Is it time for a new chapter?
All three Wall Street indexes rose in premarket trading, although new data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected in the first week of January.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended Jan. 8, the Labor Department said. A Reuters survey indicated 200,000 applications. However, claims remain below their pre-pandemic level.
At the same time, the world is beginning to wonder about the new phase the pandemic appears to have entered. Is the coronavirus going from the pandemic stage to the endemic stage? Should we end the current restrictions and live with the disease as we do with the flu?. Spain recorded almost 700,000 infections in seven days and 13.4% of hospital beds used for Covid patients. Last year at this time, the figures were 115,000 and 13.8% respectively. Based on these statistics, which are accompanied by a drop in mortality, the Spanish government has called on the EU to initiate a reflection on the change in the status of Covid-19. In other countries, this question also invades the media space.
For governments and citizens, accepting the disease if it is not too virulent or deadly and if the health system is able to deal with it can be a form of compromise, in exchange for a return to freedom. For investors, who are currently focused on Jerome Powell’s facial expressions and vocabulary, there are other considerations regarding this new chapter in the pandemic. They can project themselves into a post-covid world, where airline and tourism stocks may be more popular than health. On the other hand, uncertainty is likely to persist until the next wave reassures or frightens everyone. However, some may find relief in the fact that financial markets have become capable of operating in all sorts of environments while maintaining a bullish profile…
Economic highlights of the day:
In the United States, weekly jobless claims and producer prices for December are now the main indicators.
The dollar is down at 0.8721 EUR, while gold is trading at 1,822 USD. Oil fell slightly after a good streak, to 84.5 USD for Brent and 82.29 USD for WTI. The yield on US 10-year debt varies little at 1.74% (+1 point). Bitcoin is flirting with 44,000 USD.
On the stairs :
* Tesla – Elon Musk, the automaker’s chief executive, said on Twitter, without giving further details, that his group was “still working on many challenges with the government” in India, in response to a question about when its electric vehicles would be launched in the country. Tesla shares are down 0.2% in premarket trading.
* Meta Platforms — The White House said Wednesday it was encouraged by a federal judge’s ruling that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s new antitrust complaint against Facebook, a subsidiary of Meta Platforms, was admissible. The share price is down 0.2% in pre-market trading.
* Microsoft, Apple – The Windows corporation has hired Mike Filippo, a top Apple engineer, to design its own server chips, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Separately, Microsoft halted production of its Xbox One video game console at the end of 2020 to focus on the Xbox Series X and S models, according to a report from The Verge. Microsoft shares are flat and Apple is down 0.2% in premarket trading.
* Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) – The Taiwanese chip giant said on Thursday it expects strong growth to accelerate in the coming years due to soaring demand for semiconductors. The Wall Street-listed stock is up 4.2% in premarket trading.
* Snap – The social network’s stock is down 3% at $41.48 in premarket trading after Cowen lowered its recommendation on the stock to ‘in line with the sector’ from ‘outperforming’ due Apple’s restrictions on data collection on its devices.
* Delta Air Lines – The airline gained 2.6% in premarket trading after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue.
* Moderna — The U.S. drugmaker said Wednesday it plans to release data from a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 2 to 5 in March.
* Blackstone – Australian casino operator Crown Resorts said on Thursday its board could back a $6.46 billion takeover bid from US investment fund Blackstone in the absence of a better proposal.
* Exxon Mobil – The American group and its subsidiary Imperial Oil announced on Wednesday their intention to sell up to $1 billion in shale oil and gas assets in Canada.
- AbbVie: BMO Capital raises PT from $134 to $153 and retains outperform rating
- American International Group: UBS adjusts PT to $68 from $65, maintains buy rating
- Asos: AlphaValue remains Buy with a price target reduced from 3735 GBp to 3223 GBp.
- Block: Jefferies raises PT to $200 from $240, retains buy rating
- CF Industries: Berenberg downgrades to keep his buy. PT up 13% to $77
- Dominion Energy: Goldman Sachs downgrades to sell from neutral. PT down 9.2% to $72
- Dow: Mizuho adjusts PT to $65 from $64, keeps rating neutral
- Exelon: KeyBanc Capital Markets moves to overweight relative to sector weighting. PT up 21% to $68
- Halliburton: JP Morgan goes from neutral to overweight. PT up 17% to $32
- International flavors and fragrances: Jefferies reinstated coverage with a buy recommendation. PT up 23% to $180
- Mears: Jefferies shifts from wait to long targeting 275 GBP.
- Metlife: UBS adjusts PT to $77 from $74, maintains buy rating
- Nichols: HSBC downgrades to hold on to its buy. PT down 2.1% at 1,480 pence
- Northern Trust Corporation: UBS raises PT from $131 to $146, maintains Buy rating
- Prudential Financial: UBS adjusts PT to $114 from $101, keeps rating neutral
- ResMed: Baird upgrades to outperform from neutral. PT up 23% to $300
- Salesforce.com: Barclays lowers PT to $290 from $348, reiterates overweight rating
- ServiceNow: Barclays adjusts PT to $680 from $791, overweight rating retained
- Bank of New York Mellon: UBS raises PT to $71 from $63, maintains buy rating
- Wec Energy: Goldman Sachs goes neutral after the sale. PT up 3.4% to $99
- Workday: Barclays lowers PT to $318 from $345, maintains overweight rating