The CAC40 soars +1.4% above 7,920pts and prepares to set a 6th consecutive absolute closing record.
Absolute records rain down on both sides of the Atlantic with the Euro-Stoxx50 (+1.6% to 4,850), the DAX40 (+1.6% to nearly 17,390), with impressive bullish gaps appearing.390), with the appearance of impressive bullish gaps.
Identical pattern for the S&P500, which jumped by more than +1.5% to reach a new zenith at 5,058.
The Dow Jones, little concerned by the "A.I." theme, gained just 0.8%, but retraced its all-time high of 38,926 on February 12. .

Nasdaq (+2.3%) is literally propelled beyond 17,850Pts by Nvidia, which shattered its previous record by almost $35 at $776. An initial rise of 14% corresponds to an increase of more than $235Bn in its capitalization (Meta record of +$205Bn shattered), which exceeds $1.900Bn (an annual increase of +50%).
Note the fall of Rivian (-23%), which warned on Wednesday evening of the weakness of its pick-up sales expected in 2024, and the same sanction for Lucid with -10%.
Note this morning the new all-time high of over 39.100Pts beaten by the Nikkei (+2.2%), the 1st record in 34 years and 2 months!

On the figures front, the US private sector saw its activity growth slow in February, according to S&P Global, whose composite PMI index came in at 51.4 in flash estimate, after reaching 52 the previous month, its highest since July 2023.

Cost pressures eased further, but growth momentum in the services sector weakened", explains S&P Global, while manufacturing output returned to growth.

The Labor Department announced a drop of -12,000 in US jobless claims in the week to February 12, to 201,000.

The four-week moving average - more representative of the underlying trend - came out at 215,250 that same week, down by 3,500 on the previous week's revised average.

Finally, the number of people receiving regular benefits fell by 27,000 to 1,862,000 in the week to February 5, the most recent period available for this statistic.

These figures are completely overshadowed by the cautious tone of the Fed's 'minutes', which confirmed last night that the central bank wanted to give itself time before cutting rates, something the market had already taken on board.

On the European statistics front, the HCOB composite PMI for overall activity in France recovered from 44.6 in January to 47.7 in February, a nine-month high that signals the smallest decline in private sector activity in the current downturn.
The opposite was true of the German manufacturing PMI for February, which fell by -3.2pts to 42.3.

Finally, the HCOB flash composite PMI for overall activity in the eurozone stood at 48.9 in February, compared with 47.9 in January, signalling a ninth consecutive monthly decline in private-sector activity, albeit the weakest since June 2023.

In news from French companies, Danone reported a 3.4% rise in recurring EPS to 3.54 euros last year, boosted by a 40 basis point increase in recurring operating margin to 12.6% on net sales of over 27.6 billion euros.

Eramet (+2.3%) reported an 85% drop in net income (group share) to 109 million euros, and a 59% drop in adjusted EBITDA to 772 million, on adjusted sales of 3.82 billion, down 26% organically on a negative price effect.

For 2023, Seb reports a 22% increase in net income to 386 million euros and a 1.3 point improvement in operating margin to 9.1%, on annual sales of 8.01 billion euros, up 5.3% at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation.

Alongside the publication of its results, Seb announced plans to acquire the family-owned French group Sofilac, to strengthen its expertise in high-end cooking and thus pursue its growth in professional and semi-professional markets.

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