1. Asian Stocks Muted, Kiwi Falls on Inflation View: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Asian stocks traded within tight ranges on Wednesday after the S&P 500 nudged higher. The New Zealand dollar fell against the greenback after the central bank held interest rates at 5.5%. The nation’s currency slipped almost 1% after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s forecast showed the risks to the inflation outlook have become more balanced.

  2. Capital Group Says, ‘Gentle Bubble’ Forming in US Tech Stocks

    (Bloomberg) — Capital Group Cos. is shuffling stakes in US technology names amid the blowout rally in the Magnificent Seven mega caps. The $2.5 trillion manager trimmed holdings in stocks whose outperformance had markings of a “gentle bubble,” and raised stakes in some large semiconductor companies beyond the chip-making darling Nvidia Corp., Andy Budden, investment director for equities said at a briefing in Singapore.

  3. Biden’s Israel Embrace Sows Re-election Risk as Protests Grow

    (Bloomberg) — Turmoil in the Middle East poses a risk to President Joe Biden’s re-election bid, threatening to sap turnout among some of his key supporters — and possibly flip the race to Donald Trump. Tuesday’s primary in the crucial swing state of Michigan may deliver a symbolic rebuke to the president’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war.

  4. World Economy Has Growing Chance of Soft Landing, G-20 Says

    (Bloomberg) — The global economy has a growing chance of pulling off a soft landing, finance chiefs said in a draft of the G-20’s closing statement at this week’s meeting in Brazil, citing faster-than-expected disinflation as one of the upside risks. “We note that the likelihood of a soft landing in the global economy has increased,” said the draft communique dated Feb.

  5. Senegal Dialog Delegates Propose June 2 for Vote, Sene web Says

    (Bloomberg) — Delegates at Senegal’s national dialog have proposed June 2 for the country’s presidential elections, Sene web reported. President Macky Sall, whose term ends on April 2, will remain in power until he hands over to a successor, the Dakar-based news website said, citing interlocutors of a two-day national dialog.

  6. Private Credit Firms Predict More Asia Growth as Banks Pull Back

    (Bloomberg) — Some of the world’s biggest private credit firms see a further increase in Asia-Pacific lending in 2024 and are training their sights on higher-quality borrowers rather than on distressed cases. A Bloomberg survey, which included Apollo Global Management Inc. and Blackstone Inc., found that several respondents expect the market to grow more than 10% this year.

  7. Fund Favourite Janux Hits Record After Tripling on Trial Data

    (Bloomberg) — Hedge fund favourite Janux Therapeutics Inc. notched its best day on record after promising cancer study results sent the stock soaring by triple digits. Shares of the biotech company — whose top holders include venture capital fund Avalon Ventures XI LP as well as hedge funds RA Capital Management and BVF Inc. jumped 229% on Tuesday.

  8. Bouygues sees 2024 sales and current operating profit from activities slightly up from 2023; See Equans 2024 sales figure close to that of 2023; confirms Equans’ mid-term targets; For Bouygues Telecom, sees 2024 Ebitda after leases above €2 billion; For Bouygues Telecom, sees an increase in sales billed to customers in 2024; For Bouygues Telecom, sees 2024 gross capital expenditure ex.

    Frequencies ~€1.5 billion; TF1 sees 2024 current operating margin from activities “broadly stable”, close to that of 2023; TF1 aims to continue to generate “solid” cash flow Morgan Stanley (underweight): Analyst Nawar Cristini says highlight of earnings is big beat on free cash flow, driven by “exceptional” net working capital; Telecom saw a solid quarter, while the contracting business was more mixed; FY24 guidance seen as “cautious/soft,” coming in below Morgan Stanley’s expectations. Citi (neutral): Solid beat and sooner than-expected dividend guidance despite significant headwinds in some businesses, analyst Mollie Witcombe writes; Guidance met in 2023, while 2024 outlook set as a slight increase in revenue and Ebit at group level; Telecoms margins are continuing to improve, but a mixed outlook in other businesses.

  9. NetEase shares rise as much as 6.5%, to the highest intraday since Nov. 29, as Morgan Stanley analyst Alex Poon issues a tactical idea report on the Chinese online gaming developer, forecasting stock will rise over the next 60 days on an absolute basis.

    “We see a positive consensus EPS revision cycle coming driven by the start of NetEase’s new product cycle in 2024 — Condor Heroes on March 28, and Naraka: Blade point Mobile in 2Q24 (obtained license on Feb. 27). Poon writes in addition, Poon says NTES’s Eggy Party has “defended itself well against competition from Dream Star,” with Eggies’ DAU surpassing 40m in recent Chinese New Year holiday. Poon expects 4Q profit to top expectations when the company reports results on Feb. 29.

  10. Heico slips about 3.4% after the maker of aircraft replacement parts posted poor fiscal 1Q revenue in its electronic technologies division. However, both the company’s overall profit and sales in the quarter beat estimates.

    The electronic technologies operating margin slipped to 19.3% from 22.2% in the year earlier period. The division’s operating income decrease reflects a less favorable product sales mix and an increase in new product research and development expenses, management said, “We fully expect future ETG quarters to be materially stronger than the first quarter,” CEO Laurans Mendelson said on the earnings call.

  11. EBay Inc’s shares were up 1.16% after the e-commerce company reported fourth-quarter results that beat expectations.

    The company reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.07, beating estimates of $1.03, and fourth quarter gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $18.6 billion, +2.2% YoY beating estimates of $18.2 billion. The management expects to see first quarter adjusted EPS between $1.19 and $1.23.

  12. Macy’s gains as much as 7.4%, the most intraday in more than two months, after announcing plans to close almost a third of its namesake US stores and open new Bloomingdale’s and Blue mercury locations.

    Analysts generally view the strategy positively, with Evercore ISI saying it will put the company’s focus on its “best assets.” Meanwhile, Macy’s projections for sales and profit in the current quarter fell short of the average analyst estimates. 2025 YEAR FORECAST: Sees net sales $22.2 billion to $22.9 billion, estimate $22.99 billion (Bloomberg Consensus); Sees adjusted EPS $2.45 to $2.85, estimate $2.75; Sees owned plus licensed comparable sales about -1.5% to +1.5%, estimate +0.71%.

  13. Beyond Meat climbs as much as 44% in extended trading after the plant-based meat company reported fourth-quarter net revenue that beat the average analyst estimate and issued a better-than-expected margin forecast for the year.

    YEAR FORECAST: Sees net revenue $315 million to $345 million, estimate $343.9 million; Sees operating expenses $170 million to $190 million, estimate $221.7 million; Sees capital expenditure $15 million to $25 million, estimate $19.5 million; Sees gross margin in the mid to high teens range, estimate 7.69%. 4Q Net loss was negatively impacted by certain non-cash charges totaling $95.6 million. Gross margin is expected to be in the mid to high teens range for the full year 2024 and is expected to be higher in the second half of the year relative to the first half.

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