Yesterday’s trading session was curious in the sense that it broke some of the recent codes, which had created a kind of communicating vessel between technology stocks and discounted shares: when one went down, the other went up and vice versa. Yesterday, the line was much blurred on Wall Street, where the indices have globally lost ground.
The surge in vaccination seems to be taking over everything else and the positive news is piling up, offsetting other fears. Merck is helping Johnson & Johnson produce its vaccine, Biden announced that all Americans will have access to a vaccine dose by May 31, voices in the United Kingdom calling for a faster than expected societal reopening, the European Medicines Agency ready to adopt an emergency procedure for new vaccines, etc.
There were some new developments for Hertz, which went bankrupt last spring, swept away by the weight of its debt at the height of the coronavirus epidemic. A move from “Robinhood traders”, aka “Day traders” to save the company had then spread, chaperoned by more experienced traders, leading to an unprecedented surge in Hertz stock, in a phase where it should naturally have pricked its nose. Flairing an opportunity that would not happen twice, Hertz management had even tried to launch a large capital increase. But the regulator had put its foot down, in order to protect novice investors.
The epilogue of this affair came yesterday. The good news is that Hertz will not die and that the reorganized company is worth $5 billion. The bad news is that shareholders will probably get nothing. The case has been settled between creditors, including the specialized funds that acquired the group's debt at a low price and that will offer the group the opportunity to recover, in return for generous compensation. First and second rank creditors will be the winners, while the small debt holders and shareholders will be left aside.
In fact, many financial restructurings following bankruptcies take place in this way. The better placed creditors are paid off first, which is logical. When the business seems viable to them, they negotiate continued support on their terms, keeping other lenders out of the picture…
Continuation of February's final PMI indicators with services PMIs throughout the day. In the United States, we also have the ODA employment survey, the services ISM, and oil inventories. Australia announced this morning that its Q4 growth reached 3.1% compared to Q3, more than expected (2.5%).