AIMSTAR FINANCIAL PREVIEW – March 18, 2024

Your Weekly Financial Market Recap and Earnings Preview.

Vikki Zhao

PUBLISHED Mon, March 18, 2024, 12:10 AM EST. 6 min read.

FOCUS ON CANADA

Home Sales

The Canadian Real Estate Association is expected to release February home sales figures on Monday. CREA’s figures for January showed sales were up 3.7 per cent from a month earlier after seasonal adjustments, and up 22 per cent from a year ago when sales were particularly soft.

Desjardins Montreal Conference

The financial services company will host an event featuring speakers from some of Canada’s biggest companies, including Rogers Communications Inc., Bombardier Inc. and Metro Inc. executives. The conference will be held Monday and Tuesday at the Hotel Bonaventure.

Inflation

Statistics Canada will release Tuesday its latest reading for inflation when it is expected to publish its consumer price index for February. Inflation tumbled to 2.9 per cent in January, down from 3.4 per cent in December.

Couche-Tard earnings

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. will release its third-quarter results on Wednesday and hold a conference call with financial analysts on Thursday. The results will come after the convenience store company completed its acquisition of some European retail assets from French oil giant TotalEnergies SE.

Retail sales

Statistics Canada is scheduled to release retail sales figures for January on Friday. The agency’s previous report found Canadian retail sales rose 0.9 per cent to $67.3 billion in December, led by increases at motor vehicle and parts dealers. Its preliminary estimate for January pointed to a decrease in retail sales of less than one per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2024.

Focus On International

Federal Reserve FOMC Meeting

Last week’s stronger-than-expected release of the US Producer Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) dampened traders’ bets on future Fed rate cuts. All eyes are now on Wednesday’s (20th) Federal Reserve FOMC meeting to gauge clues on the Fed’s rate-cut prospects, US economic resilience, and the possibility of inflation rebounding. Earlier this month, Fed Chair Powell expressed greater confidence in inflation moving steadily towards the central bank’s 2% target.

Bank of Japan Monetary Policy Meeting

On Tuesday (19th), the Bank of Japan will hold a crucial monetary policy meeting, possibly deciding to end its eight-year-long negative interest rate policy. This expectation is influenced by significant wage adjustments reached between major Japanese corporations and unions. The central bank has begun internal and external coordination, with nearly all signs pointing to the possibility of ending the negative interest rate policy. Market attention is shifting towards clues the Bank of Japan may provide regarding future interest rate hikes.

Bank of England Monetary Policy Meeting

The Bank of England is set to conclude its monetary policy meeting on Thursday (21st), but policymakers may indicate a need to wait for clearer signals of wage growth before considering rate cuts. The market currently expects the Bank of England to begin cutting rates in August, potentially later than the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Currently, the UK’s interest rate stands at 5.25%, the highest level since 2008. Investors will closely watch for any changes in the central bank’s language on interest rates and await inflation data to gain insights into inflation prospects.

NVIDIA GTC Developer Conference

The NVIDIA GTC global developer conference will kick off on Monday (18th), with the market focused on AI-related information. CEO Jensen Huang is expected to deliver a keynote speech, potentially introducing the latest products, including the next-generation B100 GPU for AI and high-performance computing applications. NVIDIA’s market value has surged this year, reaching $1 trillion, making it the top-performing stock in the S&P 500 index, although it has experienced some volatility since hitting a historical high on March 7th.

China Economic Data Report

China’s economic data presents a mixed picture, with unexpected rises in fixed asset investment and industrial added value exceeding expectations, while retail sales growth slows and unemployment unexpectedly rises. In the first two months of this year, nationwide real estate development investment fell by 9.0%, but excluding real estate investment, private investment grew by 7.6%, with rapid growth in manufacturing and high-tech industry investment. In retail sales, communication equipment performed the best, growing by 16.2%, while automotive retail sales increased by 8.7%. Tencent, Pinduoduo, and other companies will announce their financial reports this week, with Tencent Music, Tencent Holdings, and Pinduoduo set to release theirs on Tuesday (19th) and Wednesday (20th).

This report by Noreen Burke was first published March 17, 2024.

U.S. Stock Futures

Before the opening bell on Monday, U.S. stock index futures surged, with Nasdaq futures leading the way, rising by over 200 points or 1.22%. Technology stocks saw broad gains, with Apple climbing over 1%, Google soaring 5%, NVIDIA up by 2.7%, and Tesla rising by 4%.

Pre-Market Stock Dynamics

Alphabet, the parent company of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), surged by approximately 5% on Monday. Media reports indicated that Apple Inc. is in negotiations with Google, aiming to integrate Google’s Gemini AI technology into iPhones. According to sources familiar with the matter, negotiations are progressing smoothly, with Gemini poised to provide a range of new features for iPhone software. However, talks between Apple and Google are still in the early stages, with no final decisions reached on any agreements or brand partnerships.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) rose by 1.16%. Tech journalist Gurman reported that Apple plans to rename Apple ID to Apple Account later this year.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) surged by 4%. Tesla announced plans to increase the price of the Model Y in several European countries on March 22, with an increase of approximately 2000 euros.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) rose by 2.5%. Qualcomm launched the third-generation Snapdragon 8s mobile platform, supporting on-device AI functionalities.

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) rose by 2.7%. The NVIDIA GTC global developer conference opened today, with CEO Jensen Huang scheduled to speak after market close.

Shift4 Payments Inc. (NYSE: FOUR) fell by 8%. The company’s CEO mentioned receiving several acquisition offers, but the company believes these offers do not fully reflect its potential value, implying a rejection of the offers.

Logitech (NASDAQ: LOGI) dropped by 7.6%. The company announced on Monday that its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Charles Boynton will depart in May. Logitech stated that after Boynton’s departure, he will seek new career opportunities, and his successor will be announced later.

Super Micro Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: SMCI) rose by 3%, officially joining the S&P 500 index today.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) fell by 0.73%, while Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) rose by 0.78%, and Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META), the parent company of Facebook, increased by 1.29%.

Chinese Stock Market

The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (NYSE: KWEB) rose by 1.37%.

NIU Technologies (NASDAQ: NIU) fell by 5%. In the fourth quarter, its revenue was 478.7 million yuan, down 21.8% year-on-year, with a net loss of 130.2 million yuan, compared to a net loss of 37.1 million yuan in the same period last year.

NIO (NYSE: NIO) (HK: 9866) rose by 4.3%, while LI Auto (NASDAQ: LI) (HK: 2015) fell by 5.5%, and XPeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV) (HK: 9868) rose by 6%.

Bilibili Inc. (NASDAQ: BILI) (HK: 9626) rose by 2.5%, iQIYI Inc. (NASDAQ: IQ) rose by 1.7%, and HUYA Inc. (NYSE: HUYA) rose by 2.5%.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) (HK: 9988) rose by 0.4%, JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) (HK: 9618) rose by 0.44%, and Pinduoduo Inc. (NASDAQ: PDD) rose by 2.8%.

Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) (HK: 9888) rose by 0.8%. NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) (HK: 9999) fell by 0.3%. Kingsoft Cloud Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: KC) rose by 9%.

This report by Jason Liu was first published March 18, 2024.

Earnings Releases for the Week

The most anticipated earnings releases for the week of March 18, 2024 are Micron Technology #MU, Nike #NKE, Pinduoduo #PDD, SAIC #SAIC, lululemon athletic #LULU, FedEx #FDX, StoneCo #STNE, Chewy #CHWY, Intuitive Machines #LUNR, and XPeng #XPEV.

Highest Earnings Volatility for the Week

This report by The EarningsWhisper was first published on March 15, 2024.

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