the Netherlands, Israel and Sweden are up; the UAE and Switzerland are down. Futures in the States point to a slight up open for the cash market.

————— BLOG: Bad Breadth is Everywhere —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

To the rescue

Hopes are building for a rescue of Chinese stocks after a drubbing that erased $7T from mainland equities and shares in Hong Kong since their peaks in 2021. An expected rebound from strict zero-COVID measures has failed to materialize, prompting policymakers to consider new ways to stabilize the stock market, with risks to consumer confidence threatening another downward spiral. “China’s equity market followed up a very weak 2023 with another 10% loss in the first three weeks of 2024,” Principal Financial Group noted in a new SA article, China Outlook: Market Rescue Welcomed, But More Needed.

Growth challenges: Two other major issues were recently flagged in Wall Street Breakfast that highlight the problems facing the world’s second-largest economy. Evergrande (OTCPK:EGRNQ), the world’s most indebted property developer, was finally ordered to liquidate last week, spelling further trouble for the Chinese construction industry which accounts for as much as a quarter of GDP. A longer-term growth issue is related to demographics, with China’s shrinking population set to sap the nation of a key source of labor and demand.

Looking to end the country’s stock market rout, fresh reports overnight suggested that the China Securities Regulatory Commission and other regulators will soon update top authorities on a range of policy initiatives. China’s blue-chip CSI 300 Index soared 3.5% on the news, while small-cap equities recorded an even bigger bump, with the CSI 1000 Index jumping 7%. Support could range from direct stimulus measures to those geared toward property stabilization, but investors sizing up the situation will be looking for concrete actions or a coordinated response to assuage their concerns.

Will it impact the U.S.? Fed Chair Jay Powell touched on the matter during a 60 Minutes episode that aired on Sunday, saying China had moved away from a “market-led growth model” in favor of state-owned enterprises and there was “still too much associated with real estate investment.” He also pointed out that economic relations are not deeply intertwined with the American financial system, but rather mostly consist of the U.S. buying Chinese manufactured products. As long as that is the case, that would mean minimal implications, according to Powell. “We may feel them a bit, but they shouldn’t be that large.”

Riding the wave

Palantir Technologies (PLTR) surged 17.3% to $19.61/share AH on Monday as the enterprise software company’s Q4 revenue topped expectations. “Our results reflect both the strength of our software and the surging demand we are seeing across industries for AI platforms,” CEO Alex Karp declared. “Our U.S. commercial business continues to be a significant driver of our growth, a trend that we expect to continue.” Investing Group Leader Ahan Vashi still advised caution, as mixed guidance issued for 2024 was “not exceptional, and as of now, Palantir is not showing AI-powered hypergrowth!” (95 comments)

New rules

Aiming to fix structural issues in the $26T Treasury market, the SEC is expected to adopt a rule today requiring proprietary traders and companies that regularly deal in U.S. Treasuries to register as broker-dealers. The new rule, and a recently passed requirement for hedge funds to clear more of their Treasury trades centrally, are aimed at boosting regulatory oversight and would mark the biggest overhaul of the market in decades. Some concerns have also been raised. Those include the increasing costs needed to participate in the industry, as well as “unnecessary regulatory burdens” on pensions and risks of a major liquidity drain, among others.

Streamlining season

Layoffs continue to roil across the tech sector, with more than 120 tech companies giving pink slips to a combined total of more than 32,000 employees during the first five weeks of 2024, according to In 2023, tech firms made about 260,000 workers redundant. These companies are continuing to streamline costs and improve efficiencies amid constant pressure to match the growth and profit expectations of investors. Tech companies that have announced job cuts so far this year include Snap (SNAP), PayPal (PYPL), Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Salesforce (CRM). (80 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
12:00 PM Fed’s Mester Speech
1:00 PM Fed’s Kashkari Speech
1:00 PM Results of $54B, 3-Year Note Auction
2:00 PM Fed’s Collins Speech
7:00 PM Fed’s Harker Speech

What else is happening…

WSB survey results: Subscribers split on U.S. four-day workweek.

Novo (NVO)-Catalent (CTLT) deal to ease Wegovy supply concerns.

Caterpillar (CAT) shares hit record high after earnings beat estimates.

Virgin Galactic (SPCE) reports flight issue to FAA amid ongoing review.

Restaurant stocks fall as McDonald’s warns on new pricing environment.

Estee Lauder (EL) rallies as job cuts overshadow downbeat guidance.

Historic Southern California storm threatens flooding and landslides.

Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) faces DOJ probe on accounting practices.

Alcoa sinks as Trump threatens tariffs on Chinese imports if re-elected.

NYCB’s (NYCB) drastic financial moves followed tense talks with OCC.


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

The Asian/Pacific markets leaned down. Japan did well, but China, South Korea, Australia and Singapore were weak. Europe, Africa and the Middle East currently lean up. Denmark, Turkey, Greece, Spain and Italy are up; Finland and Sweden are down. Futures in the States point to a down open for the cash market.

————— VIDEO: Impose Structure on Your Trading Operations —————

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

Stories/News from Seeking Alpha…

All about the data

Coming off a sizzling jobs report, which showed non-farm payrolls accelerating by 353,000 in January, investors tuned into the latest commentary from Jay Powell, who appeared on a 60 Minutes episode aired on Sunday. The Fed Chair was quick to highlight the robust U.S. economy and path towards a soft landing, as well as inflation that has come down sharply over the past year. Central bank watchers had much to digest in his latest remarks, with much of it echoing comments he made at his press conference on Wednesday, when the Fed kept its policy rate at 5.25%-5.50% and dented expectations that it would cut rates in March.

Is inflation dead? “I wouldn’t go quite so far as that. We’re making good progress, [but] the job is not done. Restoring price stability means inflation is low and predictable and people don’t have to think about it in their daily lives.”

Why not cut the rates now? “Well, we have a strong economy and feel like we can approach the question of when to begin to reduce interest rates carefully. Growth is going on at a solid pace. The labor market is strong: 3.7% unemployment. And inflation is coming down.”

What is it you’re looking at? “It’s not that the data aren’t good enough. We just want to see more good data along those lines. It doesn’t need to be better than what we’ve seen, or even as good. It just needs to be good. And so, we do expect to see that. And that’s why almost every single person on the Federal Open Market Committee believes that it will be appropriate for us to reduce interest rates this year.”

What’s the danger of moving too soon? “Danger of moving too soon is that the job’s not quite done and that the really good readings we’ve had for the last six months somehow turn out not to be a true indicator of where inflation’s heading.”

What is the danger of moving too late? “Policy would be too tight and that could easily weigh on economic activity and on the labor market.”

Are you committed to getting all the way to 2% before you cut the rates? “No, no. That’s not what we say at all, no. We’re committed to returning inflation to 2% over time. I’ve said that we wouldn’t wait to get to 2% to cut rates.”

Is the national debt a danger to the economy in your review? “In the long run, the U.S. is on an unsustainable fiscal path. The U.S. federal government is on an unsustainable fiscal path. And that just means that the debt is growing faster than the economy. So, it is unsustainable. I don’t think that’s at all controversial. And I think we know that we have to get back on a sustainable fiscal path.”

Other highlights: Powell doesn’t expect that the slump in commercial real estate will lead to a banking crisis. Some smaller banks may collapse or have to merge with other banks, but he doesn’t foresee the CRE market triggering a 2008-like financial crisis. Powell also flagged geopolitical risks as the greatest threat to the world economy, as recently identified in a Wall Street Breakfast poll, but said that engagement with the world and American leadership could benefit security and economic arrangements. Take the latest WSB survey here. (62 comments)

Ready for the big game

The 2024 Super Bowl is setting up to be a jackpot for the Las Vegas Strip and sports betting operators. The perfect mix of sports betting legalization in new states and a high-interest game featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers has some forecasters predicting that legal wagers could top $1.35B, while headlines involving Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce could also prove a significant factor. Meanwhile, hotel room rates have soared in Las Vegas since the Chiefs and 49ers nailed down their spots in the Super Bowl, and it looks like high-end consumers are not pulling back on spending. Check out some stocks linked to all the action. (42 comments)

Stabilization fund?

While no specifics have yet been disclosed, Chinese regulators are pledging support for the country’s beleaguered stock market. The development comes amid a steep selloff in mainland Chinese stocks, with the benchmark CSI 300 index (SHSZ300) notching a fresh five-year low last week. The index was down 6.3% in January, a record sixth-straight losing month, as macro concerns overshadowed any hopes of a significant rescue package from Beijing. Elsewhere, former President Donald Trump said in an interview over the weekend that he would consider tariffs on imported Chinese goods of more than 60%. (24 comments)

Shipping and handling

The U.S. has vowed to step up its retaliatory strikes against Houthi rebels and Iran’s proxies in the Middle East if attacks on ships in the Red Sea continue, though President Biden confirmed he “is not looking for a wider war.” Dozens of strikes were leveled against Houthi targets in Yemen this weekend, adding to the wave of unilateral American attacks on Iran-linked targets in Syria and Iraq in response to last month’s drone attack that killed three U.S. soldiers. Tensions in the Red Sea region have prompted shipping companies to reroute their vessels around Africa, leading to delays impacting companies across sectors including automakers, energy firms, and even retailers. (4 comments)

Today’s Economic Calendar
9:45 PMI Composite Final
10:00 ISM Service Index
2:00 PM Fed’s Bostic Speech

What else is happening…

U.S. House speaker slams Senate’s $118B bill on border and Ukraine.

Goldman Sachs compares the Magnificent 7 and the Tech Bubble 5.

Grocery prices in focus as FTC weighs Albertsons (ACI)-Kroger deal.

The stocks-bonds script flips as global debt hits a new record.

What NY Community Bancorp’s (NYCB) rout means for midcap banks.

LNG export project freeze expected to drive up emissions, hurt security.

More trouble for Boeing (BA)? Supplier finds new 737 MAX flaw.

This analyst thinks AI may be more than a buzzword for Shopify (SHOP).

Apple (AAPL) was the least shorted S&P 500 IT stock in mid-January.

2024 re-election bid: Biden wins South Carolina’s Democratic primary.


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