Yesterday indices were all over the place. To cut a long story short, markets with a good contingent of defensive stocks fared rather well, while those that have lots of tech and cyclical stocks took a few knocks. In concrete terms, the Swiss SMI and its three big defensive stocks - Nestlé, Roche and Novartis - gained 0.6%, while financiers made applesauce of Apple, dragging the Nasdaq down by 0.7%.
The setbacks suffered by the creator of the iPhone have come at a bad time for the tech sector, which is already struggling with doubts about whether it will be able to maintain high key interest rates. Today, it was announced that restrictions on the use of iPhones by civil servants in China have been extended to local governments, the Nikkei reports. Apple lost 6.4% in two sessions, representing a market capitalization of almost $200 billion. Even if it's pointless, and just for the sake of scale, this is the equivalent of wiping Netflix off the map. Apple and its peers Nvidia, Microsoft, Amazon and Meta have accounted for roughly 60% of Nasdaq gains this year, each blow to the clique has a multiplied impact on the tech index. In fact, the Dow Jones finished slightly up yesterday, thanks to its large contingent of healthcare stocks.
To sum up September, inflation and high interest rates are the main worries. Then comes the Chinese economic situation, but also geopolitics, which are creating distortions on several markets, from energy to agricultural commodities. At the other end of the scale, we have the relative strength of corporate earnings, the solidity of the US economy and other sources of optimism, such as artificial intelligence.
The situation could once again become tense in the energy market, with what appears to be a breakdown in negotiations between Chevron's Australian LNG division and its employees. Social tensions in the sector are having an impact on gas supplies to Europe, and therefore on prices. In China, the offshore yuan reached a new low against the dollar since its creation 13 years ago. Industry insiders point out that Beijing seems comfortable with this slide, probably because it supports the export competitiveness of a country desperate to revive its economic momentum.
In premarket trading, all three Wall Street indices were flattish.
Economic highlights of the day:
US wholesale inventories are the main indicator today.
The dollar is worth USD 0.9341 and GBP 0.8007. The ounce of gold is trading around USD 1924. North Sea Brent is at USD 90.62 a barrel and US light crude WTI at USD 87.05. The yield on 10-year US debt calms to 4.22%. Bitcoin hovers around USD 26,000.
In corporate news:
- Tesla- Passenger car sales in China returned to year-on-year growth in August on the back of further price cuts and subsidies, enabling Tesla in particular to almost double its market share in August compared with July, data from the China Passenger Car Association showed on Friday.
- Nvidia and Reliance announced Friday that they have signed a partnership to create artificial intelligence (AI) language models and generative applications for millions of users of the Indian telecom group.
- Gamestop was down 2.9% in pre-market trading, after the Wall Street Journal reported that its chairman, billionaire Royan Cohen, was being investigated by the SEC, the US stock market watchdog, over the surprise holding and sale of shares in Bled Bath & Rebond.
- Smith & Wesson Brands jumped 12.08% in pre-market trading following the publication of higher quarterly earnings, ahead of analysts' expectations.
- DocuSign shares gained 2.7% in premarket trading after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its full-year sales forecast.
- Adobe inc: Barclays maintains its equalweight rating with a target price raised from USD 540 to USD 620.
- Alimentation couche: CIBC Capital Markets maintains its outperform recommendation with a target price raised from CAD 78 to CAD 79.
- Balfour beatty: Peel Hunt maintains its Buy rating with a reduced target price of GBX 400.
- Berkeley group: Peel Hunt maintains its add recommendation with a target price increased from GBX 3760 to GBX 3900.
- Britvic plc: Deutsche Bank maintains its hold recommendation with a target price raised from GBX 865 to GBX 870.
- Canadian utilities-a: BMO Capital Markets maintains its market perform rating with a reduced target price of CAD 37.
- Diageo plc: Deutsche Bank maintains its sell recommendation with a target price raised from 2920 to GBX 2950.
- DocuSign inc: Morgan Stanley maintains its underweight recommendation with a target price increase from USD 49 to USD 51.
- Edwards life: Piper Sandler & Co maintains a neutral recommendation on the stock with a reduced target price of USD 83.
- Emera inc: BMO Capital Markets maintains its outperform rating with a reduced target price of CAD 59.
- Fedex corp: Morgan Stanley maintains its equalwt/in-line rating with a target price increase from USD 186 to USD 200.
- First solar inc: JP Morgan reste neutre avec un objectif de cours relevé de USD 222 à USD 239.
- Fortis inc: BMO Capital Markets maintains its market perform rating with a reduced target price of CAD 58.50.
- Johnson & johnson: Barclays maintains its equalweight rating with a reduced target price of USD 158.
- Lucid group inc: RBC Capital maintains its sector perform rating on the stock with a target price of USD 6.
- Nucor corp: JP Morgan downgrades to underweight from neutral. PT up 0.7% to USD 151.
- Paypal holdings: Jefferies maintains a hold recommendation on the stock with a reduced target price of USD 65.
- Restore plc: Peel Hunt maintains its buy recommendation with a reduced target price of GBX 169.
- Roblox corp - a: CITIC Securities Co Ltd upgrades to add from hold. PT reduced from USD 57 to USD 37.
- Steel dynamics: JP Morgan downgrades to underweight from neutral. PT up 1.1% to USD 95.
- T-mobile us inc: DZ Bank AG Research maintains its buy recommendation with a raised target price from 170 to USD 175.
- Tc energy corp: Wells Fargo maintains its underweight recommendation with a target price of CAD 47.