Uncertainty over the timing of Fed rate cuts and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East weighed on the trend this week, especially as the first corporate results were greeted with mixed reviews. As a result, traders are likely to limit their initiatives, while waiting for more corporate results, and in particular next week's figures from Big Tech.
Weekly variations*
37986.40  +0.29%
17037.65  -5.36%
Chart NASDAQ 100
FTSE 100
7895.85  -1.25%
Chart FTSE 100
2389.39$  +1.05%
Chart GOLD
82.17$  -3.94%
Chart WTI
1.07$  +0.09%
This week's gainers and losers


  • United Airlines (+22%), Alaska Air (+10%), American Airlines (+7%), Southwest Airlines (+7%): United Airlines reported solid quarterly results, with sales up 9.6%, above consensus, and a significantly reduced loss, albeit burdened by the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX 9. The airline also unveiled optimistic earnings forecasts for the second quarter, buoyed by strong demand for summer travel across all customer segments. Alaska Air also reported better-than-expected results, as did its American peers, boosted by the recovery in business travel.
  • Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited (+24%): The troubled music catalog investment company has received several expressions of interest from different parties in recent months. It finally accepted a takeover offer from Concord Chorus. Concord, one of the world's leading independent music companies and indirectly controlled by Alchemy Copyrights, offered $1.4 billion, a 32% premium to Hipgnosis's closing price on Wednesday.
  • International Distribution Services (+21%): The British postal and delivery services provider, parent company of Royal Mail and General Logistics Systems, has rejected a £3 billion takeover offer from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, who already owns 27.5% of IDS via his investment vehicle. Kretinsky announced that he's working on improving his offer. 
  • UnitedHealth Group (+14%): Despite the sale of its Brazilian business and a recent cyber-attack on one of its subsidiaries, the American health insurance giant is doing well. It posted better-than-expected quarterly results, with revenues up 8.55%. Excluding the financial impact of these disruptions, adjusted EPS rose by over 10%. The Group's forecasts for the year also exceed market expectations.
  • Genuine Parts Company (+11%): The automotive and industrial parts specialist reported solid quarterly results. Sales, adjusted earnings and margins were up, underpinned by improved inventory and supply chain management and a cost reduction program. The Group reaffirms its confidence for the rest of the year by raising its profit forecasts, thanks to strong performances in Asia-Pacific and Europe. 
  • Bentley Systems (+7%): The US company, which specializes in infrastructure engineering software, announced this week that it was considering several sale options, and among the potential buyers, the names of Schneider Electric, a French electrical equipment manufacturer, Cadence Design Systems, the publisher of Cadence Design Systems design software, and Siemens AG, which already holds a stake in the group, have been circulating. On Friday, Schneider confirmed that it had entered into preliminary discussions concerning a takeover of the software activities.


  • Dr Martens (-28%): The British boot manufacturer is still suffering from inflation, which is weakening demand, particularly in the United States and from wholesalers. The group has announced the departure of its CEO and his replacement by the current brand director, and is forecasting a difficult next financial year, still penalized by economic pressures. Since the beginning of 2023, the stock shed over 64%, and over 84% since its IPO in 2021. 
  • VinFast Auto (-30%): Things aren't getting any better for the US-listed Vietnamese manufacturer of electric vehicles. It has reported an increased loss, and despite a rise in first-quarter sales, is struggling to convince the market that it will achieve its target of delivering 100,000 cars this year. The share price fell by almost 70% since the beginning of 2024. 
  • Biohaven (-21%): The US biopharma company plunged this week after issuing 5.6 million shares at $41 each to raise $230 million for general corporate purposes. 
  • Wise (-15%): The British fintech did not disappoint in the last quarter, with revenues up 24% but below estimates, despite a 14% increase in transaction volume. The market also punished the 1% below-consensus annual sales figure, the slowdown in growth in the use of the money transfer app, and a slightly lower-than-expected number of customers.  In the wake of this, UBS reduced its target price for the stock. 
  • ARM (-21%), ASM International (-9%), ASML (-8%): European semiconductor players are struggling. They are being dragged down by poor publications from Taiwanese industry giant TSMC. At the margin, Dutch company ASML reported lower quarterly earnings and a drop in orders, while its sales in China remained stable despite export restrictions. Note that BNP Paribas analyst Exane has downgraded its recommendation on UK-based ARM. 
  • Tesla (-13%): the former market darling is clearly no longer convincing investors. After announcing this week that it was laying off 10% of its global workforce, the automaker has been forced to recall almost 3,900 Cybertrucks, due to a faulty accelerator pedal that could cause the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally. Analysts are also concerned about the delayed release of the Model 2, and the strategic priority given to the Robotaxi. With a decline of over 40% since the start of the year, the stock is the worst performer on the S&P 500 in 2024. 
  • Prologis (-13%): The US warehouse specialist reported higher quarterly sales and earnings. But fearing a future drop in activity and occupancy rates, caused by a slowdown in freight demand, it is revising its profit forecasts downwards for the year. Logistics players are suffering from the headwinds sweeping the sector, including reduced consumer spending in a post-pandemic context. We wrote about this in our columns last month. The share price has dropped 22% since the start of the year. 

Chart Commodities
  • Energy: This week, the oil sector was marked by heightened tension following explosions in Iran. Investors are increasingly concerned about the risk of escalating conflict in the Middle East. Israeli authorities had recently signaled their will to respond to a major drone and missile offensive launched by Iran, a situation which could lead the two nations into direct confrontation and potentially trigger regional conflict. In the face of these events, North Sea Brent crude for June delivery reached $87 a barrel at the weekend, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI), for May delivery, traded at $82.6 a barrel on the Nymex. 
  • Metals: As for gold, the precious metal is still trading close to its all-time highs, slightly below $2,400 an ounce at the end of the week. Gold, which has made significant gains this year, should continue to rise on the back of a solid outlook for Chinese demand and macroeconomic uncertainties. Its little brother, silver, is trading at $28.5 an ounce, and copper at $9615 a tonne. Palladium is trading at around $1,022 and platinum at $936. 
  • Agricultural products: Let's take a look at recent trends in cocoa prices, which have soared since the beginning of the year. On Friday, cocoa futures climbed to near-record levels, approaching 10,000 pounds per metric ton on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). This rapid advance is intensifying, driven by indications of robust demand that persists despite escalating prices. The cost of cocoa has tripled in the last seven months. Czarnikow, a company specializing in supply chain management services, estimates that prices could remain high for around 18 months. The market is anticipating a fourth consecutive deficit for the coming season. 
Chart Commodities
  • Rates. Investors are coming down to earth a little, and now need to rethink their expectations for the future path of interest rates. After wishing and hoping for six to seven cuts over the course of the year, expectations have gradually dwindled to a trickle. So much so that there is even talk of the risk of a further tightening. As ever, the pendulum swings with traders' hopes and fears, and struggles to remain measured. Excessive pessimism should coincide with a market low. We'll be keeping a close eye on US government bond yields, particularly 2 and 10-years, to detect any downward turn. This should logically fuel a fall in the dollar and a recovery in the stock markets. Indeed, in the middle of an election year, with the spectre of Donald Trump's return to power, it's a safe bet that the Fed won't let things drift too far, at the risk of undermining growth and the confidence of American households in the establishment. The week was also marked by the publication of a contrasting Chinese GDP for Q1 2024. "Contrasting" is a term that has been applied to the Chinese economy for some time: growth was stronger than expected at the start of the year, but production and household consumption remained sluggish. There were no major surprises in the other weekly statistics: the US economy is holding up well, even if manufacturing indicators are lagging a little, while European inflation confirms its decline. 
  • Crypto. As Bitcoin's Halving Day, which halves the BTC reward to miners for each block validated, takes place overnight, the price of the digital currency lost 1.70% since Monday, to around $65,800. Historically, Halving has had a significant positive impact on bitcoin's price performance in the months following the event. During the first Halving (2012), which reduced the reward from 50 BTC to 25 BTC per block, performance over the following 365 days reached +7,745%. The next two Halving (2016 and 2020), which reduced the reward from 25 BTC to 12.5 BTC, then from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC, saw the digital currency climb by around +370% over the following 365 days. Crypto-investors are hoping for a repeat performance in 2024. Meanwhile, other crypto-assets are also falling this week, with ether (ETH) down 1.62% to around $3,150, SOL (Solana) down 5% to $143, and BNB (Binance Coin) down 8% to $860. 
Historical Chart
Make way for Microsoft, Alphabet and Co.
Next week, two US statistics will take center stage: the first estimate of Q1 GDP (Thursday) and March PCE inflation (Friday). The market will also be interested in the Bank of Japan's rate decision (Thursday ), with rates expected to remain steady, but an updated inflation outlook. April's leading PMI indicators (Tuesday) will complete the picture. Corporate results will be coming in thick and fast, with some fifty groups weighing in at over $100 billion. In the USA, Tesla, Meta, IBM, Qualcomm, Boeing, Microsoft, Alphabet and Intel will unveil their results, to name but a few. In Europe, we have SAP, Novartis, Roche, Air Liquide, Hermès, Nestlé, Sanofi, Schneider and TotalEnergies. So there'll be plenty to do. Until then, have a great weekend.
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*The weekly movements of indexes and stocks displayed on the dashboard are related to the period ranging from the open on Monday to the sending time of this newsletter on Friday.
The weekly movements of commodities, precious metals and currencies displayed on the dashboard are related to a 7-day rolling period from Friday to Friday, until the sending time of this newsletter. These assets continue to quote on weekends.