Stock Market Update for Friday March 8th, 2024

Stock Market Update for Friday March 8th, 2024

Global Markets

US stock fell, and the downturn has been influenced by various factors such as concerns about inflation, rising interest rates, and geopolitical tensions.  Canada’s TSX also went lower, even as gold strengthened.

In contrast, European shares experienced gains, particularly in the financial and energy sectors, which buoyed the overall market sentiment. This positive performance could be attributed to strong economic data or investor optimism about the region’s recovery.

Japan’s Nikkei index saw gains during the session but ended the week lower for the first time in six weeks. Profit-booking, where investors sell securities to lock in profits after a period of gains, likely contributed to the decline. Additionally, concerns about the Bank of Japan potentially scaling back its ultra-loose monetary policy might have weighed on investor sentiment.

The U.S. dollar slightly depreciated against a basket of major currencies, indicating a minor weakening of the currency relative to its counterparts. This movement may have been influenced by a variety of factors, including market sentiment, economic data releases, or central bank policy outlooks.

Oil prices were in the red, indicating a decline in the price of crude oil. This could be attributed to factors such as concerns about oversupply, weakening demand forecasts, or geopolitical tensions affecting global oil markets.

US Job Figures

In February, US job growth slowed, with fewer jobs added over the past two months than initially estimated, indicating a potential economic slowdown. Additionally, wage growth decelerated, while the unemployment rate slightly increased to 3.9%, its highest level in two years, suggesting a robust but not overly rapid expansion of the labor market, alleviating concerns about inflation.

Stock News

  1. Costco Wholesale Corp: Quarterly sales missed expectations due to weak demand for high-margin goods, but e-commerce sales surged. However, the company’s profit per share exceeded estimates.
  2. Gap Inc: Exceeded expectations in the fourth quarter due to strong demand and improved product offerings. However, it forecasted challenges in improving net sales for fiscal 2024.
  3. Marvell Technology Inc: Forecasted first-quarter results below market expectations due to soft demand in various markets. Additionally, the company announced a $3 billion stock buyback.
  4. Vinci Partners: Announced a business combination with Compass, expecting completion by the end of the third quarter. The deal involves over $50 billion in assets, partly paid in cash and equity.
  5. Applied Materials Inc & Lam Research Corp: Reportedly provided technology for advanced chips in China.
  6. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co: Faced an escalation in a criminal probe related to accounting issues.
  7. EU antitrust regulators: Reviewing Tapestry’s acquisition of Capri Holdings.
  8. The FDA: Delayed a decision on Eli Lilly’s experimental treatment for early Alzheimer’s disease.
  9. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co: Announced plans to close its Malaysia plant, affecting over 500 employees.
  10. South Korea’s antitrust agency: Considering imposing sanctions on Meta Platforms for alleged failure to protect users in online marketplaces.
  11. Walt Disney Co: Received backing from activist hedge fund ValueAct Capital amid a board challenge from Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management.

Top Analyst Ratings:

  • Broadcom Inc (BRCM): TD Cowen raised the target price to $1,400 from $1,000, highlighting strong first-quarter performance, especially in Networking and AI segments, alongside optimistic 2024 guidance.
  • Carvana Co (CVNA): RBC upgraded the rating to sector perform from underperform, noting potential for enhanced cash generation and improved liquidity as stock value rises.
  • Docusign Inc (DOCU): Piper Sandler increased the target price to $65 from $55 following fourth-quarter results that exceeded expectations across all metrics.
  • Gap Inc (GPS): Barclays raised the target price to $28 from $26, driven by improved sales, inventory management, and merchandise margin showcased in the fourth-quarter results.
  • Kroger Co (KR): Telsey Advisory Group lifted the target price to $60 from $55, encouraged by strong fourth-quarter results and optimistic 2024 guidance, supported by effective merchandising and omnichannel strategies.
  • Autocanada Inc: CIBC reduced the target price from C$22.50 to C$22 due to higher interest rates and economic uncertainty, creating challenges for auto dealers.
  • Canfor Pulp Products Inc: CIBC lowered the target price from C$2 to C$1.75, anticipating limited free cash flow generation in the coming years.
  • First Quantum Minerals Ltd: Morgan Stanley upgraded the rating to overweight from equal weight, citing refinancing efforts strengthening the company’s position ahead of Panama talks, with a potential stake sale in Zambia offering valuation upside.
  • Yangarra Resources Ltd: ATB Capital Markets decreased the target price from C$2 to C$1.60 due to weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results and soft initial guidance for 2024.

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