Indices shattered their records this week, thanks to the new market prophet Nvidia. The company unveiled mind-blowing results, boosting investor appetite for all things artificial intelligence. As a result, the tech sector was pulled upwards, lifting the rest of the stock market.
Weekly variations*
39131.53  +1.30%
17937.61  +1.42%
Chart NASDAQ 100
FTSE 100
7706.28  -0.07%
Chart FTSE 100
2035.82$  +1.10%
Chart GOLD
76.48$  -2.09%
Chart WTI
1.08$  +0.34%
This week's gainers and losers
  • Super Micro Computer (+21%) & Nvidia (+8%): The two artificial intelligence locomotives continue to rack up gains thanks to their outsized growth. In detail, Nvidia once again surprised the market by announcing record Q4 results, including a 265% increase in revenues. Meanwhile, Super Micro announced a $1.5 billion convertible bond issue to finance its expansion. Market enthusiasm continues unabated.
  • Moderna (+13%): The biotech surprised the market by reporting an unexpected Q4 profit, albeit down, thanks to its cost-cutting efforts and deferred payments. Ditto for quarterly sales, down due to a 43% drop in Covid vaccine sales, but ahead of expectations. The manufacturer also confirmed its sales outlook for the full year.
  • Barclays (+12%): Big changes at Barclays. The British bank delighted its shareholders by unveiling a new strategy, a reshuffle of its management and divisions, £2 billion in cost reductions, a focus on its successful retail bank, and above all, by announcing at least £10 billion in returns to share holders by 2026, in the form of dividends and share buybacks. The lender, which also reported rising annual revenues and a pleasing outlook, will immediately proceed with a £1 billion share buyback by November. 
  • Intercontinental Hotels (+12%), Melia Hotels (+11%) & Accor (+11%): The global hotel sector is doing well. Intercontinental reported a 19% increase in sales and doubled its net profit. Spanish operator Melia confirmed the industry's positive trend, anticipating occupancy rates equal to pre-pandemic levels by 2024. Meanwhile, France's Accor reported record annual results, ahead of forecasts, and confirmed its confidence for the year ahead.
  • Rivian Automotive (-30%) & Lucid Group (-17%): Electric car start-ups disappoint. Chilled by a slowdown in demand for EVs, the two US automakers have announced production volumes for 2024 well below estimates. Rivian plans to produce 57,000 cars, less than last year, and Lucid 9,000, barely more than in 2023. However, Rivian did not fall short in 2023, reporting a 300% increase in annual revenues.  
  • Palo Alto Networks (-27%): Palo Alto Networks posted a second quarter better than expected by the markets. However, the US cybersecurity specialist published cautious, lower-than-expected earnings estimates for Q3 and drastically cut its annual forecasts, leading to a sharp fall in its share price and that of its sector peers, Zscaler and Crowdstrike.
  • WPP (-7%): The British advertising and communications group reported a very mediocre quarterly performance for the second consecutive quarter, with full-year profits down. It is suffering from a slowdown in business in the US, UK and India, particularly in the technology, healthcare and retail sectors. Forecasts for 2024 did not help to boost the share price.
Chart Commodities
  • Energy: The wait-and-see attitude is evident on the oil markets, torn between the latest increase in weekly US inventories, the fourth in a row, and the risk appetite of financiers. This appetite has been galvanized by a cascade of record highs on the equity markets. Against this backdrop, Houthi attacks in the Red Sea continued, without disrupting global oil supplies. European Brent is treading water at USD 81.40, while US WTI is losing ground at USD 77 a barrel. In Europe, despite more wintry weather, natural gas prices continue to fall, to 22 EUR/MWh.
  • Metals: Industrial metal prices generally followed an upward trajectory this week on the London Metal Exchange. This suggests that operators are welcoming China's new measures to support its property sector. Copper is trading around USD 8580 per metric ton, zinc is up to USD 2380 and aluminum is around USD 220. Gold is also gaining ground, at USD 2025. Despite the prevailing risk appetite and the rise in bond yields, the golden metal has managed to make headway - a fine performance that should be applauded!
  • Agricultural products: Nothing new in the soft commodities segment, as grain prices continue to languish in Chicago. The only exception is cocoa, whose price continues to soar.
Chart Commodities
  • Atmosphere: Rates? What rates? At the end of a stock market week marked by a shower of all-time records - thank you Nvidia - rates are struggling to make themselves heard. But who cares about macroeconomic data when AI hysteria is in full swing? Especially as, on the whole, recent earnings reports only serve to confirm investors in their current posture. In the United States, the manufacturing and services activity indices remain above 50, the boundary between expansion and recession. Weekly jobless claims are stable and existing home sales are above expectations. All would be well if the Fed were kind enough to lower rates before the summer. In the meantime, the 10-year yield is stabilizing at around 4.30%, with initial support at 4.07%. The "macro" agenda was rather sparse this week. European PMI indicators were still weak, especially for German industry.
  • Crypto: After rising by over 22% in the last two weeks, bitcoin has fallen by 2.5% since Monday, dropping back below the $51,000 mark. Despite this drop in the BTC price, the ten Bitcoin Spot ETFs marketed in the United States on January 11 have now exceeded the $38 billion mark in funds raised. Ether, meanwhile, is taking the market leader by storm, rising by 1.8%, and even had the luxury of briefly breaking back above the $3,000 mark in the middle of the week. Finally, in the wake of Nvidia's outstanding results and the wave of enthusiasm surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), cryptocurrencies (which plan to blend blockchain and AI) have benefited from the general euphoria. Since Monday, crypto-IAs have exploded, with (FET) up 40%, Ocean Protocol (OCEAN) up 15% and Render (RNDR) up 34%. As for SingularityNET (AGIX), it exploded by 78% over the same period.
Historical Chart
Nvidia, an object of worship
While the stock market has its eyes on AI, macroeconomic statistics are back in the spotlight next week. These include preliminary inflation data for Europe in February and January PCE inflation in the USA. While the market will certainly be less focused on Nvidia, this data, along with a host of others (consumer confidence, durable goods orders, US GDP, etc.), will be of great importance in view of the Fed's and ECB's forthcoming decisions. The pace of corporate earnings releases is slowing, but there's still a few things in the calendar, including Salesforce and Broadcom. Excellent weekend to our readers.
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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.