1. Asian Stocks Muted After Declines in Wall Street: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Asian equities traded within tight ranges after a drop for technology stocks led to small declines in US shares. Japanese and Australian stocks were mostly flat, while contracts for Hong Kong equities were slightly higher. The mixed trading followed a listless US session on Wednesday with the S&P 500 ending lower and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 falling 0.8%.

  2. US Steel Falls as Biden Readies Statement of Concern on Deal

    (Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden is expected to soon release a statement of concern about Nippon Steel Corp.’s proposed purchase of United States Steel Corp., people familiar with the matter say. Shares of the Pittsburgh-based company fell the most in almost four years. US Steel dropped as much as 15% to $39.86, the biggest intraday loss since June 2020.

  3. Winners and Losers From BOJ Ditching Negative Rates in Japan

    (Bloomberg) — The Bank of Japan’s steady march toward raising interest rates for the first time since 2007 begs the question of who will win and who will lose after years of massive stimulus and ultra-low borrowing costs. Higher interest rates will have a direct impact on the government, companies, banks and households.

  4. Rogoff Says Biden, Trump Favor ‘Blowing Up’ Debt, Low Rates Over

    (Bloomberg) — Harvard University economics professor Kenneth Rogoff said both President Joe Biden and his predecessor and challenger Donald Trump risk sending US debt levels into dangerous territory as Washington fails to grasp that the era of ultra-low interest rates won’t come back.

  5. Canada Revives US Trade Forum Ahead of Fraught Election Year

    (Bloomberg) — Canada is rebooting an official forum to smooth its C$3.4-billion-a-day ($2.5 billion) trading relationship with the US ahead of the “unpredictability” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sees with a potential return of Donald Trump. A meeting to gather Canadian business input for the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council.

  6. Stocks Struggle Near Record Before Inflation Data: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Stocks pushed away from their all-time highs amid a slide in a handful of big techs, with traders awaiting readings on inflation and retail sales for clues on the Federal Reserve’s next steps. Equities struggled to gain traction after a rally that has defied every doomsday scenario on Wall Street. Despite the pause on Wednesday, the S&P 500.

  7. Quant Funds Recover From China Meltdown by Leaving Models Alone

    (Bloomberg) — Many of China’s beleaguered quant funds are on the mend, and those leading the recovery stuck with the same computer models that helped them withstand years of market turmoil. The top 23 quantitative funds tracked by China Merchants Securities Co. beat the benchmark in the week of Feb.

  8. Hedge Fund That Shorted Petrobras Scores Win on Friday’s Tumble

    (Bloomberg) — The plunge in shares of Brazilian state-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA that erased about $11 billion in value in a single session helped boost returns at a Rio de Janeiro-based hedge fund manager. Vista Capital’s flagship fund rose 2.3% after fees on Friday, beating all 154 peers tracked by Bloomberg.

  9. Reddit Sees More Than 20% Sales Growth in 2024 in IPO Roadshow

    (Bloomberg) — Reddit Inc. is telling potential investors in its initial public offering that it expects revenue in 2024 to grow by more than 20% versus the previous year, according to a person familiar with the situation. The social media company gave guidance at a roadshow event that it was set for a similar revenue trajectory to what it saw last year.

  10. Vista Equity Is Said to Explore Options for Logic Monitor

    (Bloomberg) — Vista Equity Partners is exploring options including a sale of logic Monitor Inc. that could value the IT infrastructure monitoring platform at about $1.5 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said.

  11. Copper miners advance Wednesday as the price of the base metal hit a 7-month high on potential capacity cuts at Chinese smelters.

    The Global X Copper Miners ETF rose as much as 4.5%, the most intraday since Nov. 14, led by Taseko Mines +11%. Other notable gainers include Australia’s 29Metals +7.9%, ERO Copper +7.2%, Capstone Copper +6.5% and Southern Copper +6.5%. Freeport-McMoRan climbed as much as 5.8% to its highest intraday level since Dec. 29.

  12. The retailer, which operates the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar chains, said it plans to expand its price range, including products that cost $7.

    Dollar Tree is implementing a “multi-price” strategy in which it will sell a greater variety of products with the aim of winning over new customers. Over the past year, the retailer has sold groceries that cost $3 to $5. Those goods will be complemented this year by 300 items that cost up to $7 across 3,000 stores. WATCH: Dollar Tree Inc. slumps as much as 14%, the biggest intraday drop since May 25, after reporting earnings that missed Wall Street estimates. “This expanded assortment will offer Dollar Tree shoppers a wider range of choices across a variety of categories,” including food, pet care and personal care, Chief Executive Officer Rick Dreiling said on an earnings call with analysts on Wednesday.

  13. President Joe Biden is expected to soon release a statement of concern about Nippon Steel Corp.’s proposed purchase of United States Steel Corp., people familiar with the matter say. Shares of the Pittsburgh-based company fell the most in almost four years.

    US Steel dropped as much as 15% to $39.86, the biggest intraday loss since June 2020. The move is the latest show of support from the Biden administration for the steel union as it seeks to win better terms from the Japanese steelmaker. Nippon’s proposal is to buy the company for $55 per share in cash. The scope of what Biden will say, and how far he’ll go, isn’t clear, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private. The news was first reported by the Financial Times. In a joint statement on Wednesday evening, Nippon and US Steel said, “We welcome the administration’s scrutiny of the transaction, as an objective and comprehensive review of this transaction will demonstrate that it strengthens US jobs, competition, and economic and national security.”

  14. Fair Isaac falls as much as 8.1%, which would be the worst single-day decline since July 2022, after US Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter urging the Department of Justice to investigate Fair Isaac’s “potentially anticompetitive practices.”

    Hawley said FICO dominates the credit scoring industry, with a 90% market share in business-to-business credit scores. “In an apparent abuse of this market power, FICO has astronomically hiked its prices,” he added. Baird analyst Jeffrey Meuler said he views Hawley’s letter as a “negative” for the stock, particularly against what he considers “high expectations/crowded positioning”.

  15. Shares of WIlliams-Sonoma Inc. rallied into record territory Wednesday after the home-products retailer beat quarterly earnings expectations, with “full-price selling” and supply-chain improvements helping boost margins.

    The company also raised its dividend by 26% and set a new $1 billion share-repurchase program as part of its focus on maximizing shareholder returns. The stock (WSM) soared 18.8% in afternoon trading, to surpass by a wide margin the current record closing price of $247.49 reached on March 7. It was headed for the biggest one-day gain since it rocketed 21.4% on April 6, 2020. “We outperformed in 2023 despite the slowest housing market in several decades and geopolitical unrest,” said Chief Executive Laura Alber. “Although this pressured our top-line trend, we stayed focused on full-price selling, supply-chain efficiencies and best-in-class customer service.” The company raised its quarterly dividend to $1.13 a share from 90 cents a share, with shareholders of record on April 19 to receive the new dividend on May 24.

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