1. Asian Stocks Gain Ahead of Jobs Data, Yen Firms: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Asian shares tracked Wall Street’s gains on dovish signs from central banks, with all eyes on US jobs data due later Friday. The yen rose on speculation the Bank of Japan will soon tighten policy. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 indexes both rose, with equity futures also pointing to a positive open in Hong Kong.

  2. Gold Extends Record-Breaking Run as Powerful Mix Builds Momentum

    (Bloomberg) — Gold extended its record-breaking rally as speculation over the timing of the Federal Reserve’s pivot, geopolitical risks and buying by macro funds helped it maintain momentum. Bullion rose to a record of $2,164.78 an ounce on Thursday and has added more than 6% over the last seven sessions. It was little changed in early trading on Friday.

  3. Sweden in NATO Unlocks Defense Options to Fend Off Russia

    (Bloomberg) — Sweden’s entry into NATO can help solve a critical problem for military planners mapping out the alliance’s defenses against a potential Russian attack: how to rapidly shuttle troops, weapons and other provisions to a front anywhere from the Baltic to the Arctic.

  4. Powell Says Fed ‘Not Far’ From Confidence Needed to Cut Rates

    (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggested the central bank is getting close to the confidence it needs to start lowering interest rates. “We’re waiting to become more confident that inflation is moving sustainably at 2%,” Powell said Thursday while answering questions from the Senate Banking Committee. “

  5. Biden Speech to Cast Trump as Bent on ‘Revenge and Retribution’

    (Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden will look to turn aside doubts over his age in the State of the Union address by accusing his presumptive Republican opponent – former President Donald Trump – of posing a danger to American democracy. “My lifetime has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy. A future based on the core values that have defined America.

  6. Japan’s Household Spending Drop Complicates BOJ Rates Messaging

    (Bloomberg) — Japan’s household spending shrank the most in almost three years, casting a cloud over the economy’s growth prospects as the central bank mulls the timing for a widely expected interest rate hike. Household outlays declined by 6.3% in January from a year earlier, the biggest drop since February of 2021, the ministry of internal affairs reported Friday.

  7. Stocks Climb on Bets Fed, ECB Closer to Rate Cuts: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Stocks hit all-time highs in the run-up to the US jobs report, with investors betting some of the world’s major central banks will start slashing interest rates as soon as June. Those wagers emboldened equity bulls expecting lower borrowing costs will fuel corporate profits.

  8. Kroger Co. shares rose 9.9% after the grocer’s full-year profit outlook beat analyst expectations,
    making it the latest retailer to offer a relatively upbeat outlook as customers show resilience.

    Shoppers are saying they feel better, though buying behavior hasn’t changed dramatically so far, Chief Executive Officer Rodney McMullen said. “We expect consumer sentiment to improve in 2024, but our customers will still have to manage many of the same macro pressures as last year,” he said. Kroger sees adjusted earnings per share in a range of $4.30 to $4.50 this year, ahead of the consensus of $4.28. Identical sales, excluding fuel, are expected to grow 0.25% to 1.75%. Fourth-quarter sales also beat expectations as consumers prioritize spending on groceries and essentials. Identical sales without fuel declined 0.8% in the quarter ended Feb. 3, better than the average analyst estimate for a 1.5% decline. Adjusted earnings of $1.34 also surpassed the average estimate.

  9. Costco slid 3.8% in afterhours trading after the warehouse club chain reported fiscal second-
    quarter revenue and gross margin that fell short of the average analyst estimates due to tepid
    demand for higher margin goods.

    With elevated day-to-day costs hammering household budgets, customers have kept a tight lid on their spending, particularly for big-ticket non-essential purchases such as home furnishings, sporting goods and garden supplies. SECOND QUARTER RESULTS: EPS $3.92 vs. $3.30 y/y, estimate $3.62. Total company comparable sales including gas, currency +5.6%, estimate +5.09%. Total company comparable sales excluding fuel, in constant currency +5.8%, estimate +4.65%. Total revenue $58.44 billion, +5.7% y/y, estimate $59.04 billion. Gross Margin (Excl. Membership Fees) 10.77%, estimate 10.83%.

  10. Novo Nordisk shares surged 8.3% to a record high after the company presented data showing
    the new weight-loss treatment amycretin helped patients in an early-stage clinical trial shed 13%
    of their weight in 12 weeks. Analysts describe the results as “impressive.”

    Amycretin is meant to be taken in pill form, unlike Novo Nordisk’s current obesity and diabetes
    blockbuster drugs, Wegovy and Ozempic, which are injected. Barclays, Emily Field (overweight): Says
    results from amycretin trial are “impressive” and notes Novo management is “very optimistic” about the program and that it does not rule out going straight into phase 3 study. Highlights that, “with the usual caveats of complexity around cross-trial comparison” that Novo’s data is better compared to rival Eli Lilly’soral orforglipron, “which showed roughly 7-9% at 12 weeks”.

  11. Chip stocks rose broadly as a group, with the VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH) climbing

    Nvidia shares gained 4.5% after Mizuho said the stock can go to $1,000. Micron Technology shares
    advanced 3.6% after Stifel upgraded the stock to buy from hold, and raised its price target.
    Intel shares jumped 3.7% following a report from Bloomberg, citing congressional aides, that the U.S. government is prepared to invest $3.5 billion in the company so it can manufacture advanced chips for the military.

  12. Marvell Technology shares are down 7.4% in afterhours trading, after the chipmaker gave a
    first-quarter forecast that was weaker than expected.

    FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS: Adjusted EPS 46c vs. 46c y/y, estimate 46c. Loss per share 45c vs.
    loss/shr 2.0c y/y. Net revenue $1.43 billion, +0.6% y/y, estimate $1.42 billion. Data center revenue $765.3 million, +54% y/y, estimate $752.5 million. Consumer revenue $143.9 million, -20% y/y, estimate $144 million. Carrier infrastructure Revenue $170.0 million, -38% y/y, estimate $175.8 million. Enterprise networking Revenue $265.0 million, -28% y/y, estimate $262.5 million. Automotive/industrial Revenue $82.3 million, -17% y/y, estimate $88.9 million. Adjusted gross margin 63.9% vs. 63.5% y/y, estimate 63.5%. FIRST QUARTER FORECAST: Sees adjusted EPS 18c to 28c, estimate 41c. Sees adjusted gross margin 62% to 63%, estimate 63.6%. Sees net revenue $1.15 billion, estimate $1.37 billion.

  13. Broadcom Inc’s shares rose 4.22% after the company reported a stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings. The company reported quarterly earnings per share of $10.99, +6.39% YoY beating estimates of $10.29.

    The company also issued a quarterly common stock dividend of $5.25 per share. The management highlighted their confidence in artificial intelligence that would offset weaknesses in their other business segments and reiterated its EBITDA guidance of around 60% of its projected revenue.

    14. DocuSign Inc’s shares were up 2.08% after the e-signature company reported fourth quarter stronger-than-expected earnings and outlook.

    The company reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share of $0.76, beating estimates of $0.64. Additionally, the management expects to see full year 2025 revenue between $2.92 billion to $2.93 billion, in line with estimates. Earlier in 2023, the company underwent restructuring and reduced its workforce by around 6% to achieve multi-year growth targets.

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