As we know, when the tech sector goes well, everything goes well on Wall Street. The Nasdaq 100 ended the day up 1.47%, setting a new record just shy of 17,000 points, a peak it has never yet broken and which could fall as early as today. Apple came close to reclaiming its scepter as the world's largest capitalization from Microsoft with a 3.3% surge. The stock was helped by Bank of America, which raised its recommendation on the stock to buy, believing that iPhone sales will pick up next year and that space computing, embodied by Apple's new virtual reality headset, has great potential. Other heavyweights in the sector also contributed to the rise in the technology index. Particularly Nvidia, which yesterday extended its gains to 15% since January 1. The capitalization of the star of ultra-vitamin graphics cards now stands at $1,411 billion. The S&P500 gained 0.88%, while the Dow Jones settled for 0.5%.

Technology thus relegated monetary policy to the back burner, even as the market's preferred assumption of a March rate cut began to take a serious hit. Raphael Bostic, head of the Atlanta Fed, yesterday suggested the start of easing in the third quarter, at least three months later than the current consensus. Bostic is more of a moderate, which has helped calm the ardor of those in favor of very short-term rate cuts. As we have seen, this did no damage to the stock market. Bonds were more affected, with prices falling back and yields rising, particularly the US 10-year, which climbed to 4.16%. This is quite simply its highest level since December 13, precisely the day when the market became convinced that the Fed had pivoted to a more accommodative monetary policy.

The session will be marked by a number of statistics from the United States, which will enable us to refine our rate forecasts.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the technology rebound has everyone on board. With the exception of China, which once again remains docked. Japan and South Korea are up by around 1.4%. Australia is up 1% and India 0.6%. This morning, thanks to the TSMC effect, Taiwan's TAIEX jumped 2.6%. Yesterday's respite on the Chinese market was short-lived, with the Hang Seng and CSI300 back in the red. Bloomberg writes this morning that this is the worst start for local equities since 2016 (the Hang Seng lost 10% in January 2016). The situation is so depressing that Citic, China's largest broker (state-owned), has banned short selling for certain clients in mainland China. European leading indicators are still in the green, and so are futures on Wall Street.

Economic highlights of the day:

On the agenda today, we have German producer price index, UK retail sales. Later, in the US Existing Home Sales and the University of Michigan sentiment. The full agenda is here.

The dollar is worth EUR 0.9187 and GBP 0.7886. The ounce of gold rises to USD 2037. Oil strengthens, with North Sea Brent at USD 78.60 a barrel and US light crude WTI at USD 73.74. The yield on 10-year US debt rises to 4.16%. Bitcoin trades at USD 41,200.

In corporate news:

  • Macy’s - The American department store chain announced on Thursday evening its intention to cut 2,350 jobs and close five stores, as part of a rationalization of its activities.
  • Boeing announced on Friday that it did not expect any significant delays in aircraft deliveries to India due to problems with the 737 MAX 9. In addition, an Atlas Air Boeing 747-8 freighter was forced to make an emergency landing at Miami International Airport after its engine, manufactured by General Electric, malfunctioned shortly after takeoff.
  • Spirit Airlines has asked JetBlue Airways to appeal a federal judge's decision to block the merger between the two groups, according to people familiar with the matter. Spirit Airlines also said Friday that it was evaluating options to refinance some of its debt maturities, as some analysts worry about the airline's ability to stay afloat, sending the stock up 15% before the open.
  • Ford Motor said Friday it would cut production of its F-150 Lightning pickup, citing a lower-than-expected rise in demand for electric vehicles in 2024.
  • Amazon announced Friday that its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division plans to invest 2,260 billion yen in Japan by 2027 to develop its cloud services, which are underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI) offerings.
  • Apple - The European Commission is seeking the views of the group's competitors and customers on concessions offered by Apple to escape EU antitrust charges, the Commission said on Friday.
  • IRobot - According to the Wall Street Journal, the European Commission is considering blocking Amazon's $1.4 billion acquisition of the maker of autonomous vacuum cleaners. iRobot shares plunge 35.9% in premarket trading.
  • Comerica announced on Friday that it expects net interest income (NII) to fall by 11% in 2024, as the group pays out more interest on deposits while seeing a slowdown in loan demand.
  • SLB beat consensus for its quarterly profit on Friday, as offshore and foreign drilling activity supported demand for its oilfield services and equipment.
  • Synchrony Financial has agreed to acquire the financing business of Ally Financial, a consumer credit specialist, the two companies announced on Friday.
  • Travelers said Friday that its fourth-quarter profit had more than doubled, thanks to strong underwriting, higher investment returns and lower losses.
  • VF CORP - Sneaker maker Vans announced on Thursday that the cyberattack it suffered in December involved the personal data of around 35.5 million customers. The group says it does not expect any significant impact on its finances.
  • Citigroup- Chief Executive Jane Fraser discussed with group executives on Thursday the bank's vast restructuring plan, which eliminated management positions this week, according to two sources close to the matter.
  • JPMorgan Chase - The bank announced Thursday that the compensation of its chief executive, Jamie Dimon, had increased by about 4.3% to $36 million for 2023.
  • Walmart announced on Thursday its intention to increase the average annual salary and bonuses of its US store managers, effective February 1. The average hourly wage at the retail giant will rise to more than $18 by that date.
  • Royal Caribbean announced on Thursday that it had cancelled cruises due to the attacks in the Red Sea, while Carnival said it was working with security experts around the world and states to prioritize safety, if necessary, by modifying its itineraries.

Analyst recommendations:

  • Advanced Micro Devices: Raymond James maintains its strong buy recommendation and raises the target price from USD 140 to USD 190.
  • Ceres Power Holdings: Bryan Garnier & Co. downgrades to neutral from sell with a price target raised from GBX 200 to GBX 220.
  • Coinbase Global: Citigroup remains neutral recommendation with a price target raised from USD 90 to USD 151.
  • Crowdstrike Holdings: DZ Bank AG Research maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from USD 245 to USD 317.
  • Discover Financial Services: HSBC downgrades to hold from buy with a price target reduced from USD 121 to USD 107.
  • Expedia Group: Goldman Sachs maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from USD 155 to USD 190.
  • Hunting: Kepler Cheuvreux maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from GBX 355 to GBX 510.
  • John Wood Group: Kepler Cheuvreux upgrades to buy from hold with a price target raised from GBX 195 to GBX 230.
  • Jupiter Fund Management: Peel Hunt maintains its hold recommendation and reduces the target price from GBX 110 to GBX 85.
  • Marvell Technology Group: Raymond James maintains its outperform rating and raises the target price from USD 62 to USD 78.
  • Persimmon: Morgan Stanley upgrades to overweight from underweight with a price target raised from GBX 1131 to GBX 1685.
  • Roblox Corporation: Goldman Sachs maintains its sell recommendation and raises the target price from USD 26 to USD 35.
  • Take-Two Interactive Software: Goldman Sachs maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from USD 165 to USD 200.
  • Taylor Wimpey: Morgan Stanley maintains its equal weight recommendation and raises the target price from GBX 115 to GBX 145.
  • Watches Of Switzerland Group: Societe Generale downgrades to hold from buy with a price target reduced from GBX 864 to GBX 418. Goldman Sachs maintains its buy recommendation and reduces the target price from 830 to GBX 555.
  • Western Digital Corporation: Raymond James maintains its outperform rating and raises the target price from USD 48 to USD 60.