1. Stocks in Asia Echo US Gains on Fed Rate Signals: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Asian equities rallied Thursday after US stocks touched fresh highs as the Federal Reserve indicated it would meet market expectations with three rate cuts this year. Australian, South Korean shares and equity futures for Hong Kong all advanced. Japanese stocks also rose after a Wednesday holiday as the nation’s exports grew for a third consecutive month.

  2. Fed holds rates steady and maintains three cuts coming sometime this year

    Following its two-day policy meeting, the central bank’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee said it will keep its benchmark overnight borrowing rate in a range between 5.25%-5.5%. Along with the decision, Fed officials penciled in three quarter-percentage point cuts by the end of 2024, which would be the first reductions since the early days of the Covid pandemic in March 2020.

  3. Yen Advances as Investors Assess Rate Outlooks for Japan, US

    (Bloomberg) — The yen strengthened for the first time in eight days as investors weighed the outlook for interest rates in Japan and the US. The Japanese currency advanced as much as 0.5% to 150.55 per dollar, rising from its lowest level since November at 151.82 reached on Wednesday.

  4. Attacks on Russia Border Regions Bring Home Costs of Putin’s War

    (Bloomberg) — Deadly attacks on Russian regions bordering Ukraine are increasingly bringing home the costs of Vladimir Putin’s invasion. That doesn’t yet mean people are turning on the Russian president over the war. Regions including Belgorod and Kursk have faced drone and missile attacks in recent weeks as Ukraine mounts a campaign targeting.

  5. Powell Says It’ll Soon Be Appropriate to Slow Pace of QT

    (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve is maintaining the pace at which it’s reducing bond holdings, even as officials say it will be appropriate to slow the pace of the unwind fairly soon. The Fed has been winding down its holdings since June 2022 — a process known as quantitative tightening, or QT — and gradually increasing the combined amount of Treasury and mortgage.

  6. Republicans Call for Retirement Age Hike in Clash With Biden

    (Bloomberg Government) — The largest caucus of House Republicans called for an increase in the Social Security retirement age Wednesday, setting up a clash with President Joe Biden over spending on popular entitlement programs. The Republican Study Committee, which comprises about 80% of House Republicans, called for the Social Security eligibility age to be tied to life expectancy.

  7. Citi Cuts London Investment Bank Jobs as Deal Drought Persists

    (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. is cutting jobs in its investment banking division in London, becoming the latest Wall Street giant to trim headcount as the slump in global dealmaking enters its third year. The moves will affect roughly 20 employees, according to people familiar with the matter.

  8. Short Seller Russell Clark Considers Restarting His Hedge Fund

    (Bloomberg) — Short seller Russell Clark, who shuttered his hedge fund two years ago after losing out to the longest running bull market in history, is preparing a comeback. Clark, who famously wagered against stocks for much of the past decade and generated positive returns in most of those years, is considering a short-biased hedge fund, he said in an interview.

  9. Reddit IPO Prices at Top of Range to Raise $748 Million
    (Bloomberg) — Reddit Inc. and its selling shareholders raised $748 million, pricing shares in an initial public offering at the top of a marketed range, the second big tech listing in as many days. The social media platform, along with its top executives and other employees, sold 22 million shares for $34 each.

  10. Astera Soars 72% on AI-Fuelled Demand After $713 Million IPO

    (Bloomberg) — Astera Labs Inc. jumped 72% in its trading debut after the semiconductor connectivity company’s initial public offering topped expectations to raise $713 million, adding momentum to AI-related stocks and listings rebound. The shares, which sold for $36 apiece in the IPO and rose as much as 76% on Wednesday, closed at $62.03.

  11. Kering SA shares tumbled after the French luxury group warned that sales at Gucci, its biggest brand, have fallen about 20% in the first quarter. The stock dropped as much as 14% in early Paris trading, wiping more than €7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) from its market value.

    The Gucci sales slump, owing to a steeper-than-expected decline in the Asia-Pacific region, widens the gap between the company and its stronger rivals. The fashion group has been trying to revitalize Gucci, the Italian label that accounts for about two-thirds of profit, without success. Controlled by the billionaire Pinault family, Kering has struggled to keep up with rivals like LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE and Hermes International SCA as luxury sales have cooled over the past year, especially in China. LVMH’s broader brand portfolio and Hermes’s long waiting lists for handbags have made those companies more resilient.

  12. UiPath shares are down 0.7% on Wednesday, after the automation software company hosted an AI summit where it unveiled new products. Analysts are mostly positive on the event, though UiPath’s long-term growth potential is seen as uncertain.
    RBC Capital Markets (sector perform, PT $29): “The company’s GenAI roadmap looks interesting, but still early as we’d note customers continue to value increased ROI from AI and automation tools, something that we’ll continue to watch for UiPath”.

  13. Micron Technology Inc., the largest US maker of computer memory chips, jumped in late trading after giving a strong revenue forecast for the current quarter, buoyed by demand for artificial intelligence hardware.

    In the second quarter, which ended Feb. 29, Micron’s revenue rose 58% to $5.82 billion. The Boise, Idaho-based company had earnings of 42 cents a share, excluding certain items. That compares with estimated sales of $5.35 billion and a projected loss of 24 cents a share. Fiscal third-quarter revenue will be $6.4 billion to $6.8 billion, the company said in a statement Wednesday. That compares with an average analyst estimate of $5.99 billion. Micron will have earnings, minus certain items, of about 45 cents a share. Analysts projected 24 cents.
    14.Eli Lilly & Co and Novo Nordisk ADRs extend their drop in Wednesday trading after a Congressional Budget Office analyst said at a conference that obesity drugs would raise US deficit over 10 years. LLY falls as much as 2.1%, NVO slips as much as 1.9%. Obesity drugs would cost US more than anticipated savings: CBO analyst.

  14. General Mills rises 3.8% ahead of the bell after the packaged foods company reported adjusted EPS, organic sales and volume declines that topped expectations, with analysts calling out notably improvement in the Pet segment.

    YEAR FORECAST: Still sees organic net sales -1% to 0%, estimate -0.44% (Bloomberg Consensus); Still sees adjusted EPS in constant currency +4% to +5%; Still sees adjusted operating profit constant-currency +4% to +5%.THIRD QUARTER RESULTS: Adjusted EPS $1.17 vs. 97c y/y, estimate $1.05; Adjusted gross margin 34% vs. 33.8% y/y, estimate 34.4%; Net sales $5.10 billion, -0.5% y/y, estimate $4.99 billion; North America Retail Net Sales $3.24 billion, +0.3% y/y, estimate $3.14 billion; North America Foodservice Net Sales $551.7 million, +0.7% y/y, estimate $555.2 million; Pet Segment Net Sales $624.5 million, -3.3% y/y, estimate $573 million; International net sales $680.1 million, -2.9% y/y, estimate $704.9 million; Organic net sales -1%, estimate -3.26%; Pet organic net sales -3%, estimate -10.9%; Change in North America Foodservice Organic Net Sales +1%, estimate +1.99%; Change in International Organic Net Sales -3%, estimate +1.63%; Organic price/mix +2%, estimate +2.4%; Organic volume down 2%, estimate -5.1%.

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