1. Asian Stocks Trade in Range After Strong US Data: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Asian equities got off to a muted start Tuesday as strong US data supported the view the Federal Reserve will be slow to cut rates. Australian shares were little changed and Japanese stocks traded within tight ranges. The yen steadied above 151 per dollar after weakening on Monday against the greenback to around the lowest levels of the year.

  2. Trump Pays $175 Million Bond to Avert Asset Seizure

    (Bloomberg) — Donald Trump followed through on his vow to pay a $175 million bond to put a massive civil fraud verdict on hold while he appeals it, assuring New York state won’t start seizing the former president’s assets, at least for now. The bond, posted Monday with a Manhattan appeals court, prevents enforcement of a $454 million penalty levied by a judge against the real estate mogul in February for lying about his assets for years.

  3. Iran Says Israeli Strike on Its Compound Killed Two Generals

    (Bloomberg) — An Israeli airstrike on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria killed a number of people including a top military commander, Iranian and Syrian state media said, stoking tensions between the longtime adversaries. Mohammadreza Zahedi, a high-ranking Iranian general linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was among those killed, according to the reports.

  4. Baltimore Disaster Has Other Ports Racing to Absorb Cargo

    (Bloomberg) — US East Coast ports are modifying their operations to absorb cargo diverted from Baltimore harbour, where salvage specialists are starting to clear debris from the destroyed Francis Scott Key Bridge and authorities are establishing a temporary channel to reopen traffic.

  5. US Manufacturing Activity Expands for First Time Since 2022

    (Bloomberg) — US factory activity unexpectedly expanded in March for the first time since September 2022 on a sharp rebound in production and stronger demand, while input costs climbed. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing gauge rose 2.5 points to 50.3 last month, according to data released Monday.

  6. Walgreens slumped 9.9% as analysts remain concerned about the drugstore chain’s earnings outlook after it narrowed its guidance for the 2024 fiscal year.

    Raymond James, John W. Ransom (market perform): “With the quarter and the new F24 outlook now in the rearview mirror, we think investor focus will shift to visualizing what the WBA 3.0 looks like”. Says the second half EPS run rate “implies a weak F2025”. Truist, David S. MacDonald (hold, PT $25): Notes that FY2024 guidance was trimmed “to reflect a retail environment that continues to be challenging alongside a handful of other puts/takes”.

  7. Japan Intervention Would Target Five-Yen Rally, Strategists Say

    (Bloomberg) — Japanese authorities would probably target a five-yen rally against the dollar if they decide to intervene in foreign exchange markets, according to strategists at some of the country’s biggest brokerages. Officials have ratcheted up their warnings against speculative moves in the yen, which reached the weakest level in about 34 years against the dollar.

  8. Foreigners Flocking to India Bonds Make Splash Across Market

    (Bloomberg) — Cash pouring into India from its watershed inclusion into key global bond indexes is already reshaping markets in a country long keen to insulate itself from hot money flows. Foreign investors have pumped roughly 780 billion rupees ($9.4 billion) into eligible sovereign bonds since JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s landmark announcement in September.

  9. Citadel’s Ken Griffin Sees ‘Modest’ Growth, Warns on US Debt

    (Bloomberg) — Citadel founder Ken Griffin told investors he expects modest economic growth in upcoming quarters and cited US national debt as a “growing concern that cannot be overlooked.” Griffin made the remarks in a letter to the hedge fund’s investors Monday.

  10. T. Rowe Price Supports Disney Slate in Proxy Battle

    (Bloomberg) — Walt Disney Co. has won the support of asset manager T. Rowe Price as its heated proxy battle approaches the finale. The shareholder voted for the Disney slate including incumbent directors Maria Elena Lagomasino and Michael Froman with over 99% of the shares it owns, according to an email statement.

  11. Nippon Steel Pledges No Layoffs Before 2026 in US Steel Bid

    (Bloomberg) — Nippon Steel Corp. made what it calls a formal commitment on spending and jobs to the United Steelworkers union, backing up a pledge made in an earlier meeting as the Japanese steelmaker looks to build support for its $14.1 billion acquisition of United States Steel Corp.

  12. Microsoft-Backed Rubrik’s IPO Filing Shows $354 Million Loss

    (Bloomberg) — Rubrik Inc., a cloud and data security startup backed by Microsoft Corp., filed for an initial public offering, disclosing growing revenue and losses. The offering is being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co., according to Monday’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

  13. RBA to Ensure Enough Liquidity in Pivot to ‘Ample Reserves’

    (Bloomberg) — Australia’s central bank will act to ensure enough liquidity is available to keep the financial system running smoothly as billions of dollars of bonds it bought during the pandemic fall due, according to Assistant Governor Christopher Kent. The Reserve Bank will shift to having “ample reserves” as the balance sheet shrinks back toward pre-pandemic levels.

  14. Micron Technology shares rose 5.4% on Monday, after BofA raised its price target on the memory-focused chipmaker to $144 from $120.

    The firm sees strong growth potential for high-bandwidth memory products, noting that they are “critical to AI”. “We expect demand for HBM to grow at a 48% CAGR from CY23-27 to $20bn+, and for MU to expand its share to the mid-20s% vs. <5% currently, helping drive record overall company sales”.

  15. 3M rose 6% after its previously announced settlement agreement with US public water suppliers received final approval from the US District Court in Charleston, South Carolina.

    The agreement has 3M pay as much as $12.5 billion over 13 years to resolve claims that so-called forever chemicals it manufactured for decades polluted drinking water supplies across the US. The deal resolves current and future claims by municipal water authorities over per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. The chemicals were used in a variety of products, though claims over water pollution have focused on PFAS-containing foams used to extinguish fires at military bases and airports.

  16. Shares of FedEx slipped 3.3% Monday after the company announced its contract with USPS will not renew upon its expiry in September.

    Morgan Stanley analyst Ravi Shanker (equal-weight, $210 price target): “Bulls might cheer the exit of a low profitability contract but we caution against dismissing the potential decremental margin drag”. Says worst case scenario, this could be a complete break up and loss of 100% of the volumes, which is what appears to have occurred. Big volume loss as USPS is a significant customer. “We believe the bigger surprise to investors today will be UPS picking up at least some of the USPS volumes that FDX left behind”.

  17. PVH Corp. saw its shares drop by 20% in late trading after the company gave full-year sales guidance falling short of expectations.

    The company expects its revenue this year to decrease 6% to 7%, compared to a 2% increase in 2023 on the back of challenging European macroeconomic backdrop. Company sees 1Q24 revenue to decline by 11%, EPS of about $2.15 while FY24 EPS to range $10.75-11.00. PVH Corp. has been working to execute a transformation plan to strengthen Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, which have lost traction among shoppers in recent years.

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