The most eagerly-awaited US figure of the week, and indeed of the last 10 days, came in at 2.30 p.m... and fell completely flat, since it's an archetypal 'non-event': everything is in line with expectations, and Wall Street is pretty happy about it.

Rather timidly for the Dow Jones (-0.1%) and the bond markets (somnolent), a little more favorably for the S&P500 (+0.2% towards 5,080Pts) and the Nasdaq-100 with +0.5% towards 18,000.
The all-time highs are once again in sight in New York (the US indices had not deviated from them), and the Paris Bourse (stable at 4 p.m.) only has to make a tiny effort (+0.2%) to set a new closing record, and the 8,000Pt mark is well within reach.000Pt are well within reach (+0.4%) to end February on a high note at 17H35.

The CAC40 index is led by Eurofins Scientific (+2.5%) and Edenred (+2.4%), but slowed by Bouygues (-1.1%) and Veolia (-2.2% despite top profits).
Wall Street thus reopened slightly higher, thanks to the 'PCE' and household incomes, which rose by +1%.
According to the Commerce Department, the PCE price inflation index stood at +2.4% annualized in January, down 0.2 points on December 2023, in line with Jefferies' forecast.

Excluding food and energy, two usually volatile categories, the underlying index fell from +2.9% to +2.8% month-on-month, again in line with the broker's forecast.

Again according to the Commerce Department, consumer spending in the US rose by 0.2% last month compared with December, on income growth of 1% month-on-month.

The Labor Department reports +13,000 new jobless claims in the US for the week of February 19, to 215,000.
The four-week moving average - more representative of the underlying trend - came in at 212,500 for the same week, down by 3,000 on the previous week's revised average.

Finally, the number of people receiving regular benefits rose by 45,000 to 1,905,000 for the week of February 12, the most recent period available for this statistic.
On average, economists are expecting core PCE inflation - excluding food and energy - to accelerate to 0.4% in January, compared with 0.2% in December.
T-Bonds reacted little (-3.6Pts to 4.24%) and Bunds and OATs lined up with -3.5Pts respectively.

According to the FedWatch barometer, the market now rules out any reduction in the cost of money in March and May, but the scenario of a rate cut in June is considered credible by 51% of traders.

On the Old Continent, the first monthly inflation figures for Germany published at 2:00 p.m. point to a further fall in prices to levels not seen since June 2021.

In the meantime, the markets were informed this morning that in the fourth quarter of 2023, growth in France's gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms was revised slightly upwards to +0.1% (compared with the stagnation announced in the first estimate), according to detailed data from INSEE (but salaried employment fell by -0.1%).

In addition, according to Insee's provisional end-of-month estimate, consumer prices in France rose by 2.9% year-on-year in February 2024, a slight slowdown after +3.1% in January.

Lastly, in January 2024, French household consumption expenditure on goods fell by 0.3% in volume terms, following a 0.3% increase in December 2023, according to Insee's CVS-CJO data.

On the foreign exchange market, the euro regained the ground lost the previous day against the greenback, gaining +0.1% around $1.08/E.

As hesitant as ever, the oil market slipped back into the red, giving up some of the gains of the last two days, but is still heading for a comfortable weekly rise at current levels.

Brent crude oil is holding firm against resistance at $83.6 a barrel.

In French company news, Nexity is down -22% following the publication of results divided by 10 in Q4 2023.

irbus Helicopters reports that it has signed a framework contract with Bristow Group for up to fifteen H135 helicopters (five firm orders and 10 options), with deliveries due to start in October 2024.

Arkema reports net income before non-recurring items of €8.75 per share for 2023 (versus €15.75 in 2022) and EBITDA down 28.9% to €1.5 billion, representing a margin of 15.8% (versus 18.3% in 2022) in a context of weak demand.
Air France-KLM publishes net income of 0.93 billion euros for 2023, 'enabling a return to positive equity at 0.5 billion for the first time since 2019', with operating margin at 5.7%, an improvement of 1.2 points.

For 2023, Technip Energies reports 'adjusted IFRS' EPS down 9% to 1.63 euros and a recurring EBIT margin up 0.4 points to 7.4%, on sales down more than 6% to 6.01 billion euros.

Veolia reports that last year it generated sales of 45.35 billion euros, up 9% organically and 4.4% excluding the effect of higher energy prices. Ebitda came to 6.54 billion euros, representing organic growth of 7.8%, above the +5% to +7% target range set by the company.

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