Revised GDP data was released this morning, confirming that the US economy grew at a solid pace in the fourth quarter, lifted by strong consumer spending. It rose 3.2%, revised slightly down from the previously reported 3.3%, the Commerce Department said. Economists polled by Reuters expected that GDP growth would be unrevised.

Yesterday, the Nasdaq 100 and S&P500 rose very slightly, while the Dow Jones lost a little ground. The data published yesterday was weak: consumer confidence fell, durable goods orders contracted and the Richmond Fed's activity index fell slightly more than expected. This could have strengthened bets that the US central bank would take a slightly more flexible approach, but paradoxically, the opposite was true. Financiers even seem to have reduced their projection for a rate cut this year to 75 basis points, less than half of what they were hoping for two months ago. In so doing, they seem to be giving in to the central bankers, who have been suggesting for some time that a 75-basis point easing target is quite reasonable. Investors do not seem to be bothered by this, which is not entirely reassuring. The cursor could move tomorrow with the publication of January's US PCE inflation, although today's session will not be devoid of interest with two speeches by Fed members John Williams and Raphaël Bostic.

In Europe, the German DAX was in fine form yesterday, gaining 0.8% to set a new record, ten days after breaking through the 17,000-point barrier for the first time. Several investment banks have recently pointed out that the DAX is a good index to play the recovery in manufacturing activity indicators, since it is both rich in industrial and/or export stocks. That said, the same people have also said this for the Korean KOSPI, which shares identical characteristics, but it hasn't worked out too well at this stage. Sweden's OMX also rose for the 10th time in a row, albeit with only minor leaps.

In other news, we had a few earnings reports from the likes of eBay, which posted increased revenues. Meanwhile, the regulatory authorities in the US and Europe are cracking down on the dominant position of companies such as Microsoft, Apple and UnitedHealth. Apple is mourning the loss of its electric vehicle project, which has been abandoned in favor of a refocus on artificial intelligence, a field in which the Cupertino-based company has apparently not yet bitten off more than it can chew.

Overnight in Asia, Chinese indices were once again looking gloomy, despite a series of announcements by the Hong Kong authorities. They have lifted certain restrictions on the financing of the property market and increased the resources allocated to welcoming tourists. Even so, the Hang Seng lost 1.5%. In addition, China's National Assembly is scheduled to meet on March 5 to review various government plans, particularly those concerning economic development. Elsewhere in the region, Japan and Australia are hovering around equilibrium. India is down 1%. South Korea woke up and gained 1%, against a backdrop of declarations by the authorities in favor of more favorable policies for shareholder remuneration. European leading indicators are rather bearish, with the Stoxx EU 600 down 0.3% and the British FTSE 100 0.7% lower. On Wall Street, futures on the main three indexes are down 0.3% to 0.5%.

Today's economic highlights:

EU economic confidence, US GDP, wholesale inventories and DOE crude inventories are on the agenda.

The dollar is up to EUR 0.9239 and GBP 0.7904. The ounce of gold is holding steady at USD 2034. Oil is up a bit, with North Sea Brent at USD 82.58 a barrel and US light crude WTI at USD 78.76. The yield on 10-year US debt rises to 4.29%. Bitcoin trades at USD 60,430.

In corporate news:

  • Ebay - The online shopping platform exceeded market expectations with fourth-quarter sales and earnings, against a backdrop of strong consumer spending over the festive season. The share price is up 3.5% in pre-market trading.
  • Eli Lilly plans to launch its obesity treatment Tirzepatide in India as early as next year, David Ricks told Reuters on Wednesday. The drug is marketed in the United States under the name Mounjaro for diabetes and Zepbound for weight loss. Its worldwide market is estimated to be worth at least $100 billion by the end of the decade, according to analysts.
  • Alphabet - Group CEO Sundar Pichai told employees in a note on Tuesday that Google was working to fix its Gemini generative artificial intelligence technology, acknowledging that some of the answers generated by the tool were "biased" and "totally unacceptable".
  • Tesla - The carmaker's CEO, Elon Musk, announced on Tuesday evening, in a message published on the X network (formerly Twitter), that the group aims to deliver its new Roadster electric sports car next year, a model presented in 2017 and originally scheduled for release in 2020.
  • Beyond Meat announced on Tuesday evening that it intends to raise product prices and cut costs sharply this year, after reporting better-than-expected quarterly sales. The stock soared 70% in pre-market trading.
  • Bumble announced on Tuesday evening its intention to cut around 350 jobs, the first major decision taken by the group's new CEO, Lidiane Jones. The online dating site also said it anticipated sales growth for the current quarter of between 8% and 11%, against analysts' forecasts of 13%, according to LSEG data, against a backdrop of slowing user spending. The share price fell by 8.5% in pre-market trading.
  • KKR is considering selling its 53.8% stake in India's JB Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, valued at over $3 billion, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to the matter.

Analyst recommendations:

  • American Electric Power Company, Inc.: Barclays downgrades to equalweight from overweight with a price target reduced from USD 84 to USD 83.
  • American Express Company: Stephens drops coverage on the stock.
  • Apollo Global Management A: JP Morgan upgrades to overweight from rating suspended with a target price of USD 122.
  • Capital One Financial Corporation: Stephens drops coverage from underweight.
  • Constellation Energy Corporation: KeyBanc Capital Markets upgrades to overweight from sector weight with a target price of USD 190.
  • Crowdstrike Holdings, Inc.: Stephens drops coverage on the stock previously rated overweight.
  • Discover Financial Services: Stephens drops coverage on the stock previously rated equalweight.
  • Ecolab Inc.: Barclays upgrades to overweight from equalweight with a price target raised from USD 225 to USD 260.
  • Okta, Inc.: Stephens drops coverage on the stock previously rated equalweight.
  • Stellantis N.v.: Bernstein downgrades to market perform from outperform with a target price of EUR 25. Bernstein downgrades to market perform from outperform with a price target reduced from USD 27.40 to USD 27.10.
  • Synchrony Financial: Stephens drops coverage on the stock previously rated equalweight.
  • The Jm Smucker Company: Stifel upgrades to buy from hold with a target price of USD 135.
  • The Trade Desk, Inc.: Stephens drops coverage on the stock.
  • Zscaler, Inc.: Stephens drops coverage from overweight.
  • Builders Firstsource, Inc.: Deutsche Bank maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from USD 200 to USD 250.
  • Lowe's Companies, Inc.: RBC Capital maintains its sector perform recommendation and raises the target price from USD 190 to USD 246.
  • The Cooper Companies, Inc.: JP Morgan maintains its neutral recommendation with a price target reduced from USD 375 to USD 94.
  • Unity Software Inc.: Citigroup maintains its buy recommendation and reduces the target price from USD 50 to USD 38.
  • Workday Inc.: Macquarie maintains a neutral recommendation with a price target raised from USD 249 to USD 300.
  • Abrdn Plc: Numis upgrades to buy from hold with a price target raised from GBX 180 to GBX 209.
  • Direct Line Insurance Group Plc: Citi downgrades to neutral from buy with a price target reduced from GBP 2.25 to GBP 1.62.
  • Genus Plc: Investec upgrades to buy from hold with a price target reduced from GBX 2317 to GBX 2309.
  • Hammerson Plc: BNP Paribas Exane upgrades to outperform from neutral with a target price raised from GBX 29 to GBX 32.
  • Oxford Nanopore Technologies Plc: Stifel downgrades to sell from hold and reduces the target price from GBX 220 to GBX 130.