The CAC40 soared +1.3% above 7,910pts and is poised to set a 6th consecutive all-time closing record (the intraday high was 7,924pts).924Pts).

Never before have so many indices broken an absolute record in 1 session (for the Nikkei, it's been 34 years) with the Euro-Stoxx50 (+1.7% to 4,855), the DAX40 (+1.6% to nearly 17.425), with impressive bullish gaps appearing this morning on resumption of trading.

Identical pattern for the S&P500, which jumped by more than +1.6% to reach a new high of 5,065pts.

The Dow Jones, which was little affected by the "A.I." theme, gained just 0.8%, but retraced to a new all-time high of 38,990pts (above the 38,926 of February 12).926 on February 12). .

The Nasdaq-100 (+2.4%) was literally propelled above 17,900Pts by Nvidia, which shattered its previous record by almost $35 to reach $778. A rise of 15% corresponds to an increase of more than $240Bn in its capitalization (Meta record of +$205Bn shattered by $35Bn), which now exceeds $1.920 bn (an annual increase of over +50%).

Rivian (-27%), which warned on Wednesday evening of weak pick-up sales expected in 2024, also fell, while Lucid (-10%) was slightly less severely punished.

This morning, the Nikkei broke a new all-time high of over 39,100pts (+2.2%), its 1st record in 34 years and 2 months!

In terms of figures, 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 a 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.

Sales of existing homes rose by a slightly stronger-than-expected +3.1% in January in the United States, thanks in particular to an acceleration of the market in the Midwest, South and West of the country.
According to figures published this Thursday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), annualized sales of existing homes fell by 1.7%.
The median sale price was $379,100, a year-on-year increase of 5.1%.
At the current rate, it takes about three months to clear the inventory of homes, says the NAR.

The Labor Department announced a drop of -12,000 in U.S. unemployment benefits for the week of February 12, to 201,000 claimants.

The four-week moving average - more representative of the underlying trend - came out at 215,250 for the 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 for the week of 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.

Bond markets remain stable, far from the Nvidia-driven exuberance: US T-Bonds shed a symbolic 1pt to 4.313%.
European stats are mixed, but bad German figures are sparking interest in Bunds, which are also down 1pt at 2.4300%, while our OATs are easing by 2pts at 2.903% and Italian BTPs are down 4pts at 3.9050%.

Oil remains virtually stable at $83.2 in London, while gold is literally stagnating at $2,023.

In news from French companies, Danone reports a 3.4% increase in recurring EPS to 3.54 euros, driven by a 40 basis point rise 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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