There are always lessons to be learned from exceptional episodes that shake markets. Yesterday's express crash of cryptocurrencies is an excellent reminder of the scale of risk in investing. Cryptoassets collapsed during the session before ending on consistent but less spectacular declines. Bitcoin signed a floor around USD 30,000, down 30%, to end on a 13% decline. The nervousness is palpable... Bitcoin was flirting with USD 65,000 on April 14.
Investors were in a bad mood yesterday, although Wall Street recovered before the close. The Nasdaq 100, which had been battered for several sessions, even managed to climb into the green at the bell, helped in particular by semiconductors. There were clearings in sectors that have been doing very well lately, such as energy and basic materials. Investors have raised their level of selectivity a bit lately, adding a pinch of quality to their allocations, which mechanically means cutting back on bets that are a bit too risky.
The minutes of the last US central bank meeting released last night showed, logically, that the Fed started to discuss the sustainability of support measures that were deployed to counter the effects of the Covid crisis. A timid debate whose main lesson is that the Fed does not seem to be in a hurry to act. Its members have largely confirmed, through their positions, that the reduction of the repurchase envelopes will be the first step to be deployed, given the confirmed economic strength. The publication did not have a negative effect on markets and obviously did not change expectations on the timing of interest rates, the main point of tension for investors.
Economic highlights of the day
The German producer price index for April, the new weekly unemployment claims and the Philly Fed index for May and the index of leading indicators for April. Japan reported stronger than expected export growth for April.
The dollar is down to EUR 0.8188. The ounce of gold is up to around USD 1878. Oil is down to USD 65.9 a barrel of Brent and USD 62.77 a barrel of WTI. The US 10-year yield is up to 1.66%. Bitcoin rallies to USD 41,800, after the previous day's choppy session.
* Cisco Systems- The networking equipment maker warned Wednesday that supply chain problems would persist through the end of the year and said it expects earnings for the current quarter to be lower-than-expected by the market. In pre-market trading, the stock is losing about 6%.
* Ralph Lauren reported a lower-than-consensus annual sales forecast on Thursday, citing expectations of extended store closures in Europe and Japan. The stock lost 3% in pre-market trading.
* Microsoft announced Wednesday that it will drop Internet Explorer browser software next year in favor of Edge, a browser based on the same technology as Google's flagship product Chrome.
* Ford Motor and South Korea's SK Innovation Group are expected to announce on Thursday the launch of a U.S. battery joint venture aimed at accelerating the automaker's electric vehicle rollout, two people close to the matter told Reuters.
Pfizer, BioNTech - The European Commission on Thursday confirmed a third contract with the two companies for an additional 1.8 billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine.
Kohls- The department store group on Thursday raised its revenue and profit forecast for the current fiscal year.
Oatly Group - The Swedish oatmeal specialist is to list on the Nasdaq on Thursday after a public offering that raised $1.4 billion. The IPO price, set at $17 per share, implies a total valuation of about $10 billion.
AstraZeneca: UBS has maintained his recommendation on the stock with a Buy rating. The target price is unchanged at GBp 8000
Aviva: Morgan Stanley on Thursday cut its price target on Aviva (AV.L) to 4.40 pounds sterling ($6.21) from 4.60 pounds, reiterating an overweight rating.
Baidu : Nomura Adjusts Baidu's Price Target to $217 From $309, Keeps at Neutral
BT Group: Berenberg upgrades from buy to hold with a target of GBp 1.75.
Centrica: Jefferies remains Buy with a price target reduced from GBp 60 to GBp 58.
FedEx (FDX) has an average rating of outperform and price targets ranging from $233 to $383, according to analysts polled by Capital IQ.
Ford Motor : JP Morgan adjusts PT to $16 From $15, maintains Overweight rating
Future Plc: Berenberg remains Buy with target raised from GBp 2,600 to GBp 3,140.
Cisco: Goldman Sachs adjusts PT to $60 From $59, maintains Buy rating
Ingersoll Rand : Deutsche Bank upgrades to Buy From Hold, adjusts Price Target to $54 From $50
J Sainsbury : Barclays increased the price target of J Sainsbury to GBP 2.85 from GBP 2.75 and maintained its overweight rating.
Lowe's : JPMorgan lowers PT to $214 From $219, maintains Neutral rating
Netflix : Jefferies at Buy with $620 Price Target
NVIDIA : KeyBanc upgrades NVIDIA to Overweight from Sector Weight, Price Target is $700
Volkswagen: Citigroup resumes its Buy rating with a EUR 300 target.
Target : Baird raises PT to $250 From $230, keeps Outperform rating
The Wendy's Co. It has an average rating of outperform and price targets ranging from $23 to $30, according to analysts polled by Capital IQ.