However, while Jerome Powell stayed silent yesterday, he might not be later today. This time, there’s little doubt he will have a few comments on monetary policy. It's hard to imagine him radically changing his speech. Most likely, he'll maintain a hawkish-dovish approach, saying that rates will probably remain stable but could still rise if things turn awry. And most likely, the market will only hear that rates will not go up anymore.
Deprived of a compass yesterday, US indices treaded water. Small declines for the Dow Jones and small rises for the S&P500 and Nasdaq. The Nasdaq continued its winning streak, recording its ninth consecutive session in the green, the best sequence since the ten consecutive gains of the same period in 2021.
Earnings reports are still pouring, even if B-listers have generally replaced the stars of the market. Not all of them, since yesterday, we reviewed the results of Airbus, Sony and Merck KGaA. Overall, this earnings season is already considered a success.
Today's macro news is dominated by one past and one future event: Chinese inflation and US weekly employment figures respectively. In Beijing, the statistics have an unfortunate tendency to follow one another: they are pretty weak. In October, consumer prices fell when they were expected to rise slightly, while producer prices continued to contract. Figures that don't really fit in with a crazy recovery. Deflation is still in the air in China.
The other highlight is US labor data and it didn’t disappoint. The first cracks have started to appear in the full employment that has been the norm for several quarters, and the latest reading confirmed this. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 217,000, from 220,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. This is slightly below the 218,000 expected in a Reuters consensus.
This slight rise in unemployment points to the end of the rate hike cycle, which is by far the market's main support at present.
In other news, the strike seems to be over in Hollywood, following the signing of an agreement between actors and studios. Warner Bros will be relieved: yesterday, its share price plunged 19% on Wall Street after the group's forecasts were revised downwards following the strikes in the sector.
Economic highlights of the day:
US weekly jobless claims is today’s main event.
The dollar is slightly up to EUR 0.9347 and GBP 0.8151. The ounce of gold trades at USD 1947. Brent North Sea crude is at USD 80.50 a barrel and WTI US light crude at USD 76.27. The yield on 10-year US debt fell to 4.49%. Bitcoin is trading at around USD 37,200.
In corporate news:
- Walt Disney reported better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday evening, as higher attendance at its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong offset lower advertising revenues for ABC television. Share price was up 4.1% in pre-market trading.
- AMC Entertainment reported better-than-expected third-quarter sales on Wednesday evening, thanks in particular to the theatrical success of the films "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer". The share price gained 2.7% in pre-market trading.
- Arm Holdings fell by 5.1% in premarket trading after announcing that it expected quarterly sales to be below analysts' consensus, due in particular to the postponement of the signing of a major licensing contract.
- Apple - The Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on Thursday that the EU General Court, a lower court that annulled the €13 billion fine imposed on Apple by the European Commission in 2016, had erred in law and would have to re-examine the case pitting the American group against the European executive.
- Tesla will recall 159 Model S and Model X vehicles due to a possible problem with airbags that can deploy incorrectly, increasing the risk of injury in an accident, a notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed on Thursday.
- Nvidia plans to launch three new chips specifically for China, local media reported Thursday, a few weeks after the United States banned the American group from marketing three of its components to Chinese companies.
- Lyft reported better-than-expected third-quarter sales and earnings on Wednesday evening, but growth in gross bookings lagged behind that of rival UBER. Lyft shares were down 1.7% in pre-market trading.
- Beyond Meat missed consensus sales on Wednesday evening and posted a larger-than-expected third-quarter loss amid persistent weak demand in the US for its vegetable "meat".
- Instacart - The food delivery specialist gained 2.9% in premarket trading after publishing a better-than-expected profit forecast for the fourth quarter, boosted by a rise in transactions and commission expenses.
- MGM resorts International exceeded expectations on Wednesday evening for third-quarter earnings and sales, as the casino operator benefited from the easing of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in its key markets. The share gained 3.5% in pre-market trading.
- Take-Two Interactive Software announced on Wednesday that it expected third-quarter net bookings to be below market expectations, due to lower demand for its flagship video game titles such as "Grand Theft Auto" and "Red Dead Redemption".
- Duolingo climbed 8.8% in pre-market trading after reporting a 43% increase in third-quarter sales, ahead of analysts' expectations.
- Twilio jumped 7.9% in after-hours trading, as the cloud computing specialist announced that it expected a better-than-expected profit for the current quarter, following a better-than-expected third-quarter result.
- Viasat reported quarterly sales ahead of Wall Street expectations on Wednesday, thanks to the strength of its satellite broadband services division.
- Air products & chemicals, inc.: Vertical Research Partners maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from USD 324 to USD 328.
- Anglo american plc: Bernstein maintains its market perform recommendation and reduces the target price from 2640 to GBX 2480.
- Associated british foods plc: Kepler Cheuvreux maintains its hold recommendation with a price target raised from GBX 2000 to GBX 2150.
- Auto trader group plc: Shore Capital downgrades to hold from buy with a price target reduced from GBX 714 to GBX 646.
- Biogen inc.: Wells Fargo maintains its overweight rating and raises the target price from USD 343 to USD 365.
- Conocophillips: Gerdes Energy Research LLC upgrades to buy from neutral with a target price of USD 139.
- Eli lilly and company: Daiwa Securities maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from USD 600 to USD 660.
- Fair isaac corporation: Raymond James maintains its outperform rating and raises the target price from USD 975 to USD 1029.
- Fleetcor technologies, inc.: Jefferies maintains its buy recommendation and reduces the target price from USD 300 to USD 275.
- Hubspot, inc.: Goldman Sachs maintains its buy recommendation and reduces the target price from USD 627 to USD 577.
- Kellanova: JP Morgan maintains its neutral recommendation and reduces the target price from USD 72 to USD 53.
- Lowe's companies, inc.: JP Morgan maintains its neutral recommendation with a price target reduced from USD 245 to USD 210.
- Marks & spencer group plc: JP Morgan upgrades to neutral from underweight with a price target raised from GBP 1.70 to GBP 2.60.
- Mgm resorts international: Deutsche Bank maintains its buy recommendation and reduces the target price from USD 56 to USD 50.
- Nextera energy: HSBC maintains its buy recommendation and reduces the target price from USD 90 to USD 75.
- Servicenow, inc.: RBC Capital maintains its outperform rating and raises the target price from USD 665 to USD 680.
- Steris plc: Wolfe Research maintains its outperform rating and reduces the target price from USD 250 to USD 240.
- Take-two interactive software, inc.: Morgan Stanley maintains its overweight rating and raises the target price from USD 160 to USD 175.
- Target corporation: Oppenheimer maintains its outperform rating and reduces the target price from USD 165 to USD 150.
- Tesla, inc.: HSBC initiates a reduce recommendation with a target price of USD 146.
- The mosaic company: JP Morgan maintains a neutral recommendation with a price target reduced from USD 41 to USD 33.
- Unilever plc: Barclays upgrades to overweight from equalweight with a price target raised from GBP 43 to GBP 46.
- Walt disney company (the): Goldman Sachs maintains its buy recommendation and reduces the target price from USD 125 to USD 120.
- Wpp plc: Redburn Atlantic maintains a neutral recommendation with a price target reduced from GBX 840 to GBX 800.