U.S. index futures were slightly down in pre-market trading this Monday, in a week marked by monetary policy decisions, the last meeting of the Federal Reserve of 2023. The yield on 10-year Treasury bonds was at 4.254%.

In the commodities market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for January fell 0.67% to $70.75 per barrel. Brent crude for February fell 0.54%, close to $75.43 per barrel. Iron ore with a 62% concentration traded on the Dalian exchange fell 0.37% to $134.17 per ton.

European markets showed mixed performance, as investors around the world await the monetary policy meetings of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank this week. The Stoxx 600, the main pan-European index, shows little variation, indicating stability. Highlights include the financial services sector, which recorded a 0.5% increase, leading the gains. On the other hand, the mining sector faces difficulties, with a decline of 1.1%.

Asian markets closed mostly higher. Chinese stocks rebounded after data indicated deflationary pressures due to low domestic demand. In Japan, stocks rose with expectations that the central bank will not raise interest rates. The Shanghai SE (China) rose 0.74%, Japan’s Nikkei closed up 1.50%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.81%. Kospi and ASX 200 had slight increases of +0.30% and +0.06%, respectively.

In Friday’s trading in the US, major indices rose, reaching highs of more than a year. The Dow Jones increased 0.36%, the S&P 500 grew 0.41% and the Nasdaq advanced 0.45%. A stronger-than-expected employment report generated initial volatility, raising concerns about the Federal Reserve’s delay in cutting interest rates. A report from the University of Michigan showing a drop in consumer inflation expectations also influenced the market. Shares of computer hardware and financials performed well, while oil rose, but gold and airline shares fell.

In Monday’s corporate earnings front, investors will be watching reports from Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Casey’s (NASDAQ:CASY), and Inotiv (NASDAQ:NOTV).

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) – Apple ended third-party apps that allowed communication between Android and iPhones via iMessage, citing security risks. The company plans to support RCS to improve the cross-platform text messaging experience. The Beeper Mini, which enabled iMessage on Android, stopped working.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) – Microsoft clarified that it does not own any part of OpenAI, emphasizing that its agreement grants only profit participation rights, as disclosed in a statement on Friday.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) – Nvidia will expand its collaboration with technology companies in Vietnam and support the development of artificial intelligence and digital infrastructure. CEO Jensen Huang announced this during his first visit to the country, highlighting Nvidia’s commitment to Vietnam and the possibility of establishing a research and development facility there. In addition, the utility unit of YTL, Malaysia, closed a $4.3 billion deal with US-based Nvidia to develop artificial intelligence infrastructure in Southeast Asia, focusing on supercomputers and cloud computing. The first phase is expected to start in mid-2024.

HP Inc (NYSE:HPQ) – HP Inc. received an upgrade in rating from Evercore ISI, which improved its rating from “In Line” to “Outperform” and raised the stock’s target price from $33 to $40. As a result, shares of HP Inc. registered an increase of 1.2%, reaching $29.81, in pre-market trading.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) – X, Elon Musk’s social media platform, explored a possible partnership with Amazon.com to make X ads available in its ad-buying software. Musk is facing advertiser problems after controversies on his platform.

Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) – Pinterest shares registered a gain of 4.8%, reaching $36.60, after receiving an upgrade from RBC Capital Markets, which improved its rating from “Sector Perform” to “Outperform” and raised the target price from $32 to $46.

Macy’s (NYSE:M) – Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management offered $5.8 billion to buy Macy’s, making it private. The offer, at $21 per share, represents a premium of 20.76% over the previous closing price. Macy’s has not yet commented on the proposal, and the viability of the deal is uncertain, given the previous track record of the investor group.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) – Starbucks reached out to the Workers United union, which represents hundreds of its stores in the US, in an attempt to resolve its tense relationship with frontline workers. The union demands better wages, staff, and schedules. Starbucks proposed resuming negotiations in January 2024.

Paramount (NASDAQ:PARA) – Media mogul Shari Redstone is negotiating the sale of National Amusements’ controlling stake, which controls Paramount, to Skydance Media. The sale could signal changes in the media industry as traditional companies seek to adapt to the streaming era.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) – Goldman Sachs changed its forecast of US Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, anticipating the first cut in the third quarter due to slowing inflation. The bank predicts two total cuts, resulting in a rate of 4.875% by the end of 2024.

Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) – The Nasdaq agreed to pay a $4 million settlement to the US Treasury Department for apparent violations of sanctions against Iran by its former unit, Nasdaq OMX Armenia.

Cigna (NYSE:CI) – Health insurer Cigna ended acquisition talks with Humana (NYSE:HUM) over disagreement on price. Cigna plans to repurchase $10 billion in shares and is considering selling its Medicare Advantage business. Antitrust concerns were also mentioned.

Honeywell (NASDAQ:HON) – Honeywell announced the purchase of Carrier’s (NYSE:CARR) security unit for $4.95 billion in cash to boost its building security business. The acquisition includes brands like Onity and Supra.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Hess (NYSE:HES) – The US Federal Trade Commission issued a second request to Chevron and Hess for more information on their $53 billion deal. This comes amid legislative concerns about multi-billion-dollar mergers and their impacts on consumer prices. The companies stated they will cooperate with the FTC.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) – Exxon Mobil is expanding its investments in low-carbon sectors, including lithium mining and carbon capture, allocating $20 billion through 2027. The company seeks to profit from the energy transition, though it continues to increase its oil production. These investments could represent up to 24% of Exxon’s spending, but investors and environmental groups have raised concerns about the strategy.

Endeavor Group (NYSE:EDR) – Endeavor Energy Partners, a leader in oil and gas production in the Permian, plans to explore a sale valued between $25 billion and $30 billion. The initiative comes amid a wave of consolidation in the energy sector, with interest from major companies like Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP). Endeavor, with a strong presence in the Permian shale basin, saw its production increase and is projected to generate approximately $1 billion in free cash flow in 2024.

Philips 66 (NYSE:PSX) – Phillips 66 foresees lower spending in 2024 following pressure from Elliott Investment. The company announced capital expenditures of $2.2 billion for 2024, compared to an estimated $2.5 billion in 2023. Phillips plans to invest $1.1 billion in its refining segment, including the conversion of its Rodeo refinery into renewable diesel facilities. The company also intends to spend about $1 billion on Chevron Phillips Chemical and WRB Refining joint ventures.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) – The angular design of the Tesla Cybertruck raises safety concerns among experts due to its rigid stainless steel exoskeleton, which could cause harm to pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. Tesla displayed crash test videos, but experts say more data is needed to assess safety. In other news, Tesla defended the use of “Autopilot” and “self-driving” in its driver assistance features, claiming that the California Department of Motor Vehicles had implicitly approved these terms in previous investigations. Tesla faces regulatory action for misleading advertising of its driver assistance features.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) – Flight attendants at Southwest Airlines rejected a proposed five-year contractual agreement, with 64% voting against. The union stated that the contract does not meet the needs of the attendants and plans to continue negotiating.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) – Boeing plans to appoint Stephanie Pope as Chief Operating Officer (COO), possibly the future successor to CEO David Calhoun. Calhoun is expected to remain in the top position for another year.

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