1. Oil Holds Drop After Industry Report Shows Rising US Stockpiles

    (Bloomberg) — Oil steadied after a decline as a report showed US inventories are continuing to expand, a sign supply may be running ahead of demand. Brent crude traded near $82 a barrel after dropping by 0.9% on Tuesday, while West Texas Intermediate was above $78. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute said US nationwide stockpiles rose by 400,000 barrels.

  2. Musk Urges Tesla Employees to Vote Out ‘Far Left’ Austin DA

    (Bloomberg) — Elon Musk emailed Tesla Inc. employees Tuesday, asking them to vote for a new district attorney in Austin who will “actually prosecute crimes.” The billionaire chief executive officer said in an email to staff it was “high time for change throughout the world.”

  3. China’s Bullish 5% Growth Goal Seen as ‘Target Without Plan’

    (Bloomberg) — China set a bullish target of around 5% growth this year as top leaders try to boost confidence in the world’s second-largest economy. But for some analysts, Premier Li Qiang’s lack of details on how to get there was out of step with the nation’s deep challenges. The country’s No. 2 official announced China would maintain last year’s growth goal as the annual parliamentary session opened on Tuesday.

  4. BOJ Needs 9 Years to Normalize Balance Sheet, Ex-Official Says

    (Bloomberg) — The Bank of Japan will probably need at least nine years to normalize its balance sheet in the earliest-case scenario after a massive monetary easing program that ran for more than a decade, according to a former executive director. “The hurdle is very high” for the normalization process, Kenzo Yamamoto, the former BOJ executive, said in an interview Monday.

  5. Diminishing Hedge Fund Bond Shorts Point to Basis-Trade Unwinds

    (Bloomberg) — Leveraged funds are aggressively unwinding short-duration positions in Treasury futures. While hedge funds appear to be cashing in on bearish wagers as Treasury yields remain elevated, part of the unwind may be reflecting a moderation to the futures-versus-cash basis trade. The basis unwind narrative is also supported by positioning data among asset managers, which has shown net long positions being cut over the past four weeks for a combined 830,000 10-year note futures equivalents, in CFTC data up to Feb. 27.

  6. NYCB Bounces After Two-Day Rout Took Stock to 1996 Level

    (Bloomberg) — New York Community Bancorp surged 18% on Tuesday, paring a two-day rout that had taken the shares to the lowest level since 1996. Tuesday’s move was the stock’s biggest jump in almost a year, and followed a sharp selloff spurred by credit-rating downgrades and the disclosure last week of “material weaknesses” in how the company tracks loan risks.

  7. Trump Ally Scott Seeks to Block Biden Credit Card Late Fee Cap

    (Bloomberg) — A key Donald Trump ally is seeking a Senate vote to block a new Biden administration rule capping credit card late fee, targeting a high-profile initiative in the president’s campaign to crack down on unpopular “junk fees.” Senator Tim Scott, a potential Trump vice presidential pick and the top Republican on the Banking Committee.

  8. Hedge Fund That Called El Salvador’s Bond Rally Touts Ecuador

    (Bloomberg) — Converium Capital Inc., a hedge fund that correctly bet that Bitcoin-touting Nayib Bukele would pay El Salvador’s debts and unleash a windfall in the bond market, has a new target: Ecuador. Notes from Ecuador — which have, on average, returned 45% this year — stand to rise further as President Daniel Noboa’s economic reforms pave the way to unlock funding.

  9. Apple shares fell 2.8% on Tuesday, extending its year-to-date weakness after Counterpoint Research said iPhone sales in China declined by 24% over the first six weeks of this year, reinforcing concerns over the company’s prospects in a major market.

    JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee (overweight): The data point to ongoing headwinds in China. “Despite the share loss in the China market, we do expect a recovery in the overall China smartphone market to be a positive catalyst for the shares given the implication on Apple’s volumes as well as implications of better consumer spending on Services revenue as well, although visibility into the timing of a recovery remains limited. “Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives (outperform, PT $250): Investor sentiment is “dismal with China headwinds”. “Huawei has clearly seen massive momentum in mainland China with Apple navigating a very challenging period of iPhone demand in this key region which represents roughly 20% of global iPhones”.

  10. Target Corp. jumped 12% on Tuesday after fourth-quarter profit beat estimates and the retailer announced plans to renovate and expand its fleet of stores.

    The company reported adjusted earnings of $2.98 a share, above Wall Street’s estimate, with better inventory management helping to drive the results. Comparable sales declined 4.4%, slightly beating estimates but falling for the third consecutive quarter. Target reduced its stockpile of merchandise by about 12% for the fourth quarter, better than analysts expected, meaning the retailer has less risk associated with markdowns. Store and digital traffic declined 1.7%, better than the 4.1% slide in the third quarter.

  11. Nordstrom is forecasting muted revenue and comparable sales growth this year as sluggish demand at its high-end namesake stores offsets an improving outlook at its off-price Rack stores.

    Nordstrom shares fell 9.8% in afterhours trading. In the fourth quarter, the Nordstrom brand’s revenue fell 3% to $2.87 billion, below analysts’ average estimate. Revenue at the off-price Rack, meanwhile, surged 15% to $1.43 billion, outpacing expectations. Executives have been working to attract more shoppers to Rack stores by pivoting back to its tried-and-tested strategy of selling high-end items on discount after some pandemic-era missteps. Despite the improvement, competitors such as TJX Cos have fared better with a more consistent, low-priced selection of merchandise.

  12. US officials have told Advanced Micro Devices Inc. that the artificial intelligence chip it tailored for the Chinese market is too powerful to sell without a license, ensnaring another American semiconductor company in Washington’s crackdown on exports of advanced technologies.

    AMD had hoped to gain a green light from the Commerce Department to sell the AI processor to Chinese customers since it performs at a lower level than what the company sells outside of China, according to people familiar with the situation, But US officials told AMD it must still obtain a license from Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security in order to sell it, the people said.

  13. CrowdStrike Holdings Inc’s shares were up 21% in extended trading after the cybersecurity provider reported stronger-than-expected fourth quarter results.

    The company reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share of $0.95, beating estimates of $0.83. The management expects to see a first quarter revenue between $902.2 million to $905.88 million, higher than expectations of $898.8 million. The management attributed the strong performance to the company’s strategy of offering its security products on a single platform compared to rivals.

  14. Pfizer Inc’s shares were up 0.73%.

    Despite the Federal Circuit upholding an administrative tribunal’s decision of rejecting the company’s pneumococcal vaccine patent on the grounds that the new patent is not inventive and contains information that is publicly disclosed in two prior patent applications.

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