1. Asia Stocks Drop with Focus on Nvidia, China Moves: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Asian stocks fell after a tech-led retreat on Wall Street, with all eyes on Nvidia Corp.’s earnings due later Wednesday and the impact of China’s latest market support measures. Shares dropped from Japan to South Korea and Australia, with Hong Kong equity futures declining as well. The region’s weak tone came after the Nasdaq 100 fell almost 1% and the S&P 500 slid below 5000.

  2. Meta’s Zuckerberg to Meet with Samsung’s Lee in S. Korea:

    (Bloomberg) — Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg will visit South Korea as early as end-Feb. and meet with Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Jay Y. Lee, Seoul Economic Daily reports, without citing anyone. Zuckerberg and Lee are expected to discuss cooperation in AI business. Zuckerberg may also meet with President Yoon Suk Yeol during his visit to South Korea.

  3. Bezos Wraps Up 50 million Amazon Stock Sale Netting $8.5 Billion

    (Bloomberg) — Jeff Bezos unloaded 14 million Inc. shares worth about $2.4 billion, finishing in just nine trading days the plan he disclosed earlier this month to sell up to 50 million shares. The latest transaction, which brings his cash out total to $8.5 billion, took place over three trading days ending Tuesday, according to a regulatory filing.

  4. Israel-Hamas War Splits G-20, Risking Paralysis at Meeting

    (Bloomberg) — The Group of 20 nations is so split on the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine that they may be forced to reduce the forum’s scope and avoid geopolitical issues altogether this year, according to people familiar with the matter. Removing all sensitive political topics from G-20 statements would diminish the relevance of the format, said one of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

  5. China Freezes Accounts of Quant Fund After It Dumped Stocks

    (Bloomberg) — China’s two main stock exchanges froze the accounts of a major quantitative hedge fund for three days after the money manager dumped 2.57 billion yuan ($360 million) in shares within a minute Monday. Ningbo Lingjun Investment Management Partnership executed the sell orders starting from 9:30 a.m. as shares declined, “disrupting normal trading order,” the Shenzhen exchange said in statement Tuesday.

  6. Biden Begins California Fundraising Swing After $42 Million Haul

    (Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden raised $42 million for his reelection campaign and the Democratic Party in January and is now on the West Coast for events with deep-pocketed donors, including billionaire Haim Saban and entertainment mogul Casey Wasserman. Biden ended January with a $130 million war chest for his reelection effort, according to a statement released by the campaign.

  7. Gold Holds Gains Ahead of Fed Release with Rates Path in Focus

    (Bloomberg) — Gold held four straight days of gains before the release of Federal Reserve minutes later Wednesday that will provide fresh clues on when the US central back will pivot to monetary easing. Swaps traders currently see little chance of the Fed lowering borrowing costs before June, after recent data showed inflation in the world’s biggest economy.

  8. Fed Likely to Run QT Unabated While Liquidity Drain Continues

    (Bloomberg) — While a key Federal Reserve liquidity facility is running low, market analysts say the central bank likely will keep shrinking its balance sheet. Usage of the Fed’s overnight reverse repurchase agreement facility or RRP — where eligible counterparties can park cash to earn a market rate — briefly dropped below $500 billion last week, continuing a months-long decline.

  9. Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks Inc. tumbled in late trading after cutting its revenue forecast for the year, sparking concerns that customers are reining in tech spending.

    Sales will be $7.95 billion to $8 billion this fiscal year, the company said in a statement Tuesday. It previously projected revenue of as much as $8.2 billion, and analysts were estimating $8.18 billion. The outlook suggests that customers may be dialling back their spending ambitions, even as online attacks proliferate. The top end of Palo Alto Networks’ sales forecast represents an increase of 16%, well below its 25%-plus growth rate of recent years. The company did maintain its outlook for earnings and free cash flow for fiscal 2024, which Chief Financial Officer Dipak Golechha said reflected “disciplined execution on profitable growth.”

  10. Capital One Financial Corp. agreed to buy Discover Financial Services in a $35 billion all-stock deal to create the largest US credit-card company by loan volume, giving the combined entity a stronger foothold to compete with Wall Street’s behemoths.

    Capital One will swap 1.0192 of its own shares for each Discover share, a 26.6% premium over the Feb. 16 closing price, the McLean, Virginia-based company said in a statement. The transaction, first reported by Bloomberg News, is expected to be completed in late 2024 or early 2025, assuming it can pass antitrust reviews and win shareholder approvals. The purchase of Discover ranks as the world’s biggest merger this year, surpassing Synopsys Inc.’s roughly $34 billion acquisition of software developer Ansys Inc. announced in January. It will bring together two storied consumer-finance brands, a combination that will surpass rivals JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. by US credit-card loan volume, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence. The deal will also give Capital One a foundation in the world of payment networks.

  11. Walmart Inc’s shares were up 3.23% after the company announced a better-than-expected fiscal-year outlook.

    The company reported fourth adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.80 as compared to $1.71 in the same period of the previous year, beating estimates of $1.65. The management expects to see an adjusted EPS between $6.70 and $7.12 for the full fiscal year, but voiced caution about the effects of persistent inflation and higher inflation rates.

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