U.S. index futures started the week in positive territory on Monday, after the three major indices recorded seven consecutive weeks of gains.

At 5:10 AM, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) rose 64 points, or 0.17%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.21%, and Nasdaq-100 futures rose 0.12%. The yield on 10-year Treasury bonds was at 3.898%.

In the commodities market, January West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 0.57% to $71.02 per barrel. Brent crude oil for February fell 0.51%, near $76.16 per barrel. Iron ore with a 62% concentration grade, traded on the Dalian exchange, fell 1.59%, to $130.11 per ton.

On the economic agenda, investors are waiting, at 10:00 AM, for the December homebuilders’ confidence index to be published by the NAHB.

Most European markets are down today, reversing earlier gains stimulated by potential interest rate cuts in the U.S. in 2024. Isabel Schnabel and Philip Lane from the ECB will speak today.

Asian stock markets showed a mixed trend, with a predominance of negative outcomes. The Shanghai and Tokyo exchanges recorded declines, reflecting investor caution, while Seoul stood out with a slight advance. The major indices closed as follows: China’s Shanghai SE fell 0.40%, Japan’s Nikkei decreased 0.64%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.97%, while South Korea’s Kospi modestly rose by 0.13%, and Australia’s ASX 200 closed down 0.22%.

U.S. stocks had a median performance on Friday. The Dow Jones set a new record, rising 0.15%, while the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged and the Nasdaq rose 0.35%. Wall Street digested comments from John Williams of the Fed on monetary policy, while U.S. industrial production saw a modest recovery. The housing and utilities sectors showed weaknesses, while software advanced.

Looking ahead to Monday’s corporate earnings, investors will be focused on the reports from Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Casey’s (NASDAQ:CASY), Blue Bird (NASDAQ:BLBD), and Inotiv (NASDAQ:NOTV).

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) – More agencies and state-backed companies in China are instructing employees not to use iPhones and foreign devices at work, as part of the government’s efforts to reduce dependence on foreign technologies and promote local products.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) – Nvidia ranks fifth on the list of most valuable companies in the U.S., with a market capitalization of $1.2 trillion. Broadcom climbed 16 positions in 2023 and broke into the top 10 for the first time, ranking 10th with a valuation of $527.7 billion. The rise of chip companies reflects the sector’s prominence due to demand for artificial intelligence. AMD rose 48 positions and now ranks 30th in terms of market capitalization, valued at $223.9 billion.

International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) – IBM plans to acquire StreamSets and webMethods platforms from Software AG for $2.33 billion to strengthen its artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud offerings. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.

Arm Holdings (NASDAQ:ARM) – Arm Holdings laid off more than 70 software engineers in China, following the semiconductor industry’s trend. The company is restructuring its resources to focus on supporting local developers while facing challenges related to technology exports and internal disputes.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) – Disney and Reliance are considering a merger of their media units in India, but the deal would likely face antitrust scrutiny due to the creation of a duopoly that could exert anti-competitive power in the Indian media and entertainment market.

Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) – Roku’s stock fell 2% in Monday’s pre-market trading to $94.04, following analysts at Seaport Research downgrading the media streaming company’s rating from “Neutral” to “Sell,” setting a target price of $75. This downgrade follows a similar action on Friday by analysts at MoffettNathanson, who stated that Roku’s shares had risen too quickly. On Friday, Roku’s stock had already fallen 6.8%, despite having risen 136% over the course of this year.

Anheuser-Busch Inbev (NYSE:BUD) – The Teamsters union announced that 99% of its members voted in favor of authorizing a strike at Anheuser-Busch breweries in the U.S. They are seeking a new agreement that includes better wages, job protection, and health and retirement benefits for their 5,000 members at the company’s 12 breweries. The current agreement ends on February 29, 2024.

Unilever (NYSE:UL) – Unilever will sell its beauty and personal care division, Elida Beauty, to private equity firm Yellow Wood Partners. The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, includes brands like Q-Tips and Brut, generating $1.02 billion in revenue in 2022. Unilever tried to sell Elida in 2021 but resumed the process in September. The sale is part of Unilever’s strategy to focus on its top 30 brands and reduce exposure in non-essential segments.

Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) – Illumina plans to divest Grail, a cancer diagnostic testing manufacturer, after facing regulatory challenges and pressure from investors, including Carl Icahn. The divestiture will occur through sale to third parties or a capital market transaction, with completion expected by the second quarter of 2024.

DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) – DocuSign, an electronic signature company, is considering a sale with strategic or private equity buyers. The discussions are in the early stages, and a leveraged buyout deal, potentially larger than the $12.5 billion for Qualtrics (NASDAQ:XM), is being explored. DocuSign’s shares fell 1% in Monday’s pre-market trading after rising 12% on Friday.

Uber (NYSE:UBER), Jabil (NYSE:JBL), Builders FirstSource (NYSE:BLDR) – Shares of Uber Technologies, Jabil, and Builders FirstSource are scheduled to debut in the S&P 500 on Monday.

UBS (NYSE:UBS) – UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti expressed doubts about central banks’ control over inflation, despite recent statements by the Federal Reserve about lower interest rates. He emphasized the importance of agility in the face of economic uncertainties and mentioned that UBS will cut 3,000 jobs in Switzerland following the acquisition of Credit Suisse.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) – JPMorgan Chase plans to make changes in senior leadership to help potential successors gain experience. The succession of CEO Jamie Dimon remains uncertain, with Jennifer Piepszak and Marianne Lake among the potential candidates. The changes may include new assignments before one of them takes full command.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) – Goldman Sachs predicts that the S&P 500 will reach 5,100 points by the end of 2024, citing the dovish tone of the Federal Reserve and improved financial conditions as supporting factors. They also highlight that the 5% earnings growth forecast for 2024 may be overly pessimistic due to favorable financial conditions. Additionally, Goldman Sachs downgraded its 2024 Brent oil forecast to $70-$90 per barrel, citing robust U.S. production. They anticipate a peak of $85 per barrel in June 2024 and an average of $81/$80 in 2024/2025. U.S. non-OPEC supply and other U.S. production factors influence this revision. OPEC will continue to control supply, and factors such as recovery in China and the U.S. will limit the downside risk in prices. Moreover, Goldman Sachs intends to expand its credit business in India, targeting the country’s wealthy diaspora and seeking opportunities in a growing economy, planning to widen its loan range and obtain a license to expand currency trading.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) – Wells Fargo, subsidiaries of Sun Life Financial, and investment firm P10 agreed to pay a total of $5.5 million to resolve the allegation that they inflated the cost of community development projects in Oregon, aiming to increase benefits from a state tax credit program. The companies did not admit wrongdoing but agreed to the settlement agreements.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) – Morgan Stanley is seeking to sell a $350 million loan made to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). The sale is part of the bank’s efforts to reduce its exposure to corporate loans and follows the trend of reducing capital-intensive assets as interest rates rise.

BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) – The U.S. House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed BlackRock and State Street (NYSE:STT) to provide documents related to the investigation into whether ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investment practices violate antitrust laws. Both companies will cooperate with the committee, which had previously subpoenaed Vanguard. Additionally, BlackRock will invest up to $400 million in Dubai-based decarbonization company Positive Zero through a diversified infrastructure fund. The investment aims to support energy transition projects in Gulf countries and help meet COP28 renewable energy targets.

Robinhood Markets (NASDAQ:HOOD) – Robinhood is attracting customers from other brokerages and seeks to expand its investor base beyond beginners. Since October 23, it has received approximately $1.1 billion in account transfers, offering a 1% match for transferred accounts.

Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) – The U.S. SEC rejected a petition by Coinbase to establish new rules in the digital asset sector, claiming that existing regulations apply to cryptocurrency. Coinbase will contest the decision in court.

KKR and Company (NYSE:KKR) – KKR announced that its credit funds have acquired a $7.2 billion recreational vehicle (RV) loan portfolio from BMO Bank National Association. The transaction aligns with KKR’s strategy of investing in private credits backed by diverse assets.

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