Passport to Wall Street http://www.pws.io/ pl-PL Copyright 2024, Passport to Wall Street 60 Market Update: Stocks Mixed as Powell Signals Higher-for-Longer Rates http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-rises-150-points-as-powell-signals-higher-for-longer-rates <p class='black-text'>Stocks were mixed Tuesday as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled that interest rates need to remain higher-for-longer. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed over 60 points, while the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Tuesday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.21% or -10.44 points to 5,051.42</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +0.17% or +63.66 points to 47,798.77</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.12% or -19.77 points to 15,865.25</p><p class='black-text'><b>Zoom In: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Powell said Tuesday that the U.S. economy has not seen improvement towards the central bank's goal for inflation despite its strength, signaling that interest rates may need to remain higher-for-longer to support growth long-term.</p><p class='black-text'>"More recent data shows solid growth and continued strength in the labor market, but also a lack of further progress so far this year on returning to our 2% inflation goal," Powell said during a policy forum on U.S.-Canada economic relations.</p><p class='black-text'>The Fed has mained its benchmark rate target range between 5.25% to 5.50% since July, its highest level in over two decades following 11 consecutive rate increases that began in March 2022.</p><p class='black-text'>"The recent data have clearly not given us greater confidence, and instead indicate that it's likely to take longer than expected to achieve that confidence," Powell added. "That said, we think policy is well positioned to handle the risks that we face."</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, Fed Governor Philip Jefferson said Tuesday that he expects inflation to continue to ease in response to the central bank's restrictive policy.</p><p class='black-text'>"My baseline outlook continues to be that inflation will decline further, with the policy rate held steady at its current level, and that the labor market will remain strong, with labor demand and supply continuing to rebalance," Jefferson said in a discussion panel. "Of course, the outlook is still quite uncertain, and if incoming data suggest that inflation is more persistent than I currently expect is to be, it will be appropriate to hold in place the current restrictive stance of policy for longer."</p><p class='black-text'><b>In Economic News: </b></p><p class='black-text'>U.S. housing starts and building permits came in below expectations in March, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. New construction of privately owned homes totaled a seasonally adjusted 1.32 million for the month, decreasing by 14.7% from February and a 4.3% year-over-year. Meanwhile, permits declined by 4.3% month-to-month to 1.46 million.</p><p class='black-text'><b>On the Earnings Front: </b></p><p class='black-text'><b>UnitedHealth Group </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UHG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UHG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UHG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UHG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UHG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, offering an encouraging sign that the insurance company is recovering well after the cyberattack on its subsidiary Change Healthcare. The company said the total impact of the cyberattack in the first quarter was $0.74 per share and expects full-year impact to be between $1.15 and $1.35 per share.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Morgan Stanley </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also reported strong first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, driven by better-than-expected wealth management, trading and investment banking revenues, echoing similar results from peers like JPMorgan <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Citigroup <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. <b>Bank of America</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BAC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BAC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also saw similar trends in its first quarter, as well as strong interest income and investment banking revenues.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Johnson & Johnson </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also delivered better-than-expected first-quarter results on Tuesday, with its medical devices unit's sales topping expectations. However, J&J narrowed its full-year guidance, with sales expected to be between $88 billion to $88.4 billion, down from a previous forecast of $87.8 billion to $88.6 billion. The company's adjusted earnings was also changed to now be a range of $10.57 to $10.72 per share.</p><p class='black-text'><b>For Wednesday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Investors will respond to the release of the Fed Beige Book, as well as earnings reports from companies including United Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, ASML Holding <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ASML"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ASML</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ASML" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ASML" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ASML" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, U.S. Bancorp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="USB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and The Travelers Companies <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TRV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TRV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TRV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TRV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TRV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-rises-150-points-as-powell-signals-higher-for-longer-rates Tue, 16 Apr 2024 13:09:20 -0400 Rachel Hemple Department Of Justice May Echo Taylor Swift's 'Look What You Made Me Do' In Case Against Ticketmaster: Report http://www.pws.io/department-of-justice-may-echo-taylor-swifts-look-what-you-made-me-do-in-case-against-ticketmaster-r <p class='black-text'>Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation Entertainment <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LYV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LYV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LYV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LYV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LYV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> could soon have "Bad Blood" with the Department of Justice, thanks to a suit stemming from the record breaking concert tour of Taylor Swift.</p><p class='black-text'><b>What Happened:</b> Live Nation, one of the world's largest entertainment companies, owns Ticketmaster, operates hundreds of global music venues, and manages artists.</p><p class='black-text'>Those divisions combined along with attention put on the company for its high fees and consumers not being able to get tickets to Swift's "The Eras Tour" have led to an investigation by the Department of Justice.</p><p class='black-text'>A lawsuit by the Department of Justice against Live Nation could be filed as soon as next month, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.</p><p class='black-text'>The potential lawsuit could put pressure on the leading entertainment company over concerns of having too dominant a position in the ticketing market.</p><p class='black-text'>Ticketmaster has faced anticompetitive concerns from members of Congress and several state attorneys general, according to the report.</p><p class='black-text'>Ticketmaster's website crashed during a fan presale for tickets for Swift's tour, which led to increased attention to the company's ticketing process. The concerns over fans not being able to get tickets to the tour may have led to increased attention by the Department of Justice.</p><p class='black-text'>For its part, Live Nation has defended its practices and said that it does not have a monopoly. The company's head of corporate affairs Dan Wall recently said Ticketmaster prices are set by artists and their teams and not Ticketmaster. He added that the majority of the fees go to venues, a crucial detail given Live Nation's ownership of many such venues, which could become a focal point in the DOJ lawsuit.</p><p class='black-text'>When counting the largest venues in the U.S., Ticketmaster has around an 80% market share for primary ticket sales according to the report, which includes in many cases exclusive ticketing contracts.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Why It's Important:</b> Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged together in 2010 to form Live Nation Entertainment.</p><p class='black-text'>The Department of Justice did not challenge the merger in 2010 according to the report, which served as a surprise to some at the time.</p><p class='black-text'>Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was among those who called out the merger when discussing the concerns over ticket problems for Swift's tour in 2022.</p><p class='black-text'>"Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, its merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Nov. 15, 2022.</p><p class='black-text'>Competition could become a key point in the potential lawsuit.</p><p class='black-text'>"Ticketmaster has more competition today than it has ever had, and the deal terms with venues show it has nothing close to monopoly power," a Ticketmaster spokeswoman said, as shared by the Journal.</p><p class='black-text'>As part of the 2010 merger, a settlement was reached that prevented the combined company from retaliating against artists or venues that chose to use other ticketing services. The settlement that was set to expire in 2020 was extended through 2025.</p><p class='black-text'>The investigation by the DOJ may have found violations of the revised settlement.</p><p class='black-text'>The popularity of Swift and her record-breaking tour have thrust Ticketmaster into the spotlight, often casting it in a negative light for many. Country artist Zach Bryan added to the attention with his 2022 live album titled "All My Homies Hate Ticketmaster."</p><p class='black-text'>Ticketmaster is trending on social media Tuesday, with many quick to celebrate a potential breakup of the company or rules that will lower the fees that many concert goers have been paying for years.</p><p class='black-text'><b>LYV Price Action: </b>Live Nation shares are down 7% to $92.81 on Tuesday, versus a 52-week trading range of $64.96 to $107.24.</p> http://www.pws.io/department-of-justice-may-echo-taylor-swifts-look-what-you-made-me-do-in-case-against-ticketmaster-r Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:22:22 -0400 Benzinga News Caitlin Clark Is No. 1 Pick In WNBA Draft: Media Stocks, Sportsbooks To Watch As Iowa Star Goes Pro http://www.pws.io/caitlin-clark-is-no-1-pick-in-wnba-draft-media-stocks-sportsbooks-to-watch-as-iowa-star-goes-pro <p class='black-text'>Two-time national women's college basketball player of the year Caitlin Clark is the top overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft.</p><p class='black-text'><b>What Happened: </b>Clark, who played for the Hawkeyes at the University of Iowa, dominated the stat sheets in the NCAA. She also helped women's basketball generate impressive television viewership.</p><p class='black-text'>The Indiana Fever now hopes that Clark, the team's first-overall pick in the draft lottery, will help generate enough wins to get back into the WNBA playoffs.</p><p class='black-text'>The Fever had back-to-back top picks overall. But the team has not reached the WNBA Playoffs since 2016 and last won the league championship in 2012.</p><p class='black-text'>Struggles persisted since the retirement of former WNBA star Tamika Catchings (2016), according to ESPN.</p><p class='black-text'>Aliyah Boston (South Carolina) was drafted first overall in 2023 and won WNBA Rookie of the Year. With the combined star power of Boston and Clark, hopes are high for next season.</p><p class='black-text'>In the 2023 WNBA season, the Fever finished 10th out of 12 teams with a 13-27 record overall. The team finished last in the league in 2022 with a 5-31 record.</p><p class='black-text'>For the WNBA, the draft lottery takes the four teams with the worst records over the last two combined seasons and holds a drawing to see who wins the top pick. The Fever had a 44.2% chance of winning the lottery.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Incoming Viewership Boost: </b>While at Iowa, Clark helped set records for women's basketball viewership several times during the 2023-2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.</p><p class='black-text'>This includes the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship game hitting an average of 18.9 million viewers on The Walt Disney Company <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> owned ABC.</p><p class='black-text'>The game peaked at 24.1 million viewers and the 18.9 million average outdrew the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game (14.8 million average).</p><p class='black-text'>After only having 22 of their 40 2023 games nationally televised, the Fever will see the figure significantly lifted to 36 of their 40 games for the 2024 season thanks to the highly anticipated first season of Clark.</p><p class='black-text'>Media partners of the WNBA could benefit with Clark's debut season and the likely strong viewership that comes with it.</p><p class='black-text'>Disney will air eight games across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, including the May 14 opening game. ESPN aired one Fever game last year. ABC didn't air any games.</p><p class='black-text'>Ion, owned by E.W. Scripps Company <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SSP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SSP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SSP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SSP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SSP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, will air eight Fever games for the 2024 WNBA season.</p><p class='black-text'>CBS, which is a unit of Paramount Global <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PARA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PARA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PARA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PARA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PARA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, will air three Fever games during the season.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon.com Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> owned Prime Video will air four Fever games during the season.</p><p class='black-text'>NBA-owned streaming platform, NBA TV, will air the Fever 13 times during the season.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Betting Odds:</b> Sportsbooks are enjoying a boost in interest thanks to women's college basketball games. Many reported record betting figures during the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament thanks to Clark.</p><p class='black-text'>Several sportsbooks have odds out for the upcoming WNBA season.</p><p class='black-text'>DraftKings Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DKNG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DKNG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DKNG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DKNG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DKNG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> lists the Fever with the fifth-best odds to win the 2024 WNBA Championship at +2,000. The sportsbook also has a win total listed at 21.5 for the Fever. That's more wins than the team had in the past two combined seasons.</p><p class='black-text'>At Flutter Entertainment's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FLUT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FLUT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FLUT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FLUT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FLUT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> FanDuel, odds of Clark winning MVP of the 2024 WNBA season are listed at +1,200. That's fourth best among players. Clark is also the favorite to win WNBA Rookie of the Year for the 2024 season with odds of -950.</p> http://www.pws.io/caitlin-clark-is-no-1-pick-in-wnba-draft-media-stocks-sportsbooks-to-watch-as-iowa-star-goes-pro Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:22:07 -0400 Benzinga News Johnson & Johnson Shows Focus On Strengthening Its Business Upon Its Consumer Health Unit Spinoff http://www.pws.io/johnson-johnson-shows-focus-on-strengthening-its-business-upon-its-consumer-health-unit-spinoff <p class='black-text'>On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> delivered a rather mixed first quarter report. Adjusted earnings surpassed estimates as sales in its medical devices business surged, while revenue was almost in line with estimates. First quarter results came shortly after JNJ's expansion in the cardiovascular space with the $13.1 billion acquisition of heart device firm Shockwave Medical Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SWAV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SWAV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SWAV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SWAV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SWAV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>First Quarter Highlights</b></p><p class='black-text'>For the period ended in March, the healthcare company posted a revenue of $21.38 billion, almost in line with LSEG's estimate of $21.4 billion. During the first three months of the year, revenue rose more than 2% YoY. JNJ reported a net income of $5.35 billion, or $2.20 per share, with adjusted income amounting to $2.71, surpassing LSEG's estimate of $2.64. It is quite a difference compared to last year's comparable quarter when JNJ posted a net loss due to costs related to its controversial talc baby powder liabilities that led to the spinoff of its consumer health unit. This quarter's success is owed to the thriving medical devices business that brought $7.82 to the revenue table, rising more than 4% on a YoY basis, with JNJ attributing the YoY rise to the acquisition of Abiomed.</p><p class='black-text'>On a less bright note, JNJ reported weak sales of vision care products and surgical devices. Vision products unit reported sales dropped 3.3% to $1.26 billion, but JNJ is confident that there will be tremendous improvement going forward.</p><p class='black-text'><b>JNJ is also going strong against cancer</b></p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, pharmaceutical sales brought in sales of $13.56 billion and grew about 1% YoY. However, the segment was brought down by its unpopular Covid vaccine as without it, pharmaceutical sales grew almost 7%. This growth is greatly owed to its cancer drugs, namely Darzalex, that treats multiple myeloma, and Erleada, a treatment forprostate cancer treatmet, along with other other oncology treatments such as Carvykti, a cell therapy that has been approved for a certain blood cancer. Analysts expect Dazalex to bring in sales of more than $11 billion this year, followed by Carvykti with $1.15 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>For two years now, JNJ has been making quite a few pushes into the cardiovascular space to strengthen the medical devices business upon the split from the consumer unit, as before Shockwave Medical, it already got Abiomed andLaminar. During the reported quarter, medical devices unit reported revenue of $7.82 billion boosted by strong demand for Abiomed heart pumps, as well as devices used in wound closure surgeries, but analysts expected $7.88 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>But, the latest quarter shows it is also strengthening its position in the cancer battle, joining the efforts of Pfizer Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Moderna Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> who are also turning to oncology to fight falling sales of Covid products. Both Pfizer and Moderna are betting big on cancer drugs to turn business around. Pfizer acquired the cancer drug maker specialist Seagen, thanks to which it expects to have at least eight blockbuster medicines by the end of the decade. Pfizer is going against four main types of cancer: breast cancer; genitourinary cancer, thoracic cancer, and hematology-oncology cancer.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, Moderna developed an individualized cancer vaccine with Merck.</p><p class='black-text'>Last year, Moderna reported mid-stage results of the combined treatment that were promising against melanoma. Last week, Moderna reported the treatment showed a positive response in an early-stage trial also in patients suffering from a type of head and neck cancer. Unsurprisingly, Moderna shares rose to a three month high upon the news last Tuesday.</p><p class='black-text'><b>A Narrowed Full Year Guidance</b></p><p class='black-text'>JNJ guided for full year sales between $88 billion to $88.4 billion, narrowing down its prior range from $87.8 billion to $88.6 billion. As for adjusted earnings, JNJ provided a range between $10.57 and $10.72 per share, also narrowing down its prior forecast that was between $10.55 and $10.75. However, considering that the acquisition of Shockwave Medical is expected to close in the middle of the year, it will undoubtedly alter JNJ's full year guidance.</p><p class='black-text'>JNJ is often viewed as a reflection of the healthcare industry trends. With its latest results, the pharmaceutical giant showed the sector is determined in finally winning the battle against cancer.</p><p class='black-text'><i>DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investing advice.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/johnson-johnson-shows-focus-on-strengthening-its-business-upon-its-consumer-health-unit-spinoff Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:13:51 -0400 Benzinga News Broadcom, Marvell, Analog Devices And More Semiconductor Stocks Poised For 6%-8% Revenue Growth: JPMorgan http://www.pws.io/broadcom-marvell-analog-devices-and-more-semiconductor-stocks-poised-for-6-8-revenue-growth-jpmorgan <p class='black-text'>JPMorgan analyst Harlan Sur shares an optimistic outlook for the semiconductor industry in anticipation of the Q1 earnings season.</p><p class='black-text'>The sector, including semiconductors, semiconductor capital equipment (semicap), and chip design software (EDA/IP), has continued to outperform broader indices YTD. The iShares Semiconductor ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SOXX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SOXX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SOXX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SOXX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SOXX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is up 12.12%, as compared to the benchmark S&P 500 Index which is up 7.41% YTD.</p><p class='black-text'>The outperformance has been fueled by expectations of cyclical bottoming and positive earnings revisions.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Key Trends Driving Semiconductor Growth</b></p><p class='black-text'>"From an industry perspective, we expect semi industry revenue to improve 6-8% Y/Y in 2024 ...following an 8-10% decline in CY23," said Sur. Key trends that he sees driving this performance include:</p><p class='black-text'><ul><li><b>Accelerated Compute and AI Demand: </b>Sur highlights the ongoing trend of accelerated compute and AI demand. Industry bookings and an improving supply-demand balance support stand as catalysts here and are expected to persist into 2024/2025.</li><li><b>Auto and Industrial Recovery:</b> Sur also pointed to signs of recovery in the auto and industrial segments, with this quarter likely marking the bottom of the cycle. He anticipates positive order trends and a more synchronized recovery across different end markets.</li><li><b>Memory Industry Upswing: </b>Sur notes the memory industry's positive momentum, driven by strong pricing and demand trends. Memory content gains from AI and accelerated compute deployments, along with supply disruptions, are expected to drive higher pricing.</li></ul><b>Top Picks From The Semiconductor Space Ahead Of Q1 Earnings</b></p><p class='black-text'><ul><li><b>Semiconductors:</b> Sur highlights Broadcom Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AVGO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AVGO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AVGO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AVGO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AVGO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Marvell Technology Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRVL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRVL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRVL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRVL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MRVL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Micron Technology Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Analog Devices, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ADI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ADI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ADI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ADI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ADI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Microchip Technology Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCHP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCHP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCHP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCHP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCHP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as top picks in the semiconductor space.</li><li><b>Semiconductor Capital Equipment (Semicap):</b> KLA Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KLAC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KLAC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KLAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KLAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KLAC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> stands out as the top pick in semicap space. Sur sees near-term fundamentals beginning to improve for KLA and set to grow in the second half of the year.</li><li><b>Chip Design Software (EDA/IP):</b> Sur recognized Synopsys Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNPS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNPS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNPS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNPS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNPS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as a top pick in chip design software. The company should be driven by strengthening demand and strong growth prospects due to increasing chip design complexity and AI infrastructure build-out.</li></ul>With accelerating demand trends, recovering auto and industrial segments, and a resurgence in the memory industry, the semiconductor sector presents compelling investment opportunities for those looking to capitalize on the ongoing tech-driven transformation.</p> http://www.pws.io/broadcom-marvell-analog-devices-and-more-semiconductor-stocks-poised-for-6-8-revenue-growth-jpmorgan Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:13:37 -0400 Benzinga News Boeing Investors Favor 'Clear Favorite Candidate' For CEO As Market Challenges Persist http://www.pws.io/boeing-investors-favor-clear-favorite-candidate-for-ceo-as-market-challenges-persist <p class='black-text'>As Boeing Co <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> continues to tread a turbulent trajectory, with its stock down 32% YTD, investors are getting more anxious with each passing day. Now, with the company reporting in 8 days, investors and analysts are pivoting their attention to its Q1 earnings.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Boeing's New CEO Appointment - A Pivotal Moment</b></p><p class='black-text'>In a note, RBC Capital Market analyst Ken Herbert highlights the critical decision Boeing faces in appointing its new CEO.</p><p class='black-text'>While mentioning Larry Culp, Pat Shanahan, and Wes Bush as the top candidates for the position, Herbert identifies Culp as the "clear favorite" among investors for Boeing's future. According to Herbert, Culp's leadership could mark the beginning of a new era, focusing on crucial aspects like balance sheet management, execution improvement, and restoring confidence among customers and suppliers.</p><p class='black-text'>Herbert rates the stock Outperform, while reducing his price target from $225 to $215.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Boeing Has Been Facing A Turbulent Trajectory</b></p><p class='black-text'>The last six analyst review and ratings on Boeing stock (since April 8) have seen price targets for the stock being reduced. See details here.</p><p class='black-text'>Investor anticipation is high, recognizing the potential for a significant stock catalyst upon the CEO announcement.</p><p class='black-text'>Boeing has consistently made headlines since January. On April 9, Benzinga reported on the series of events that have influenced Boeing's stock performance since then.</p><p class='black-text'>In just the past few days, new developments have emerged that continue to impact the stock and heighten investor concerns.</p><p class='black-text'><ul><li>April 12: Southwest Faces Further Reductions In Expected Boeing Jet Deliveries: Report</li><li>April 15: Delta Flight Returns To Atlanta After Takeoff: Boeing 757 'Yawing Aggressively'</li><li>April 16: Boeing Severs Ties With Lobbying Firm Involved In 737 Max Crisis Management: Report</li></ul>Consequently, the stock is down 3.8% over the past 5 days.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Boeing's Operational (In)Efficiency Concerns BofA Securities' Analyst</b></p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, BofA Securities' Ronald J. Epstein drew attention to Boeing's recent delivery pace. Per Aero Analysis Partners/AIR, Boeing delivered only three 737s by mid-April amid ongoing FAA inspections. Concerns loom over the company's operational efficiency.</p><p class='black-text'>While Boeing grapples with market share losses and reputational risks, BofA maintains a Neutral stance on the stock, acknowledging both the company's participation in the aerospace recovery and its challenges. Epstein has a price target of $190 on the stock, implying an upside of 12%.</p><p class='black-text'>As Boeing undergoes management transitions and faces government investigations, investors are confronted with balancing short-term uncertainties against the long-term prospects of global air travel demand.</p><p class='black-text'><b>BA Price Action:</b> Boeing stock was up 1.05% at $169.59 at the time of publication Tuesday.</p> http://www.pws.io/boeing-investors-favor-clear-favorite-candidate-for-ceo-as-market-challenges-persist Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:13:22 -0400 Benzinga News Goldman Sachs Boasts 'Near-Perfect' Q1 Results, 5 Analysts Zero In On 'Core Strengths' http://www.pws.io/goldman-sachs-boasts-near-perfect-q1-results-5-analysts-zero-in-on-core-strengths <p class='black-text'>Goldman Sachs Group Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and other financial stocks have been in focus as some of the sector's biggest banks report first-quarter results.</p><p class='black-text'>Here are some key analyst takeaways from Goldman Sachs' release.</p><p class='black-text'><ul><li><b>Argus Research </b>analyst Stephen Biggar upgraded the rating to Buy, while keeping the price target unchanged at $465.</li><li><b>JPMorgan</b> analyst Kian Abouhossein reiterated an Overweight rating, while raising the price target from $424 to $433.</li><li><b>BMO Capital Markets </b>analyst James Fotheringham maintained a Market Perform rating, while lifting the price target from $349 to $360.</li><li><b>Keefe, Bruyette & Woods</b> analyst David Konrad reaffirmed an Outperform rating and price target of $485.</li><li><b>Oppenheimer </b>analyst Chris Kotowski reiterated an Outperform rating and price target of $479.</li></ul><b>Argus Research: </b>Goldman Sachs' first-quarter results demonstrated the "considerable strengths" of its franchise "during an investment banking upturn," Biggar said in the upgrade note. The current spike in the investment banking environment "appears to have staying power," he added.</p><p class='black-text'>Although the recent exit from several consumer businesses produced "significant losses" for Goldman Sachs, it removes a headline risk and "allows management to refocus on core strengths in capital markets," the analyst wrote. He further stated that the consensus estimates for 2024 are likely to be revised "considerably higher."</p><p class='black-text'><b>JPMorgan: </b>Goldman Sachs reported strong quarterly results, with Equities continuing to gain market share, Abouhossein said in a note.</p><p class='black-text'>The analyst raised the earnings estimates for 2024 and 2025 from $32.54 per share to $34.88 per share and from $34.69 per share to $36.75 per share, respectively, citing "higher revenues, lower provisions only partly offset by higher costs." He also raised the 2024 share buyback forecasts to $3.75 billion.</p><p class='black-text'><b>BMO Capital Markets: </b>Goldman Sachs' core earnings of $11.49 per share came ahead of the consensus of $8.69 per share, with "higher-than-expected GB&M revenues more than offset higher compensation costs and lower A&WM contribution," Fotheringham said.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Keefe, Bruyette & Woods:</b> Goldman Sachs reported core revenues of $14.2 billion, ahead of the estimate of $12.7 billion, Konrad said. He added, however, that core expenses of $8.56 billion was higher than expected, due to higher revenue related compensation expenses.</p><p class='black-text'>"Importantly, On-Balance sheet investments reduced $2.2B Q/Q," the analyst wrote.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Oppenheimer:</b> Goldman Sachs delivered a "near-perfect print," demonstrating its "strong operating leverage to increased market activity," Kotowski said.</p><p class='black-text'>"While Goldman cautions that its investment banking backlog fell in the quarter because of 1Q's strong transaction volumes, we do still think that private equity sponsors remain relatively inactive and that there is considerable upside to activity levels from here over time," he added.</p><p class='black-text'><b>GS Price Action: </b>Shares of Goldman Sachs had declined by 0.57% to $398.59 at the time of publication on Tuesday.</p> http://www.pws.io/goldman-sachs-boasts-near-perfect-q1-results-5-analysts-zero-in-on-core-strengths Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:13:06 -0400 Benzinga News Charles Schwab Positions For 'More Robust EPS Growth': Analysts Weigh In On Q1 Results http://www.pws.io/charles-schwab-positions-for-more-robust-eps-growth-analysts-weigh-in-on-q1-results <p class='black-text'>Charles Schwab Corporation <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SCHW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SCHW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SCHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SCHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SCHW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares remained volatile in early trading on Tuesday, after the company reported its first-quarter earnings.</p><p class='black-text'>The results came amid an exciting earnings season. Here are some key analyst takeaways.</p><p class='black-text'><b>JPMorgan On Charles Schwab</b></p><p class='black-text'>Analyst Kenneth Worthington reiterated an Overweight rating while raising the price target from $86 to $89.</p><p class='black-text'>Charles Schwab reported its first-quarter earnings at 74 cents per share, "a penny ahead of our expectation, with better net interest income and better cost management," Worthington said in a note.</p><p class='black-text'>Expenses were lower in the first quarter, driven mainly by compensation, "as we think business efficiency efforts from late 2023 showed through," the analyst wrote. "The final part of Ameritrade cost synergies remains on track for 2H24, setting up 2025 for another period of no- to low-expense growth," he added.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Piper Sandler On Charles Schwab</b></p><p class='black-text'>Analyst Patrick Moley reiterated an Overweight rating while lifting the price target from $78 to $85.</p><p class='black-text'>Charles Schwab reported net revenues of $4.74 billion, "with NII, Asset Management, BDA fees & Trading revenues all beating our forecast," Moley said. The firm delivered "all around solid metrics for March," he added.</p><p class='black-text'>"April tax seasonality and the upcoming migration of SCHW's last tranche of legacy AMTD customers in May will likely weigh on transactional cash balances and NNA growth in the short term, but overall we feel SCHW is very close to the end of its cash sorting and AMTD related customer attrition issues," the analyst further wrote.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Goldman Sachs On Charles Schwab</b></p><p class='black-text'>Analyst Alexander Blostein maintained a Neutral rating while raising the price target from $72 to $76.</p><p class='black-text'>"SCHW's core deposits showed stability for the second month in a row, and while we expect deposits to decline amid April tax seasonality and any residual sorting over the next few months, we see a path to a more stable deposit base in 2H24," Blostein wrote in a note.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite the "encouraging client KPIs and a more favorable macro backdrop," the follow-through to average earning assets (AEA) growth may be limited "until wholesale funding balances are paid down," the analyst stated. "Still, we continue to see NII inflecting higher, positioning SCHW to a more robust EPS growth from here," he added.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Keefe, Bruyette & Woods On Charles Schwab</b></p><p class='black-text'>Analyst Kyle Voigt reaffirmed a Market Perform rating and price target of $75.</p><p class='black-text'>"Given strong levels of retail engagement across the industry, our expectation for improved NNA growth in March held true, with SCHW generating core NNA of $45 bln in March specifically," Voigt said. The analyst added, however, that this was expected to "drive some modest growth in transactional sweep cash, while fell modestly in the month to $399 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>"We also expected SCHW to post strong growth in margin balances in March, and this also occurred with margin balances increasing to $68.1 bln at March-end, although this is already relatively in line with our 2Q24 average estimate of $68.3 bln," Voigt further wrote.</p><p class='black-text'><b>SCHW Price Action: </b>Shares of Charles Schwab are up 1.32% to $72.11 at the time of publication on Tuesday.</p> http://www.pws.io/charles-schwab-positions-for-more-robust-eps-growth-analysts-weigh-in-on-q1-results Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:12:51 -0400 Benzinga News Homebuilder Stocks Tumble As Housing Starts Fall By 14.7%: 'A Poor Time To Buy A Home,' Says Economist http://www.pws.io/homebuilder-stocks-tumble-as-housing-starts-fall-by-147-a-poor-time-to-buy-a-home-says-economist <p class='black-text'>Homebuilder stocks face sharp declines as the SPDR Homebuilders ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XHB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XHB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XHB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XHB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XHB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> drops 1.8% in Tuesday's session, hitting its lowest level since Feb. 26, 2024, amid negative economic data.</p><p class='black-text'>From the start of the month, this performance gauge has fallen approximately 10%, marking the first market correction since September 2023 after a significant 60% rally in the six months leading up to late March.</p><p class='black-text'>Tuesday's worst performers among U.S. homebuilder stocks were Installed Building Products, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IBP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IBP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IBP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IBP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="IBP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, TopBuild Corp. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Dream Finders Homes, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DFH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DFH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DFH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DFH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DFH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Sharp Decline in Housing Starts Signals Market Cooling</b></p><p class='black-text'>In the U.S., housing starts in March 2024 saw a dramatic month-over-month decrease of 14.7%, reaching an annualized rate of 1.321 million.</p><p class='black-text'>This figure not only represents the steepest drop since April 2020, but also sits substantially below the anticipated 1.48 million, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.</p><p class='black-text'>The decline spans across single-family homes, which decreased by 12.4% to 1.022 million, and units in buildings with five or more units, which fell by 20.8% to 290,000.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Regional Breakdown:</b></p><p class='black-text'><ul><li>Northeast: Decreased by 36% to 80,000</li><li>Midwest: Decreased by 23% to 157,000</li><li>South: Decreased by 17.8% to 736,000</li><li>West: Increased by 7.1% to 348,000</li></ul><b>Building Permits Also Show Decrease</b></p><p class='black-text'>March 2024 building permits dropped by 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.458 million, reversing a 2.3% rise in February and missing forecasts of 1.514 million.</p><p class='black-text'>This marks the lowest level since July of the previous year. Single-family authorizations also declined by 5.7% to a five-month low of 973,000.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Regional Insights:</b></p><p class='black-text'><ul><li>South: Slight decrease of 0.6% to 771,000</li><li>Midwest: Sharp decrease of 14.7% to 197,000</li><li>Northeast: Steep decline of 20.8% to 160,000</li><li>West: Gained 5.1% to 330,000</li></ul><b>Analyst Insights: Slowing Growth and Future Concerns</b></p><p class='black-text'>Jeffrey Roach, chief economist for LPL Financial, highlights that housing starts dropped in March and "are starting to show cracks in the pace of growth."</p><p class='black-text'>The economist expects significant slowing, particularly in multifamily construction. He warns that the decline in building permits suggests a future slowdown in building activity.</p><p class='black-text'>"Housing construction is poised to slow as potential homebuyers indicate now is a poor time to buy a home. Investors should expect residential investment becoming a drag on GDP growth in the coming quarters," Roach wrote.</p><p class='black-text'>Bill Adams, chief economist for Comerica Bank, points out the impact of high interest rates, especially on the credit-intensive multifamily segment. Despite a year-over-year increase in starts and permits in the first quarter, the sector shows clear signs of cooling due to rising borrowing costs.</p><p class='black-text'>"In the first quarter as a whole, housing starts rose 2.1% from a year earlier but fell an annualized 17.5% from the fourth quarter of 2023. Building permits rose 4.6% on the year in the first quarter and were up 1.1% annualized on the quarter," he stated.</p><p class='black-text'>The multifamily segment of homebuilding is experiencing the most significant slowdown. Typically, these developments are intended for leasing and depend on long-term debt financing.</p><p class='black-text'>However, as the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates, the cost of this financing has risen sharply.</p><p class='black-text'>Bottom line, the housing market faces continued pressure from rising mortgage rates and economic uncertainty, and the homebuilding sector's recent downturn might signal a broader cooling.</p><p class='black-text'>With experts predicting residential investment to drag on GDP growth, the market may not stabilize until the Federal Reserve adjusts its monetary policy.</p><p class='black-text'>Homebuilders and investors should brace for challenging quarters ahead as potential homebuyers are increasingly viewing this period as a poor time to buy a home.</p> http://www.pws.io/homebuilder-stocks-tumble-as-housing-starts-fall-by-147-a-poor-time-to-buy-a-home-says-economist Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:12:36 -0400 Benzinga News Meta's Threads Introduces Real-Time 'Recent' Filter to Enhance Search Experience http://www.pws.io/metas-threads-introduces-real-time-recent-filter-to-enhance-search-experience <p class='black-text'>Meta Platforms Inc's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/META"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">META</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="META" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Threads is introducing a "Recent" filter for sorting search results by the most recent posts, as revealed by Instagram's head, Adam Mosseri, on Monday.</p><p class='black-text'>This new feature is part of a "limited test" currently available to a select group of users.</p><p class='black-text'>The initiative aims to facilitate users' finding relevant search outcomes in real-time, addressing the need for timely and up-to-date content, TechCrunch reports.</p><p class='black-text'>A participant in this test shared that the search results now feature "Top" and "Recent" filters. The latter is not strictly chronological but offers a more relevant alternative for accessing the latest posts than the "Top" filter.</p><p class='black-text'>The introduction of this feature follows an accidental deployment earlier in the year, where Threads momentarily allowed users to sort search results based on recency.</p><p class='black-text'>At the time, Meta described it as an "internal prototype" that was mistakenly made accessible to a limited audience.</p><p class='black-text'>Mosseri previously expressed concerns over implementing a real-time search feature despite the potential benefits, highlighting the risk of creating a "safety loophole."</p><p class='black-text'>He explained that spammers and malicious actors could easily exploit a chronological listing of every post containing specific words or tags, thereby cluttering the platform with undesirable content.</p><p class='black-text'>Recently, Meta declared it would shut down its Threads service in Turkey on April 29 due to a provisional directive by the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA). Meta's introduction of Threads to the European Union has been postponed, impacted by the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which has placed new regulatory pressures on Meta and similar tech giants.</p><p class='black-text'>Meta stock gained 129% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEL XLC) and Fidelity MSCI Communication Services Index ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FCOM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FCOM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FCOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FCOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FCOM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action:</b> META shares are trading lower by 0.39% at $498.30 premarket on the last check Tuesday.</p> http://www.pws.io/metas-threads-introduces-real-time-recent-filter-to-enhance-search-experience Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:12:21 -0400 Benzinga News Is Apple About To Disappoint Investors With Q2 Print? Analyst Flags 2 Factors Weakening iPhone Maker http://www.pws.io/is-apple-about-to-disappoint-investors-with-q2-print-analyst-flags-2-factors-weakening-iphone-maker <p class='black-text'>Apple, Inc.'s <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> fundamentals have been on an extended lean run and the company may not have succeeded in turning things around in the March quarter, going by comments from an analyst at Needham on Tuesday.</p><p class='black-text'><b>The Apple Analyst:</b> Laura Martin maintained a Buy rating and $220 price target for Apple stock, which implied an upside potential of over 27% from current levels.</p><p class='black-text'><b>The Apple Thesis: </b>Citing channel checks, Martin reduced her estimates for Apple's fiscal year 2024 second-quarter estimates, the analyst said in a note. The checks revealed lower iPhone sales and weakness in China, offset by slightly higher than previously expected iPad and Mac revenue, she said.</p><p class='black-text'>Needham now estimates second-quarter sales of $90.8 billion, marking a 4% year-over-year drop, and operating income before depreciation and amortization, of $31.1 billion, flat with the previous year. The firm said it reduced its earnings per share estimate by 7% to $1.51.</p><p class='black-text'>The consensus estimates call for earnings per share of $1.51 and revenue of $90.516, according to Benzinga Pro data.</p><p class='black-text'>Martin also said Needham's product revenue estimate for the quarter was taken down by 6% to $67.6 billion, marking a 9% year-over-year drop. The services segment revenue estimates were left unchanged at $23.3 billion, marking an 11% growth from a year ago.</p><p class='black-text'>"AAPL's anemic and/or negative growth outlook, along with expected cost increases to fund</p><p class='black-text'>GenAI, are the biggest gating factors preventing new investors from buying AAPL, based on our</p><p class='black-text'>conversations," Martin said.</p><p class='black-text'>The analyst's estimates for the product categories are as follows:</p><p class='black-text'><ul><li>iPhone: $46.6 billion: down 9% year-over-year and 9% below the firm's previous estimate, with unit sales expected at 51.8 million</li><li>iPad: $5.9 billion, down 12% year-over-year and 4% above the firm's previous estimate, with unit sales of about 11.7 million</li><li>Macs: $6.8 billion, down 5% year-over-year and 6% above the firm's previous estimate, with unit sales at about 7.15 million.</li><li>Wearables, Home and Accessories: $8.2 billion, down 6% year-over-year and unchanged from the previous estimate.</li></ul>As such, the analyst also lowered the estimates for 2024 and 2025.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Apple Price Action:</b> In premarket trading, Apple shares edged down 0.03% to $172.63, according to Benzinga Pro data.</p> http://www.pws.io/is-apple-about-to-disappoint-investors-with-q2-print-analyst-flags-2-factors-weakening-iphone-maker Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:12:00 -0400 Benzinga News GM To Make 4th HQ Move But Remains Sole 'Big Three' Automaker To Stay Put In Detroit http://www.pws.io/gm-to-make-4th-hq-move-but-remains-sole-big-three-automaker-to-stay-put-in-detroit <p class='black-text'>Detroit-based automaker General Motors Co. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced Monday it will relocate its global headquarters to a new downtown Detroit building in 2025. Unlike rivals Ford <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/F"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">F</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="F" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Chrysler <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/STLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">STLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="STLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="STLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="STLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, GM remains committed to the city.</p><p class='black-text'><b>What Happened: </b>GM's new headquarters at Hudson's will be located just a few blocks from its current headquarters at Renaissance Center. This move marks the automaker's fourth headquarters location in Detroit since 1911.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are proud to remain in the city of Detroit in a modern office building that fits the evolving needs of our workforce, right in the heart of downtown," said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra.</p><p class='black-text'>The new building will provide ample space for its teams as well as showcase areas for GM vehicles, she added.</p><p class='black-text'>The company has entered into an initial 15-year lease for several floors of the building, including showcase space on the street level for GM vehicles, according to a company statement.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Why It Matters: </b>The Big Three automakers - Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler - were all previously headquartered in Detroit, earning the city its nickname "Motor City."</p><p class='black-text'>Ford and Chrysler have since moved their headquarters to Dearborn and Auburn Hills in Michigan, respectively. With this move, GM will be the only remaining automaker with its headquarters within Detroit city limits.</p> http://www.pws.io/gm-to-make-4th-hq-move-but-remains-sole-big-three-automaker-to-stay-put-in-detroit Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:10:25 -0400 Benzinga News IMF Expects Lower Interest Rates Unless Middle East Conflict Escalates: 'There Will Be Higher Inflation, Lower Output' http://www.pws.io/imf-expects-lower-interest-rates-unless-middle-east-conflict-escalates-there-will-be-higher-inflatio <p class='black-text'>The U.S. economy is projected to outshine its advanced counterparts in the coming years with a notable upward revision in its growth forecasts, according to the April 2024 World Economic Outlook.</p><p class='black-text'>The forecast predicts a 2.7% growth for the U.S. in 2024 - an improvement by 0.6 percentage points from January's projections.</p><p class='black-text'>For 2025, growth is expected at 1.9%, marking a 0.2 percentage point increase from earlier estimates. This expansion is partially driven by decreasing inflation rates and consequent reductions in interest rates by the Federal Reserve.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Labor Markets and Inflation: </b>The Washington-based institution highlights the resilience of the U.S. labor market and favorable macroeconomic conditions as key drivers of this economic uptick.</p><p class='black-text'>These conditions, bolstered by past fiscal stimuli and strong private consumption, continue to exert upward pressure on underlying inflation despite overall improvements.</p><p class='black-text'>Globally, the economy is anticipated to maintain a steady growth rate of 3.2% from 2024 to 2025 (similar to 2023's figures). Both headline and core inflation are expected to decline steadily.</p><p class='black-text'>"As inflation converges toward target levels and central banks pivot toward policy easing," the IMF notes a forecasted dip in the Federal Reserve's policy rate from the current 5.4% to 4.6%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Impact of Artificial Intelligence, Office Real Estate Crisis: </b>Advanced economies are poised to benefit from artificial intelligence (AI) advancements.</p><p class='black-text'>AI could impact approximately 60% of the workforce, with half potentially seeing increased productivity and wages, and the other half facing reduced labor demand and earnings.</p><p class='black-text'>On the real estate front, the commercial/office market "is under especially strong pressure" in some economies, with the shift to remote work and higher borrowing costs leading to increased defaults and decreased investments.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Middle East Crisis: </b>The ongoing conflict between Gaza and Israel poses a significant risk of escalating further, potentially affecting the broader Middle East region.</p><p class='black-text'>Such a scenario could trigger a moderate 15% hike in oil prices and a dramatic 150% rise in shipping costs, predominantly impacting Asia-to-Europe routes.</p><p class='black-text'>This would lead to a global inflation increase of nearly 70 basis points in 2024 and maintain a 25 basis point rise into 2025.</p><p class='black-text'>As inflation rises, major central bank would resort to tightening policies again.</p><p class='black-text'>"Monetary policy tightens relative to baseline, with rates in both advanced economies and emerging markets about 30 to 40 basis points higher in 2025," the IMF wrote.</p><p class='black-text'>Consequently, global economic activity could diminish by up to 0.4% by 2025, with advanced economies, particularly Europe, feeling a larger impact due to higher shipping costs.</p><p class='black-text'>While current global growth projections are optimistic, the IMF remains vigilant about the potential adverse scenarios stemming from an escalation in the Middle East. "There will be higher inflation, lower output," stated Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, IMF Chief Economist, during a press conference.</p> http://www.pws.io/imf-expects-lower-interest-rates-unless-middle-east-conflict-escalates-there-will-be-higher-inflatio Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:10:04 -0400 Benzinga News Bank of America's Q1 Consumer Banking Income Takes A Hit, Adds 1M Credit Card Accounts http://www.pws.io/bank-of-americas-q1-consumer-banking-income-takes-a-hit-adds-1m-credit-card-accounts <p class='black-text'>Bank of America Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BAC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BAC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> reported a first-quarter fiscal 2024 adjusted net income of $7.2 billion and adjusted EPS of $0.83, beating the consensus of $0.77.</p><p class='black-text'>Revenue, net of interest expense, decreased 2% year over year to $25.8 billion. Adjusted revenue declined 1.6% year over year to $25.98 billion, beating the consensus of $25.46 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Segment Net income: Consumer Banking $2.66 billion (-14.5% Y/Y), Global Wealth and Investment Management $1.01 billion (+9.6% Y/Y), Global Banking $1.99 billion (-22.3% Y/Y), and Global Markets $1.79 billion (+6.6% Y/Y).</p><p class='black-text'>The Net interest income was $14.03 billion (-2.9% Y/Y), as higher deposit costs more than offset higher asset yields and modest loan growth. Noninterest income was $11.79 billion (-0.2% Y/Y).</p><p class='black-text'>Provision for credit losses $1.3 billion, compared to $931 million a year ago.</p><p class='black-text'>The efficiency ratio for the quarter was 67%, compared to 62% a year ago.</p><p class='black-text'>The bank reported a CET1 ratio of 11.8%, up 40 bps from a year ago. The book value per share of $33.71 improved by 7%.</p><p class='black-text'>The average loan and lease balance was $1.05 trillion (+1.0% Y/Y). Average deposits are up 0.7% Y/Y to $1.91 trillion.</p><p class='black-text'>Bank of America added over 1.0 million credit card accounts during the quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>Bank of America stock gained over 18% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via First Trust Nasdaq Bank ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FTXO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FTXO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FTXO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FTXO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FTXO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Invesco KBW Bank ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KBWB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KBWB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KBWB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KBWB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KBWB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action:</b> BAC shares are trading higher by 0.42% at $36.10 premarket on the last check Tuesday.</p> http://www.pws.io/bank-of-americas-q1-consumer-banking-income-takes-a-hit-adds-1m-credit-card-accounts Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:09:47 -0400 Benzinga News Amazon, Meta, Uber Remain 'Top Overall Picks' At JPMorgan Ahead Of Q1 Earnings http://www.pws.io/amazon-meta-uber-remain-top-overall-picks-at-jpmorgan-ahead-of-q1-earnings <p class='black-text'>As the first-quarter (Q1) 2024 earnings season approaches, JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth, CFA, remains bullish on the Internet sector, citing fundamental drivers and company-specific performance.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite some turbulence, the internet sector has seen a weighted average increase of 23% in stock performance year to date.</p><p class='black-text'>Anmuth's key players to watch include Amazon.com Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Meta Platforms Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/META"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">META</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="META" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Uber Technologies Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBER"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBER</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Amazon - Best Idea for 2024</b></p><p class='black-text'>Anmuth maintains Amazon as the top pick, calling it JPMorgan's "Best Idea for 2024". He emphasized its robust fundamentals and growth prospects.</p><p class='black-text'>He anticipates accelerated growth in Amazon Web Services (AWS) throughout 2024, fueled by easing optimizations, new workload deployments, and early monetization of General Artificial Intelligence (GenAI).</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, strong growth in North America, improved international profitability, and disciplined cost management contribute to a multi-year Free Cash Flow (FCF) ramp. Investors are eyeing first-quarter net sales of $142B-$144B and AWS growth exceeding 15%, among other key metrics, indicating positive sentiment towards Amazon's performance.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Meta - Room For Upside Potential</b></p><p class='black-text'>Meta's solid first-quarter advertising checks and emergence as an AI leader in the ad sector bode well for the stock. Anmuth also shed light on the role of GenAI (General Artificial Intelligence) in investor discussions. While early benefits are primarily seen in coding efficiencies and cost savings, Meta stands out for its effective use of AI in enhancing its advertising capabilities.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite tougher year-over-year comparisons, Meta's revenue is expected to meet or exceed guidance, with a mid-teens growth projection for the year.</p><p class='black-text'>With Meta trading at a modest 21x 2025E GAAP EPS, Anmuth sees room for upside potential, especially considering its position relative to other major companies.</p><p class='black-text'>On Monday, April 15, Meta won the dismissal of some claims in a dozen lawsuits accusing its CEO Mark Zuckerberg of concealing from the public that Facebook and Instagram were harmful to children.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Uber - Promising Three-Year Outlook</b></p><p class='black-text'>Uber continues to be a favored pick, with its resilience in demand, profitability initiatives, and promising three-year outlook.</p><p class='black-text'>Although some key catalysts like GAAP profitability and S&P 500 inclusion have passed, Anmuth believes Uber's shares can still deliver through continued execution and earnings growth.</p><p class='black-text'>The company's shift towards absolute profit dollar growth rather than incremental margins aligns with its focus on profitability. Anmuth also sees upside potential in Uber's $7 billion buyback plan running through 2026.</p><p class='black-text'>In summary, JPMorgan's outlook for the Internet sector remains bullish, with Amazon, Meta, and Uber positioned as top picks. The integration of artificial intelligence, especially in Meta's case, underscores its potential to drive future growth.</p><p class='black-text'>However, cautious optimism is advised, considering potential challenges such as growth deceleration and high valuations in certain cases.</p> http://www.pws.io/amazon-meta-uber-remain-top-overall-picks-at-jpmorgan-ahead-of-q1-earnings Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:09:01 -0400 Benzinga News Johnson & Johnson Q1 Earnings Top Wall Street Estimates On Strong Medical Devices Sales, Drugmaker Boosts Annual Outlook http://www.pws.io/johnson-johnson-q1-earnings-top-wall-street-estimates-on-strong-medical-devices-sales-drugmaker-boos <p class='black-text'>On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> reported first-quarter adjusted EPS of $2.71, up 12.4% year over year, beating the consensus of $2.64.</p><p class='black-text'>The pharma giant reported sales of $21.38 billion, up 2.3% year over year, almost in line with the consensus of $21.39 billion. Operational growth was 3.9%, and adjusted operational growth was 4.0%.</p><p class='black-text'>JNJ reported a net profit of $5.35 billion compared to a net loss of $(491) million a year ago, which included litigation charges of $6.9 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Innovative Medicine segment worldwide operational sales, excluding the COVID-19 Vaccine, grew 8.3% to $13.6 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Sales of its psoriasis drug Stelara were flat at $2.45 billion in the first quarter, while sales of Darzalex jumped about 19% to $2.69 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>The company's cancer cell therapy Carvykti, which recently received expanded use FDA approval for patients with a type of blood cancer, brought in sales of $157 million in the first quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>Tecvayli, another blood cancer treatment, accounted for $133 million in quarterly sales.</p><p class='black-text'>J&J's medical devices business generated sales of $7.82 billion during the first quarter, up 4.5% Y/Y, driven primarily by electrophysiology products and Abiomed in Cardiovascular and wound closure products in General Surgery.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Dividend: </b>Johnson & Johnson also raised its quarterly dividend by 4.2% from $1.19 per share to $1.24 per share.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Guidance:</b> Johnson & Johnson forecasts fiscal year 2024 operational sales of $88.7 billion-$89.1 billion versus prior guidance of $88.2 billion-$89.0 billion and consensus of $88.43 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>The company expects fiscal year 2024 adjusted EPS of $10.57-$10.72 versus consensus of $10.66 and prior guidance of $10.55-$10.75, with adjusted operational EPS of $10.60-$10.75.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action:</b> JNJ shares are down 1.69% at $145.10 during the premarket session on the last check Tuesday.</p> http://www.pws.io/johnson-johnson-q1-earnings-top-wall-street-estimates-on-strong-medical-devices-sales-drugmaker-boos Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:08:42 -0400 Benzinga News Adobe's Latest AI Innovation Promises a New Era for Video Content Creation http://www.pws.io/adobes-latest-ai-innovation-promises-a-new-era-for-video-content-creation <p class='black-text'>Adobe Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ADBE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ADBE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ADBE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ADBE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ADBE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is developing an AI model capable of generating video content, positioning itself in competition with other major players like OpenAI's Sora and Alphabet Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Google's Imagen 2 in the generative AI video technology field.</p><p class='black-text'>This new model is set to be integrated into Adobe's flagship video editing software, Premiere Pro, later this year, expanding the Firefly family of generative AI products.</p><p class='black-text'>The model will facilitate the creation of footage from prompts or reference images and introduce three novel features in Premiere Pro: object addition, object removal, and generative extension, TechCrunch reports.</p><p class='black-text'>The features allow users to add or remove objects within video segments and extend clips by a few frames to enhance the final product, for example, by syncing with a soundtrack or adding emotional emphasis.</p><p class='black-text'>Addressing concerns about the potential misuse of AI tools to create deepfakes, Adobe plans to incorporate Content Credentials into Premiere to identify AI-generated content and the specific models used to make it.</p><p class='black-text'>Reports suggest the company is paying creators on its Adobe Stock platform to contribute video clips to train the model.</p><p class='black-text'>Adobe also announced plans to integrate third-party tools from OpenAI, Runway, and Pika Labs into Premiere Pro, allowing users to generate and utilize video content directly within the software.</p><p class='black-text'>By embracing these external AI technologies, Adobe aims to mitigate Wall Street's concerns regarding the threat AI-generated content tools pose to its foundational business sectors, Reuters reports.</p><p class='black-text'>Prior reports indicated Adobe aggressively collecting videos to drive the development of its artificial intelligence text-to-video generator. The company tapped its community of photographers and artists, doling out $120 for footage showcasing a range of human activities and emotions.</p><p class='black-text'>Earlier at the Game Developers Conference, the company launched two innovative additions to its Substance 3D design software suite, empowering 3D artists to craft assets through mere text descriptions.</p><p class='black-text'>The "Text to Texture" function within Substance 3D Sampler enables the creation of textures from text prompts. Furthermore, Adobe introduced the "Generative Background" tool in Substance 3D Stager, which generates background imagery for 3D settings from text descriptions.</p><p class='black-text'>Adobe stock gained over 24% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via Invesco Next Gen Media And Gaming ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GGME"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GGME</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GGME" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GGME" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GGME" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Invesco Nasdaq Internet ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PNQI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PNQI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PNQI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PNQI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PNQI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action: </b>ADBE shares closed lower by 0.84% at $470.10 on Monday.</p> http://www.pws.io/adobes-latest-ai-innovation-promises-a-new-era-for-video-content-creation Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:07:54 -0400 Benzinga News Elon Musk Says Charging New X Users A 'Small Fee' Is The Only Way To Curb Bot Onslaught http://www.pws.io/elon-musk-says-charging-new-x-users-a-small-fee-is-the-only-way-to-curb-bot-onslaught <p class='black-text'>Tech billionaire Elon Musk has admitted that the only way to solve the bot problem on his social media platform X, formerly Twitter, is by charging new users a small fee.</p><p class='black-text'><b>What Happened: </b>Musk confirmed on X that the social media platform plans to charge a small fee to allow new users to post on X. Culling the bots seems to be Musk's primary driver behind this decision.</p><p class='black-text'>"Unfortunately, a small fee for new user write access is the only way to curb the relentless onslaught of bots."</p><p class='black-text'>He explained that the current AI and troll farms can easily bypass the "Are you a bot" question and create fake accounts, which in turn exhausts the available username pool.</p><p class='black-text'>Musk revealed that despite freeing up over a million usernames, the bot armies quickly reclaimed them.</p><p class='black-text'>"We've freed up over a million so far. Will free up tens of millions in the coming weeks. However, as soon as we do this, the bot armies immediately snatch the namespace back again!"</p><p class='black-text'><b>Why It Matters: </b>In October, Musk's X introduced a $1 annual subscription fee for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines as part of the "Not A Bot" program. The primary goal was to mitigate spam, manipulation, and bot activity on the platform.</p><p class='black-text'>The move was seen as a step towards combating the massive influx of bots on the platform.</p><p class='black-text'>Security researcher Troy Hunt noted that Musk's decision to charge a $1 annual fee for new accounts on X could combat the massive problem of platform abuse and bots. The nominal $1 fee would unlock the ability to post.</p><p class='black-text'>Earlier, Musk noted that bot accounts only have access to "so many" payment options, and charging a small monthly fee to all users should weed out any bot activity.</p> http://www.pws.io/elon-musk-says-charging-new-x-users-a-small-fee-is-the-only-way-to-curb-bot-onslaught Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:07:29 -0400 Benzinga News Prime Video's Fallout Series Sparks Record Game Revival, Fallout 76 Hits All-Time High http://www.pws.io/prime-videos-fallout-series-sparks-record-game-revival-fallout-76-hits-all-time-high <p class='black-text'>The release of Amazon.com Inc's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Prime Video Fallout TV series has sparked a significant resurgence in player numbers across Microsoft Corp.'s <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Bethesda's Fallout video game franchise, even for titles released years ago.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Steam data tracker SteamDB (via IGN), concurrent players for Fallout games on Steam have more than doubled since the show's debut.</p><p class='black-text'>Fallout 76, in particular, achieved a new peak concurrent player record four years after its release, reaching 39,455 players.</p><p class='black-text'>Older Fallout titles like Fallout 2 and the original Fallout have also experienced a resurgence, albeit to a lesser extent.</p><p class='black-text'>The show features various Easter eggs and nods to the game series, including visits to familiar locations like Shady Sands and the inclusion of the New California Republic (NCR).</p><p class='black-text'>The success of the Fallout TV show has translated into increased sales and engagement with the games, with Fallout 4 topping the Steam revenue charts. Social media is abuzz with reports of fans revisiting or purchasing Fallout games after watching the show.</p><p class='black-text'>Bethesda has capitalized on this renewed interest by offering promotions and sales across the series and announcing a release date for a next-gen update for Fallout 4.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the release date announcement has affected the development of a DLC-sized mod, Fallout London.</p><p class='black-text'>Although Bethesda has confirmed Fallout 5 in its long-term plans, it is unlikely to release anytime soon, with The Elder Scrolls 6 slated for release after Starfield, which is not expected until at least 2028.</p> http://www.pws.io/prime-videos-fallout-series-sparks-record-game-revival-fallout-76-hits-all-time-high Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:06:21 -0400 Benzinga News United Airlines Q1 Earnings Preview: Analyst Estimates, Safety Concerns, Underperformance To Delta — Key Items To Watch http://www.pws.io/united-airlines-q1-earnings-preview-analyst-estimates-safety-concerns-underperformance-to-delta--key <p class='black-text'>Leading airline company United Airlines Holdings Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> will report first-quarter financial results after market close Tuesday, April 16.</p><p class='black-text'>Here's a look at the earnings estimates and key items to watch.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Earnings Estimates: </b>Analysts expect United Airlines to report first-quarter revenue of $12.45 billion, according to data from Benzinga Pro.</p><p class='black-text'>The company reported revenue of $11.429 billion in last year's first quarter. United Airlines has beaten Street estimates for revenue in six straight quarters.</p><p class='black-text'>Analysts expect the airline company to report a loss of 56 cents per share for the first quarter, compared to a loss of 63 cents per share in the year-ago period. The company has beaten earnings per share estimates from analysts in six straight quarters.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Key Items to Watch</b>: The earnings report comes shortly after rival Delta Air Lines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> reported earnings per share and revenue, which both surpassed Street estimates. Delta saw several analyst price target increases after its recent quarterly earnings report.</p><p class='black-text'>Here are the most recent analyst ratings and price targets for United Airlines:</p><p class='black-text'><ul><li><b>Susquehanna: </b>Positive rating, lowered price target from $60 to $55</li><li><b>UBS:</b> Initiated Neutral rating, $47 price target</li></ul>The earnings report from United Airlines also comes as the airline sector has been faced with setbacks and concerns over airplanes made by Boeing Co <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>United recently announced that it was postponing its investor day planned for May 1, due to safety concerns, with a rescheduled date expected for the fall. Investors could be watching the earnings report to see if a new date is announced.</p><p class='black-text'>The U.S. Global JETS ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JETS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JETS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JETS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JETS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JETS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which tracks the airline sector, is up 6.7% over the past year. United Airlines makes up the second largest position of the ETF at 10.5%. United Airlines stock is up 3.2% over the past year.</p><p class='black-text'>Rival Delta Air Lines, which is the largest holding in the ETF, has been outperforming the sector with the stock up 38% over the past year.</p><p class='black-text'>A strong earnings report from United could lead to a potential gain in value to even out with the sector or get closer to the performance of peer Delta.</p><p class='black-text'><b>UAL Price Action: </b>United Airlines stock closed down Monday 1.82% at $41.04 versus the 52-week trading range of $33.68 to $58.23.</p> http://www.pws.io/united-airlines-q1-earnings-preview-analyst-estimates-safety-concerns-underperformance-to-delta--key Tue, 16 Apr 2024 12:06:00 -0400 Benzinga News Delta Flight Returns To Atlanta After Takeoff: Boeing 757 'Yawing Aggressively' http://www.pws.io/delta-flight-returns-to-atlanta-after-takeoff-boeing-757-yawing-aggressively <p class='black-text'>A Delta Air Lines, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> flight from Atlanta to Ft. Lauderdale was diverted back to Atlanta after takeoff.</p><p class='black-text'>The Boeing Co <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> 757 was "yawing aggressively so we decided to turn back," the pilot told passengers, according to a Benzinga staff member on the flight.</p><p class='black-text'>Delta flight No. 1413 took off from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 1:54 p.m. ET and landed back in Atlanta at 2:34 p.m., according to Google's flight tracking data.</p><p class='black-text'>Benzinga has contacted Delta Air Lines for more information on the diverted flight.</p><p class='black-text'>Recent incidents with Boeing planes have drawn widespread scrutiny of the manufacturer. The blowout of the door on a 737 flown by Alaska Airlines in January has triggered a Justice Department investigation of Boeing.</p> http://www.pws.io/delta-flight-returns-to-atlanta-after-takeoff-boeing-757-yawing-aggressively Mon, 15 Apr 2024 14:37:37 -0400 Benzinga News Google and Potential AWS Deals Showcase Reddit's Critical Role in AI and Brand Strategy: Analysts http://www.pws.io/google-and-potential-aws-deals-showcase-reddits-critical-role-in-ai-and-brand-strategy-analysts <p class='black-text'>Needham analyst Laura Martin initiated coverage on Reddit Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RDDT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RDDT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RDDT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RDDT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RDDT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> with a Buy rating and a price target of $55.</p><p class='black-text'>Reddit emphasizes the growing value of its extensive library of human conversations for training large language models (LLMs) and brand "social listening," as per Martin.</p><p class='black-text'>The platform's 18-year collection of daily updated conversations across 1.2 million topics and 7.5 million comments, according to the analyst, positions Reddit as a prime resource for understanding diverse human dialogues and popular expressions.</p><p class='black-text'>Alphabet Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Google's $200 million deal with Reddit for data access underscores the potential for data licensing revenue, with OpenAI and several Amazon.Com Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Amazon Web Services LLMs expected to follow suit due to the indispensable nature of Reddit's data for LLM development, Martin said.</p><p class='black-text'>She stated that Reddit's unique data offers significant pricing power for GenAI applications by facilitating a nuanced understanding of language evolution and current terminologies.</p><p class='black-text'>Unlike alternative sources, Reddit's real-time human conversations across various topics are irreplaceable, making it an essential asset for LLM training and social listening revenue streams, as per Martin.</p><p class='black-text'>Reddit's primary revenue source is advertising, with the platform achieving scale comparable to other major social networks.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the analyst flagged that Reddit differentiates itself with a moderated and community-driven content vetting process, enhancing brand safety for advertisers.</p><p class='black-text'>As per Martin, Reddit presents an unrivaled, engaged audience for advertisers, particularly appealing due to its young, balanced demographic and unique user interactions focused on specific interests.</p><p class='black-text'>This, combined with Reddit's strategic expansion into data licensing and social listening, positions the platform for significant growth and monetization opportunities.</p><p class='black-text'>Furthermore, despite the challenges, Reddit's proactive approach to expanding its HBM capacity highlights its commitment to remaining at the forefront of technology and market demand, preparing for future innovations and the next generation of HBM production, Martin added.</p><p class='black-text'>Martin projected first-quarter revenue and EPS of $212.0 million and $(0.12).</p><p class='black-text'>Goldman Sachs analyst Eric Sheridan initiated coverage of Reddit with a Neutral rating and a $40 price target.</p><p class='black-text'>The analyst noted Reddit as positively levered to several long-term secular growth themes within our sector across digital advertising, AI, and the creator economy.</p><p class='black-text'>In the current market environment, Sheridan flagged debates around the overall macroeconomic impacts on digital advertising, the pace of budget trajectory, and overall industry competitive dynamics as the biggest potential drivers of volatility in the coming year.</p><p class='black-text'>The analyst framed the Reddit business model against three critical debates in the report.</p><p class='black-text'>The discussion on Reddit's ability to compound revenue growth at over 20% is likely based on a large & growing addressable market, Reddit's US logged-in user growth,h and international user growth & ad monetization, as per the analyst.</p><p class='black-text'>The analyst noted the potential for steady margin expansion as Reddit balances targeted investments in long-term growth opportunities against a scaling revenue base and generally high incremental margins.</p><p class='black-text'>Concerning Reddit's ability to scale non-advertising revenue streams, the analyst noted upside optionality around data licensing & the creator economy long-term.</p><p class='black-text'>Sheridan projected first-quarter revenue of $210.0 million.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action:</b> RDDT shares traded lower by 4.28% at $40.46 on the last check Monday.</p> http://www.pws.io/google-and-potential-aws-deals-showcase-reddits-critical-role-in-ai-and-brand-strategy-analysts Mon, 15 Apr 2024 14:37:18 -0400 Benzinga News Market Update: Dow Falls 250 Points on Rising Geopolitical Tensions http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-250-points-on-rising-geopolitical-tensions <p class='black-text'>Stocks fell Monday as investors grew concerned over growing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East over the weekend. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 250 points, while the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite lost 1.2% and 1.8%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Monday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.20% or -61.59 points to 5,061.82</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.65% or -248.13 points to 37,735.11</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.79% or -290.08 points to 15,885.02</p><p class='black-text'><b>In Economic News: </b></p><p class='black-text'>U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% in March, the Commerce Department reported Monday, signalling that consumers continue to remain confident despite persistently high inflationary pressures. March's reading was above estimates for a 0.3% rise on the month, but below February's upwardly revised increase of 0.9%. Excluding autos, retail sales rose 1.1% on the month, well above estimates for a 0.5% advance.</p><p class='black-text'>"Alongside the recent resurgence in employment growth, the continued resilience of consumption is another reason to suspect the [Federal Reserve] will wait longer before starting to cut interest rates, which now we think won't happen until September," said Andrew Hunter, deputy chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, in a Monday note, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2024/04/15/retail-sales-jumped-0point7percent-in-march-much-higher-than-expected.html">quoted by </a><i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2024/04/15/retail-sales-jumped-0point7percent-in-march-much-higher-than-expected.html">CNBC</a></i>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>On the Earnings Front: </b></p><p class='black-text'><b>Goldman Sachs</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> reported strong first-quarter profit and revenue Monday morning, driven by inticks in its trading and investment banking revenue; investment banking fees jumped 32% to $2.08 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>"I've said before that the historically depressed levels of activity wouldn't last forever," CEO David Solomon said during the company's earnings call with analysts. "CEOs need to make strategic decisions for their firms, companies of all sizes need to raise capital, and financial sponsors need to transact to generate returns for their investors."</p><p class='black-text'><b>In Single-Stock News: </b></p><p class='black-text'><b>Tesla</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares fell nearly 6% on Monday on reports that the electric vehicle maker would lay off more than 10% of its global workforce as the company looks across its business for areas where costs can be reduced and productivity can increase, CEO Elon Musk said in a company memo.</p><p class='black-text'>"As part of this effort, we have down a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally," the memo said, first reported by<i> Electreck</i>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>For Tuesday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Market participants will react to March housing market data alongside remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday. Companies including UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UHG0, Johnson & Johnson <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Bank of America <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BAC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BAC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Morgan Stanley <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and United Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> are also set to issue earnings reports on Tuesday.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-250-points-on-rising-geopolitical-tensions Mon, 15 Apr 2024 14:26:56 -0400 Rachel Hemple Bank of America Stock: Technical Outlook Prior To Q1 Earnings http://www.pws.io/bank-of-america-stock-technical-outlook-prior-to-q1-earnings <p class='black-text'>Bank of America Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BAC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BAC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> will announce its first-quarter earnings on April 16. Wall Street expects 77 cents for EPS and $25.4 billion in revenues as the company reports before market hours.</p><p class='black-text'>Bank of America stock is up over 25% over the past year, 6.3% YTD.</p><p class='black-text'>Here's how the stock's technicals are set up ahead of earnings.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Bank of America Stock Technical Setup Ahead Of Q1 Earnings</b></p><p class='black-text'>The technical analysis of Bank of America stock suggests a moderately bearish, with slight selling pressure.</p><p class='black-text'>Bank of America's share price of $36.13 is below its 8-day and 20-day simple moving averages (SMA), signaling a bearish trend. However, it is above its 50-day SMA, indicating a bullish signal. Moreover, Bank of America's share price exceeds its 200-day SMA, reinforcing a bullish sentiment.</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of exponential moving averages (EMA) too, Bank of America's price is below both the 8-day and 20-day EMAs, suggesting a bearish trend. However, it remains above the 50-day EMA, implying a bullish signal.</p><p class='black-text'>The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator stands at 0.28, further supporting a bullish sentiment. However, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 47.66 suggests that Bank of America is oversold.</p><p class='black-text'>The Bollinger Bands indicate a bearish sentiment. After treading in the upper bullish band for the past few months, Bank of America's price has recently moved to the lower band, reinforcing the bearish sentiment. Overall, the technical setup appears more bearish than bullish currently for Bank of America stock.</p><p class='black-text'>Investors may want to wait for potential bullish opportunities for Bank of America stock.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Analysts Consensus Ratings</b></p><p class='black-text'><b>Ratings & Consensus Estimates: </b>The consensus analyst rating on Bank of America stock currently stands at Overweight with a price target of $35.36. Recent analyst ratings on the stock from Jefferies; Keefe, Bruyette & Woods; and Evercore ISI Group, have an average price target of $39, with an implied 7.79% upside.</p><p class='black-text'>The upcoming earnings release for Bank of America has the potential to significantly influence trader sentiments. As market participants await the earnings numbers, they will likely weigh this data alongside the technical signals to determine the stock's trajectory in the short term.</p><p class='black-text'><b>BAC Price Action:</b> Bank of America stock was trading up o.36% at $35.92 at the time of publication Monday.</p> http://www.pws.io/bank-of-america-stock-technical-outlook-prior-to-q1-earnings Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:25:55 -0400 Benzinga News Apple Bull Dan Ives Says 'Robust' Tech Earnings Season Ahead: 'Not The Time To Run...Time To Own The Winners' http://www.pws.io/apple-bull-dan-ives-says-robust-tech-earnings-season-ahead-not-the-time-to-runtime-to-own-the-winner <p class='black-text'>Apple <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Bull and Wedbush's analyst Dan Ives brushed aside increasing geopolitical concerns and macroeconomic factors, sounding a bullish note for the tech sector ahead of the March 2024 earnings season. He expects tech stocks to rally 15% in 2024.</p><p class='black-text'><b>What Happened: </b>Ives, who has been bullish about the tech sector, thinks a multitude of factors have aligned to make the first-quarter earnings "robust."</p><p class='black-text'>"I think this is going to be a robust tech earnings season next few weeks."</p><p class='black-text'>While Nvidia Corp.'s <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NVDA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NVDA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Jensen Huang and Microsoft Corp. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> are leading the "AI revolution," Ives believes other companies are contributing to the second, third, and fourth-order derivatives of "$1 trillion spending" over the next decade, driving the growth in spending and advancing technology, too.</p><p class='black-text'>The broader technology index, the Nasdaq Composite, has experienced choppiness over the last month. While the Nasdaq is up 9.54% year-to-date, in the last month, it is up by just 1.26%.</p><p class='black-text'>Likewise, while the S&P 500 is up 8.02% year-to-date, its 1-month return is just 0.12%. Ives brushed it off, though.</p><p class='black-text'>"I think it's just nervousness given the overall market, geopolitical... and everything going on with the 10-year [yields]," Ives said during an interview on CNBC.</p><p class='black-text'>He thinks it's a "get out the popcorn moment" as far as technology stocks are concerned.</p><p class='black-text'>"We view this more of a golden buying opportunity, given what we've seen in cybersecurity, AI revolution, digital marketing and advertising."</p><p class='black-text'>"This is not the time to run, it's actually time to own the winners."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Microsoft's iPhone Moment: </b>Microsoft, which has been infusing AI across the length and breadth of its portfolio, including Windows, Office, Azure, and more, is having its "iPhone moment," according to Ives.</p><p class='black-text'>"We strongly view this as Microsoft's "iPhone Moment" with AI set to change the cloud growth trajectory in Redmond the next few years."</p><p class='black-text'>Ives said Wedbush's channel checks give "further confidence" in its outlook for the March quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>Ives also struck a bullish note for Apple Inc. Ahead of the crucial Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, Ives thinks Apple has the "best-installed base in the world" to implement strategies for its AI future.</p> http://www.pws.io/apple-bull-dan-ives-says-robust-tech-earnings-season-ahead-not-the-time-to-runtime-to-own-the-winner Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:22:48 -0400 Benzinga News American Airlines Pilots Warn Amid Safety Concerns Surge: Report http://www.pws.io/american-airlines-pilots-warn-amid-safety-concerns-surge-report <p class='black-text'>The Allied Pilots Association has reportedly cautioned its members to remain vigilant amid a significant spike in safety and maintenance issues at American Airlines Group Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>The memo, sent on April 13, highlighted troubling trends, including tools being left in airplane wheel wells and an uptick in aircraft collisions during towing, reported Bloomberg.</p><p class='black-text'>With approximately 15,000 pilots represented, the union urged against rushing tasks and emphasized the importance of avoiding unsafe practices.</p><p class='black-text'>The notice underscores industry-wide scrutiny, referencing a January incident involving Alaska Air Group Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ALK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ALK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ALK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ALK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ALK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and United Airlines Holdings Inc's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> recent mishaps, such as a wheel detachment and a runway overrun.</p><p class='black-text'>The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reportedly initiated a review of United, prompted by recent safety incidents, including aircraft mishaps like an incident in Houston and a wheel detachment post-takeoff.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action: </b>AAL shares are trading lower by 0.84% at $13.04 on the last check Monday.</p> http://www.pws.io/american-airlines-pilots-warn-amid-safety-concerns-surge-report Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:20:33 -0400 Benzinga News US Retail Sales Boom Well Above Forecasts, Rise 4% On The Year: 'Blowout Report,' Economists Say http://www.pws.io/us-retail-sales-boom-well-above-forecasts-rise-4-on-the-year-blowout-report-economists-say <p class='black-text'>U.S. retail sales surprisingly surged well above economic forecasts last month, spiking to a 4% annual growth and highlighting the resilience of American consumers despite increasing inflationary pressures.</p><p class='black-text'>On monthly basis, retail sales grew 0.7%, softening from the 0.9% pace in February but well above the predicted 0.3% rise, the Census Bureau reported Monday.</p><p class='black-text'>Among spending categories, notable monthly increases were in non-store retailers, rising 2.7%; gasoline stations, rising 2.1%; and miscellaneous store retailers, rising 2.1%.</p><p class='black-text'>Excluding autos and gasoline stations, retail sales surged by 1% from February 2024, marking the strongest monthly pace since January 2023.</p><p class='black-text'>As a reaction, Treasury yields spiked as investors further dwindled expectations for Fed rate cuts. Interest-rate futures currently price in less than 40 basis points of cuts by year-end, creating another volatile session for bonds, with the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TLT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TLT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TLT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TLT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TLT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, down 1.6%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Analysts Reactions</b></p><p class='black-text'>"A blowout retail sales report," Bank of America said in a note, highlighting the "March retail sales report was unequivocally strong."</p><p class='black-text'>Economists at Bank of America added that non-store retailers made the most significant contribution, likely fueled by a promotional event in March, while increased gas spending, driven by higher prices, contributed as well, yet for "bad reasons, namely higher gas prices."</p><p class='black-text'>The March report also showed "large upward revisions to the January and February data," which should bode for the full-quarter retail spending narrative.</p><p class='black-text'>Bill Adams, chief economist for Comerica Bank, adjusted his prediction, now anticipating the Fed to commence rate cuts in September instead of June, with expectations of two quarter-percentage-point reductions in the federal funds rate by the year's end.</p><p class='black-text'>"The economy is growing solidly in early 2024 and the Fed has little reason to worry about a recession near-term, keeping their focus squarely on controlling inflation," said Comerica Bank.</p><p class='black-text'>Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, noted that robust consumer sales and low unemployment have propelled companies to record profits, but this situation has also put "the Fed on its back foot."</p><p class='black-text'>Although strong corporate profits and the prospect of lower rates have buoyed markets, Zaccarelli suggests exercising caution in the near term due to the increasing tension between these factors.</p><p class='black-text'>"Another beat for U.S. economic activity," said Mohamed El Erian, economic adviser at Allianz. The expert views the U.S. retail sales report as supporting the notion of ongoing "U.S. economic exceptionalism" and, for the time being, dispels worries regarding the gradual decline in household balance sheets.</p><p class='black-text'>"The consumer is consuming, a lot. If you were looking for an economic slowdown, you aren't getting it," Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group, said.</p> http://www.pws.io/us-retail-sales-boom-well-above-forecasts-rise-4-on-the-year-blowout-report-economists-say Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:19:22 -0400 Benzinga News Citigroup's Q1 Revenue Dips Slightly, But Investment Banking and Personal Finance Shine http://www.pws.io/citigroups-q1-revenue-dips-slightly-but-investment-banking-and-personal-finance-shine-1 <p class='black-text'>Citigroup Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> posted better-than-expected earnings for its first quarter on Friday.</p><p class='black-text'>Citigroup reported a first-quarter fiscal 2024 revenue decline of 2% year-over-year to $21.10 billion, beating the consensus of $20.39 billion. GAAP EPS of $1.58 beat the consensus of $1.20, according to data from Benzinga Pro.</p><p class='black-text'>Services revenue grew 8% year over year to $4.77 billion, mainly due to higher net interest income across Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) and Security Services. Markets revenue declined by 7% Y/Y to $5.38 billion, driven by a decline in Fixed Income.</p><p class='black-text'>The total allowance for credit losses on loans was $18.3 billion, with a reserve-to-funded loans ratio of 2.75%, compared to $17.2 billion, or 2.65% of funded loans, at the end of the prior-year period.</p><p class='black-text'>Net income of $3.4 billion decreased 27% year over year, primarily due to higher expenses and credit costs. Operating expenses stood at $14.2 billion, an increase of 7% year over year.</p><p class='black-text'>Citigroup reiterated fiscal 2024 adjusted revenue outlook of $80.00 billion-$81.00 billion vs. the consensus of $73.69 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Citigroup shares fell 0.6% to trade at $59.33 on Monday.</p><p class='black-text'>These analysts made changes to their price targets on Citigroup following earnings announcement.</p><p class='black-text'><ul><li>Oppenheimer cut the price target on Citigroup from $88 to $87. Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski maintained an Outperform rating.</li><li>Piper Sandler raised the price target on Citigroup from $67 to $70. Piper Sandler analyst Scott Siefers maintained an Overweight rating.</li></ul></p> http://www.pws.io/citigroups-q1-revenue-dips-slightly-but-investment-banking-and-personal-finance-shine-1 Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:17:06 -0400 Benzinga News Sony's PS5 Pro Release: Reports Say Developers Are Getting Ready For New Console http://www.pws.io/sonys-ps5-pro-release-reports-say-developers-are-getting-ready-for-new-console <p class='black-text'>Sony Group Corp. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SONY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SONY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SONY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SONY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SONY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is gearing up for the release of a more powerful version of its PlayStation 5 (PS5) console, possibly by the end of this year.</p><p class='black-text'>According to reports by The Verge, leaked specifications for the upcoming PS5 Pro, codenamed Trinity, reveal significant upgrades aimed at enhancing gaming experiences, particularly in terms of ray tracing and overall performance.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, it will boast a faster CPU mode, targeting a frequency of 3.85GHz, around 10 percent higher than the regular PS5.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Anticipating The PS5 Pro Launch: Enhanced Features And Developer Collaboration</b></p><p class='black-text'>Sony is reportedly pushing developers to ensure compatibility with the new console, encouraging them to utilize features like ray tracing more extensively. Games optimized for the PS5 Pro may carry a "Trinity Enhanced" label, signifying significant improvements.</p><p class='black-text'>Furthermore, the PS5 Pro will offer enhanced system memory, with a 28 percent increase in bandwidth and an additional 1.2GB available for games, totaling 13.7GB. This boost in memory capabilities is expected to support Sony's new PlayStation Spectral Super Resolution (PSSR) technology, aimed at improving frame rates and image quality through upscaling.</p><p class='black-text'>"Sony's custom PSSR upscaling solution, akin to Nvidia's DLSS or AMD's FSR, will replace traditional anti-aliasing methods in games," The Verge wrote.</p><p class='black-text'>The PS5 Pro launch is anticipated during the holiday season of 2024, following a similar strategy to the PS4's release of a Slim model followed by a Pro edition.</p><p class='black-text'>Expectations include an "'enhanced' library of existing games for the PS5 Pro launch and new first-party games arriving over time with improved ray-tracing support for this new console," The Verge added.</p> http://www.pws.io/sonys-ps5-pro-release-reports-say-developers-are-getting-ready-for-new-console Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:15:15 -0400 Benzinga News Tesla's Q1 US Sales Mainly Held Back By Very Model That Saved It From Bankruptcy Years Ago http://www.pws.io/teslas-q1-us-sales-mainly-held-back-by-very-model-that-saved-it-from-bankruptcy-years-ago <p class='black-text'>Sales of Tesla's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> best-selling vehicle, the Model Y, continued to rise in the U.S. in the first quarter but lower sales of its other vehicles dragged overall sales lower, as per data from Kelley Blue Book.</p><p class='black-text'><b>What Happened: </b>Tesla sold 96,729 Model Ys in the U.S. during the first quarter, marking a jump of 1.4% year-on-year, according to data from the automotive research company. The sales of Model 3, S, and X, however, dropped 43.9%, 13.3%, and 13.3%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'>As per the research company, Tesla sold 140,187 electric vehicles in the U.S. last quarter, marking a 13.3% drop from the 161,630 vehicles sold in the corresponding quarter of 2023.</p><p class='black-text'>Tesla does not segment its deliveries model-wise or geography-wise, preferring to report global, combined numbers instead. Earlier this month, Tesla reported an 8.5% year-on-year decline in first-quarter deliveries with 386,810 vehicles delivered across the world.</p><p class='black-text'>The decline in volume, the company said, was partly due to difficulties in ramping the production of its refreshed Model 3 at its Fremont factory, among other things.</p><p class='black-text'>The Model 3, credited with saving Tesla from bankruptcy, faced production challenges during its ramp-up phase in 2017-2019, with CEO Elon Musk saying it caused "extreme stress and pain" to scale up.</p><p class='black-text'><b>The Electric Flare Across Brands: </b>As per Kelley Blue Book, EV sales across brands in the first quarter rose 2.6% year-on-year but fell 15.2% as compared to the previous quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>"Electric vehicle sales in the U.S. declined during Q1 2024 - the first quarter-over-quarter downturn since Q2 2020," said Stephanie Valdez Streaty, director of Industry Insights at Cox Automotive. "As anticipated, Tesla's sales took a hit, influencing the overall market dynamics. However, a few brands saw significant EV sales increases, achieving over 50% year-over-year growth."</p><p class='black-text'>The players to have recorded growth in EV sales unlike Tesla in the first quarter include BMW, Cadillac, Ford <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/F"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">F</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="F" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes, Rivian <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RIVN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RIVN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RIVN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RIVN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RIVN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Vinfast.</p><p class='black-text'>However, for 2024, Cox Automotive forecasts EV sales in the U.S. to rise as compared to 2023. The researcher expects 2024 to be the best year ever for EV sales with analysts expecting EV sales to reach about 10% of total new vehicle sales by the end of the year.</p> http://www.pws.io/teslas-q1-us-sales-mainly-held-back-by-very-model-that-saved-it-from-bankruptcy-years-ago Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:14:04 -0400 Benzinga News Goldman Sachs Sees Resurgence In Debt Underwriting And Deal Activity, Q1 Profit Jumps 28% http://www.pws.io/goldman-sachs-sees-resurgence-in-debt-underwriting-and-deal-activity-q1-profit-jumps-28 <p class='black-text'>On Monday, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> reported revenue of $14.21 billion for the first quarter of 2024, beating the consensus of $12.92 billion. Sales increased 16% year over year, reflecting higher net revenues across all segments.</p><p class='black-text'>Global Banking & Markets were $9.73 billion, up 15% Y/Y, boosted by a 32% increase in investment banking fees to $2.08 billion, primarily driven by an increase in completed mergers and acquisitions transactions and initial public and secondary offerings.</p><p class='black-text'>Like JPMorgan Chase & Co <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Citigroup Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Goldman Sachs reported strong trading and investment banking results for the first quarter, benefiting from improved market conditions.</p><p class='black-text'>Unlike its more diversified competitors, CNBC noted that Goldman primarily relies on Wall Street activities for revenue, which can result in significant returns during market booms and underperformance during downturns.</p><p class='black-text'>Having shifted focus away from retail banking, Goldman now prioritizes growth in its asset and wealth management division.</p><p class='black-text'>Asset & Wealth Management was $3.79 billion for the first quarter of 2024, 18% higher than the first quarter of 2023.</p><p class='black-text'>Net revenues in Fixed Income, Currency, and Commodities (FICC) were $4.32 billion, 10% higher than the first quarter of 2023, primarily reflecting significantly higher net revenues in FICC financing, driven by mortgages and structured lending.</p><p class='black-text'>The U.S. financial services giant reported EPS of $11.58, beating the consensus of $8.60.</p><p class='black-text'>Goldman Sachs reported a 28% increase in profit to $4.13 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>"Our first quarter results reflect the strength of our world-class and interconnected franchises and the earnings power of Goldman Sachs. We continue to execute on our strategy, focusing on our core strengths to serve our clients and deliver for our shareholders," said David Solomon, Chairman and CEO.</p><p class='black-text'>Provision for credit losses was $318 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared with a net benefit of $171 million a year ago, reflecting net provisions related to both the credit card portfolio and wholesale loans.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action: </b>GS shares are up 4.04% at $405.24 during the premarket session on the last check Monday.</p> http://www.pws.io/goldman-sachs-sees-resurgence-in-debt-underwriting-and-deal-activity-q1-profit-jumps-28 Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:12:24 -0400 Benzinga News Meta to Suspend Threads in Turkey Amid Regulatory Challenges, Aims for Future Reinstatement http://www.pws.io/meta-to-suspend-threads-in-turkey-amid-regulatory-challenges-aims-for-future-reinstatement <p class='black-text'>Meta Platforms, Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/META"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">META</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="META" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has announced that it will cease operating Threads in Turkey starting Monday, April 29, in response to an interim order from the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA).</p><p class='black-text'>This decision will likely disappoint many Turkish users actively participating in the Threads community.</p><p class='black-text'>Meta will notify all Turkish Threads users of this change through the app before the shutdown date to ease the transition.</p><p class='black-text'>Users in Turkey can either deactivate their Threads profile, preserving the possibility of reactivating it if Threads returns, or delete their profile entirely.</p><p class='black-text'>Those opting for deactivation can still access and download their posts using the Download Your Information tool.</p><p class='black-text'>The move came after the TCA issued an interim order that prevented data sharing between Threads and Instagram, a decision Meta disagreed with.</p><p class='black-text'>The company said it believes it complies with all Turkish legal standards and plans to appeal the order.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite disagreeing with the TCA's interim order, Meta temporarily suspended Threads' operations in Turkey.</p><p class='black-text'>Meta intends to maintain a constructive dialogue with the TCA and aims to reinstate Threads for its Turkish user base as soon as possible.</p><p class='black-text'>Meta's launch of Threads in the EU got delayed due to the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which, as of July 2023, classified Meta along with other tech leaders like Microsoft Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Apple Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as platform gatekeepers.</p><p class='black-text'>Meta lowered the monthly fee for its ad-free versions of Facebook and Instagram in Europe to 5.99 euros, down from the initial 9.99 euros. The fee adjustment responds to the DMA's restrictions on Meta's ad personalization capabilities, seeking a balance between complying with EU privacy regulations and the DMA.</p><p class='black-text'>This adjustment occurs amidst broader EU scrutiny of Big Tech's dominance and privacy practices, with Meta contesting a fee to fund the enforcement of the new EU Digital Services Act (DSA), which demands enhanced content moderation from major online platforms.</p><p class='black-text'>Meta stock gained 134% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Fidelity MSCI Communication Services Index ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FCOM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FCOM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FCOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FCOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FCOM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action:</b> META shares are trading lower by 2.41% at $499.58 on the last check Monday.</p> http://www.pws.io/meta-to-suspend-threads-in-turkey-amid-regulatory-challenges-aims-for-future-reinstatement Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:09:52 -0400 Benzinga News OpenAI Launches First Asian Office in Tokyo Amid Microsoft's Massive AI and Cloud Push in Japan http://www.pws.io/openai-launches-first-asian-office-in-tokyo-amid-microsofts-massive-ai-and-cloud-push-in-japan <p class='black-text'>Microsoft Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-backed OpenAI, the entity behind the widely acclaimed ChatGPT generative AI chatbot, has expanded its global presence by opening its first Asia office in Tokyo, Japan.</p><p class='black-text'>This strategic move aims to cultivate new revenue streams by engaging with regional businesses.</p><p class='black-text'>Reuters reports that OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman and COO Brad Lightcap have been actively engaging with executives from Fortune 500 companies in the United States and Britain, pitching OpenAI's capabilities and business applications.</p><p class='black-text'>The decision to establish a presence in Japan followed Altman's discussions with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last year.</p><p class='black-text'>This showcases the country's interest in leveraging AI technology to stay competitive, especially against China's technological advancements.</p><p class='black-text'>Japan aims to harness AI for digital transformation and mitigate the challenges posed by its aging population and labor shortages.</p><p class='black-text'>OpenAI announced it has developed a custom model optimized for the Japanese language, signaling its commitment to providing localized AI solutions.</p><p class='black-text'>Tadao Nagasaki, former president of Amazon Web Services in Japan, has been appointed to lead OpenAI's efforts.</p><p class='black-text'>This initiative is part of Japan's broader push towards adopting AI despite being considered behind in technological adoption compared to other nations. Local giants like SoftBank and NTT invest in AI technologies, including large language models.</p><p class='black-text'>Japan has become a top destination for tech firms seeking to lessen their reliance on China, further fueled by the artificial intelligence boom.</p><p class='black-text'>Microsoft recently announced a significant investment of $2.9 billion over the next two years in cloud and AI infrastructure in Japan.</p><p class='black-text'>During Prime Minister Kishida's visit to the Kumamoto plant, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> CEO C.C. Wei declared the company's aim to locally source 60% of the materials for its inaugural Japanese chip manufacturing plant by 2030.</p><p class='black-text'>The Japanese government has backed TSMC's initiative with a ¥476 billion ($3.1 billion) investment for the first factory and an additional ¥732 billion in subsidies for a second facility.</p><p class='black-text'>TSMC's Kumamoto site will start producing logic chips for various applications by the end of the year.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, Amazon.Com Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Amazon Web Services plans a $15.5 billion investment in Japan from 2023 to 2027 to expand its data centers and enhance its local operations.</p><p class='black-text'>Microsoft stock gained over 46% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via SPDR Select Sector Fund - Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FTEC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FTEC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FTEC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FTEC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FTEC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action: </b>MSFT shares closed lower by 1.41% at $421.90 on Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/openai-launches-first-asian-office-in-tokyo-amid-microsofts-massive-ai-and-cloud-push-in-japan Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:08:04 -0400 Benzinga News Constellation Brands' Continued Beer Strength Offsets Its Wine And Spirits Weakness http://www.pws.io/constellation-brands-continued-beer-strength-offsets-its-wine-and-spirits-weakness <p class='black-text'>Despite a decline in the wine and spirits business, Constellation Brands <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/STZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">STZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="STZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="STZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="STZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> outperformed its expectations with beer sales with its latest quarterly report. Constellation Brands, whose operations span across the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, and Italy, delivered a stronger than expected fourth quarter profit, with management indicating that the segment greatly contributed to its success over the fiscal year.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Fourth Quarter Highlights</b></p><p class='black-text'>For the quarter that ended in February, Constellation Brands posted revenue of $2.3 billion, surpassing Wall Street estimates of $2.1 billion. It reported earnings per share of $2.26, also surpassing analyst estimates of about $2.10.</p><p class='black-text'>The beer business continued its strong growth momentum with its 56th consecutive quarter of volume growth. CEO Bill Newlands also added the company achieved a significant milestone this year, as Modelo Especial became the number one beer in U.S. dollar sales. Beer sales through retailers alone expanded 8.9%, compared with 6% achieved during last year's comparable quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>On the other hand, challenging marketplace dynamics continued to pressure sales volumes of its wine and spirits category with sales falling flat.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Full Year Results</b></p><p class='black-text'>Net sales rose 5% YoY to $9.962 million while net income rose 12% due to price rises and operating efficiencies.</p><p class='black-text'>A lifted adjusted fiscal 2025 outlook</p><p class='black-text'>Fueled by the strength of its beer business, Anheuser Busch InBev SA <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BUD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BUD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BUD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BUD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BUD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rival lifted its full-year earnings and sales forecasts. Constellation Brands guided for earnings in the range between $13.50 and $13.80 per share and sales growth between 6% and 7%. Constellation expects its beer sales to rise by a further 10% in the undergoing financial year both due to its brand strength as well as the US consumer's shift away from wines and spirits in favor of beer.</p><p class='black-text'>The annual results of Anheuser Busch reflected a new beer trend of health-conscious consumers.</p><p class='black-text'>Interestingly, Anheuser Busch reported its beer sales dropped in North America last year while its non-alcoholic beer sales topped estimates, reflecting the consumer behaviour of more health-conscious consumers. Anheuser Busch responded to the trend with the expansion of beverage choices. With its no-alcohol beer portfolio that includes Budweiser Zero, Stella Artois 0.0 and others, Anheuser Busch reported revenue growth in the high teens, according the annual report.</p><p class='black-text'>Global Market Insights estimated that between 2023 and 2032, the nonalcoholic wine and beer market will continue growing at an annual rate of 7% and surpass $30 billion by 2025. With Sam Glaetzer and his experience that spans over three decades becoming the new leader of the segment, Newlands is confident that the wine and spirits division will improve. On the back of the continued resilience of its core beer brands, Constellation confidently lifted its full year guidance.</p><p class='black-text'><i>DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investing advice.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/constellation-brands-continued-beer-strength-offsets-its-wine-and-spirits-weakness Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:06:49 -0400 Benzinga News Why Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Palantir, And Meta Could Rise 15% In 2024, According To Analyst http://www.pws.io/why-microsoft-alphabet-amazon-palantir-and-meta-could-rise-15-in-2024-according-to-analyst <p class='black-text'>As the tech sector braces for its upcoming earnings season, Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives provides a bullish outlook.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Tech Sell-Off - A Compelling Buying Opportunity</b></p><p class='black-text'>He foresees a potential 15% surge in key stocks including Microsoft Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Alphabet Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Amazon.com Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Palantir Technologies Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PLTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PLTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PLTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PLTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PLTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Meta Platforms Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/META"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">META</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="META" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>Ives views the recent risk-off environment and tech sell-off as a compelling buying opportunity, attributing the market downturn to concerns such as a hot Consumer Price Index (CPI), weak bank earnings, and geopolitical tensions.</p><p class='black-text'>Over the past month, the SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is down 2.63%. The broad market S&P 500 tracking SPDR S&P 500 ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is down 1.16% over the same period.</p><p class='black-text'>However, he believes the spotlight will soon shift to the eagerly anticipated tech earnings season, which he expects to be robust across the board.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Q1 Earnings To Set The Stage For Upward Momentum In Tech Stocks</b></p><p class='black-text'>According to Ives, the anticipated strength in tech stocks isn't solely based on multiples but stems from accelerating growth and earnings, surpassing Street expectations. He emphasizes the pivotal role of the upcoming Q1 earnings season in setting the stage for further upward momentum in the tech sector throughout the year.</p><p class='black-text'>Here's a glimpse of when these promising tech companies are scheduled to report earnings:</p><p class='black-text'>Expectations are high for standout performances from tech giants such as Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Palantir, and Meta. Sectors like software, cybersecurity, digital advertising, and semiconductors, should get particular attention, per Ives.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Other Potential Standouts</b></p><p class='black-text'>Ives also highlights cybersecurity firms like Zscaler Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ZS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ZS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ZS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ZS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ZS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, CrowdStrike Holdings Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CRWD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CRWD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CRWD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CRWD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CRWD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Palo Alto Networks Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PANW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PANW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PANW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PANW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PANW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, CyberArk Software Ltd <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CYBR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CYBR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CYBR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CYBR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CYBR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CHKP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CHKP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CHKP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CHKP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CHKP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Tenable Holdings Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TENB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TENB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TENB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TENB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TENB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as potential standouts in the upcoming earnings reports.</p><p class='black-text'>Confidence in the potential of the AI Revolution to drive growth is bolstered by field checks conducted globally over the past month, indicating that monetization in this realm has entered a new phase of accelerated growth.</p><p class='black-text'>As investors await the earnings reports, the tech sector remains poised for further appreciation, with Ives projecting a 15% increase in tech stocks for the year.</p><p class='black-text'>With software, cybersecurity, digital advertising, and semiconductors taking center stage, the upcoming earnings season could mark a significant milestone in reaffirming the tech sector's growth trajectory for the remainder of 2024.</p> http://www.pws.io/why-microsoft-alphabet-amazon-palantir-and-meta-could-rise-15-in-2024-according-to-analyst Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:04:18 -0400 Benzinga News Retail Sales Rises More Than Expected In March, Indicate Strong Consumer Spending http://www.pws.io/retail-sales-rises-more-than-expected-in-march-indicate-strong-consumer-spending <p class='black-text'>The pace of retail sales growth increased more than expected last month, indicating that consumers are exhibiting increased resilience despite recent inflationary pressures.</p><p class='black-text'>Retail and food services sales for March increased by 4% compared to the previous year, much higher than the previous upwardly revised growth rate of 2.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's advance estimates released Monday.</p><p class='black-text'><b>March Retail Sales Report: Key Highlights</b></p><p class='black-text'><ul><li>Retail sales for March 2024 rose to $709.6 billion, up 0.7% on a month-on-month basis, decelerating from the previous upwardly revised 0.9% monthly growth in February and topping the expected 0.3% rise.</li><li>Compared to March 2023, retail sales saw a 4% increase, marking an acceleration from the previous 2.1% annual growth rate. It marks the strongest reading since December 2023.</li><li>Items recording the largest month-on-month increases were nonstore retailers, up 2.7%, and gas stations, up 2.1%.</li><li>Sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores witnessed a 1.8% monthly drop, followed by clothing & clothing accessories stores, down 1.6%.</li><li>Excluding auto sales, retail sales advanced at a monthly pace of 1.1%, showing an increase from the upwardly revised rate of 0.6% in February, and sharply beating expectations of 0.4%.</li><li>Excluding auto sales and gas stations, retail sales advanced at a monthly pace of 1%, marking an increase from the previous upwardly revised rate of 0.5% and topping estimates of 0.3%.</li></ul><b>Market Reactions</b></p><p class='black-text'>Major U.S. averages traded higher during premarket trading on Monday as investors found relief in the absence of an imminent counterattack by Israel following Iran's attacks over the weekend.</p><p class='black-text'>Futures on the S&P 500 index were up 0.8% at 8:35 a.m. in New York, indicating an attempt at a rebound after Friday's 1.4% drop, which marked the worst session of the year so far.</p><p class='black-text'>The U.S. dollar index (DXY), as tracked by the Invesco DB USD Index Bullish Fund ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UUP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UUP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, inched higher following the retail sales report, backed by rising Treasury yields.</p><p class='black-text'>The yield on the 10-year Treasury note soared 9 basis points to 4.61%, reaching the highest since mid November 2023.</p> http://www.pws.io/retail-sales-rises-more-than-expected-in-march-indicate-strong-consumer-spending Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:02:42 -0400 Benzinga News AI Boom Can Lead To 'Potential Demand Growth' For This Metal, Wall Street Turns Bullish http://www.pws.io/ai-boom-can-lead-to-potential-demand-growth-for-this-metal-wall-street-turns-bullish <p class='black-text'>Wall Street is demonstrating an increased interest in copper, a trend driven by the metal's growing use in data centers, which are essential for artificial intelligence (AI) operations.</p><p class='black-text'><b>What Happened: </b>A note from Jefferies, predicts that global copper demand from data centers will jump from 239 thousand tons in 2023 to at least 450 thousand tons annually by 2030, reported CNBC.</p><p class='black-text'>"Our analysis shows that this potential demand growth will exacerbate an underlying copper market deficit, ultimately leading to higher prices," Jefferies analysts stated.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, Morgan Stanley forecasts that copper prices will hit $10,500 per ton by the end of this year, a 12% increase. This prediction is based on the rising demand for copper in AI and data center operations, along with a limited supply.</p><p class='black-text'>The report suggests that investors interested in this sector consider stocks in the Global X Copper Miners ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COPX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COPX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COPX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COPX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COPX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, particularly those of Canadian firm Solaris Resources <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SLSSF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SLSSF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SLSSF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SLSSF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SLSSF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which shows over 200% potential upside and a 100% buy rating.</p><p class='black-text'>Filo Mining <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FLMMF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FLMMF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FLMMF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FLMMF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FLMMF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has also garnered attention, receiving a 25% upside potential from analysts along with an impressive 92% buy rating. For those interested in investing in this sector through exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options include the Global X Copper Miners ETF, the Sprott Copper Miners ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COPP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COPP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COPP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COPP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COPP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and the iShares Copper and Metals Mining ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ICOP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ICOP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ICOP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ICOP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ICOP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Why It Matters:</b> The surge in copper demand is closely tied to the AI boom. Goldman Sachs predicted a 15% rise in the S&P 500 by the end of 2024, driven by the exceptional performance of tech stocks, particularly those in the AI sector.</p><p class='black-text'>Furthermore, IQE, a supplier to Apple, projected strong fiscal 2024 results, buoyed by a robust order book due to the rapid expansion of the AI sector.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the AI boom has not been without its critics. Demis Hassabis, co-founder of Google DeepMind, expressed concerns that the surge in AI funding is leading to exaggerated hype, overshadowing actual scientific progress in the sector.</p> http://www.pws.io/ai-boom-can-lead-to-potential-demand-growth-for-this-metal-wall-street-turns-bullish Mon, 15 Apr 2024 12:59:29 -0400 Benzinga News Market Update: Dow Falls 475 Points on Renewed Inflation Fears http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-475-points-on-renewed-inflation-fears <p class='black-text'>Stocks fell Friday as inflation fears infected investor sentiment following remarks from the head of JPMorgan. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 475 points, while the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite lost 1.5% and 1.6%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled to close out the week:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.46% or -75.65 points to 5,123.41</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.24% or -475.84 points to 37,983.24</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.62% or -267.10 points to 16,175.09</p><p class='black-text'><b>Moving Markets: </b></p><p class='black-text'>JPMorgan Chase <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> CEO Jamie Dimon warned on Friday that the U.S. economy is faces multiple headwinds, including inflation and the geopolitical landscape, that threaten its future health and growth.</p><p class='black-text'>The leader of the largest U.S. bank by assets said that while "many economic indicators continue to be favorable," the economy exists in an "unsettling" global landscape that includes wars, persistent inflationary pressures, alongside the Federal Reserve's efforts to lower the assets its holding on its $7.5 billion balance sheet; "We have never truly experienced the full effect of quantitative tightening on this scale," Dimon said in announcing the bank's first-quarter earnings results.</p><p class='black-text'>"We do not know how these factors will play out, but we must prepare the Firm for a wide range of potential environments to ensure that we can consistently be there for clients," Dimon added.</p><p class='black-text'><b>On the Earnings Front: </b></p><p class='black-text'><b>JPMorgan Chase </b>posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings Friday morning, driven by strong trading revenues. Looking ahead for 2024, JPM expects net interest income of roughly $90 billion, reiterating its previous forecast and disappointing investors that expected the bank to raise its guidance by $2 billion to $3 billion.</p><p class='black-text'><b>BlackRock </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also delivered better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Friday, with the company's assets under management slightly topping expectations at $10.473 trillion. "I see the greatest opportunities I've ever seen for BlackRock, for our clients, and for our shareholders," CEO Larry Fink said during the company's earnings call with analysts.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Citigroup </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also reported strong first-quarter earnings on Friday, driven by better-than-expected results for its investment banking and trading segments. "Last month marked the end to the organizational simplification we announced in September," CEO Jane Fraser in the company's earnings release. "The result is a cleaner, simpler management structure that fully aligns to and facilitates our strategy."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Wells Fargo </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WFC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WFC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also topped estimates for its first-quarter despite the bank posting a decline in net interest income. A key measure for what a bank earnings on lending, WFC saw net interest income falling 8% during the quarter, driven by higher interest rates and a consumer shift to higher-yielding deposit offering.</p><p class='black-text'>"Our solid first quarter results demonstrate the progress we continue to make to improve and diversify our financial performance," CEO Charlie Scharf said in a statement. "The investments we are making across the franchise contributed to higher revenue versus the fourth quarter as an increase in noninterest income more than offset an expected decline in net interest income."</p><p class='black-text'><b>In Economic News: </b></p><p class='black-text'>The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index came in at 77.9 for April, coming in slightly below estimates as consumers grew more concerned over one-year and longer-term inflation outlooks.</p><p class='black-text'>"A slight uptick in inflation expectations in April reflects some frustration that the inflation slowdown may have stalled. Overall, consumers are reserving judgement about the economy in light of the upcoming election, which, in the view of many consumers, could have a substantial impact on the trajectory of the economy," said Joanne Hsu, director of the Surveys of Consumers, in a statement.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Looking Ahead:</b></p><p class='black-text'>Market participants are gearing up for a busy week of economic news and earnings reports next week, including March's retail sales and housing market data as well as remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.</p><p class='black-text'>The week's earnings reports include Goldman Sachs <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Charles Schwab <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SCHW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SCHW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SCHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SCHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SCHW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, United Health <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UNH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UNH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UNH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UNH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UNH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Bank of America <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BAC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BAC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Johnson & Johnson <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Morgan Stanley <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Procter & Gamble <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-475-points-on-renewed-inflation-fears Fri, 12 Apr 2024 14:09:47 -0400 Rachel Hemple Apple Q2 Earnings Preview: Analyst Sees 'Turning Point In Sentiment,' Catalysts Ahead In Second Half Of 2024 For Tech Giant http://www.pws.io/apple-q2-earnings-preview-analyst-sees-turning-point-in-sentiment-catalysts-ahead-in-second-half-of- <p class='black-text'>Technology giant Apple Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is set to report second-quarter financial results after market close on May 2, 2024, with investors and analysts ready to hear more about several catalysts, including question marks over demand in China.</p><p class='black-text'>A leading analyst previewed the second quarter earnings with several catalysts that could lead to a strong second half of fiscal 2024.</p><p class='black-text'><b>The Apple Analyst:</b> Goldman Sachs analyst Michael Ng had a Buy rating on Apple and lowered the price target from $232 to $226.</p><p class='black-text'><b>The Analyst Takeaways:</b> Second-quarter iPhone revenue could decline 11% year-over-year to $45.9 billion, according to estimates from the analyst.</p><p class='black-text'>"The overall industry environment for smartphones and PCS is improving, which should be supportive for AAPL product sales in C2024/25 (calendar years 2024, 2025)," Ng said.</p><p class='black-text'>While iPhone sales continue to see weakness, the analyst highlighted the strength of the Services segment, with the growth of the App Store helping power the segment. The analyst saw Services revenue up 14% year-over-year to $23.9 billion in the second quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>Another area of strength for Apple in the second quarter could be its AppleTV+ streaming platform, Ng said. The company raised prices from $6.99 to $9.99 per month in October and the second quarter will be the first to fully reflect the increase.</p><p class='black-text'>The analyst also highlighted AppleTV+ was licensing more third-party films in March and April, which could show an increased push to grow the content library.</p><p class='black-text'>Catalysts for the second half of 2024 include: the WWDC event, a reveal of generative artificial intelligence products, new product launches and the iPhone 16 product cycle, according to the analyst.</p><p class='black-text'>The analyst also saw Apple raising its quarterly dividend to 25 cents (from a current 24 cents quarterly) and announcing a new share buyback program.</p><p class='black-text'>"Investor feedback would suggest that this risk is well understood with any weakness in the stock potentially being an entry point for AAPL."</p><p class='black-text'>The analyst had third-quarter guidance being below consensus, but marking the last bad quarter and a "turning point in sentiment" for the company.</p><p class='black-text'>The iPhone 16 launch expected in September is a potential catalyst for the company sized up by Ng in the latest research report.</p><p class='black-text'>"As we head into the launch of iPhone 16 in September 2025 and F2025, we believe iPhone revenue and shipments should return to growth."</p><p class='black-text'>The analyst said Apple's strength in services, new products and a large installed user base should offset headwinds.</p><p class='black-text'>"We believe that the market's focus on slower product revenue growth masks the strength of the Apple ecosystem and associated revenue durability & visibility."</p><p class='black-text'><b>AAPL Price Action:</b> Apple shares trade at $175.26 versus a 52-week trading range of $161.42 to $199.62.</p> http://www.pws.io/apple-q2-earnings-preview-analyst-sees-turning-point-in-sentiment-catalysts-ahead-in-second-half-of- Fri, 12 Apr 2024 12:31:27 -0400 Benzinga News LinkedIn Challenges TikTok and Instagram, Launches Thought Leader Ads to Tap Into Influencer Marketing http://www.pws.io/linkedin-challenges-tiktok-and-instagram-launches-thought-leader-ads-to-tap-into-influencer-marketin <p class='black-text'>Microsoft Corp's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> LinkedIn is diving into influencer marketing, a domain previously dominated by TikTok and Meta Platforms Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/META"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">META</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="META" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Instagram, by allowing advertisers to pay for amplifying posts from users, including popular creators, with its Thought Leader ads.</p><p class='black-text'>This move is part of LinkedIn's strategy to reinvigorate its revenue growth, which has been in single digits since 2022.</p><p class='black-text'>The platform, boasting over 1 billion members, aims to leverage this large user base for growth, especially as influencer marketing has become a significant portion of U.S. social media marketing spend, primarily benefiting Instagram and TikTok, CNBC reports.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite the stiff competition, LinkedIn, with just 4% market share or $4.5 billion in marketing revenue according to eMarketer, is innovating by expanding the Thought Leader ads feature, initially limited to employees' posts, to include posts from any user with the author's permission.</p><p class='black-text'>This expansion is a significant step for brand safety and targeted advertising, especially in business-focused sectors that are LinkedIn's core advertising base.</p><p class='black-text'>The platform's detailed employment data enables precise ad targeting, which is critical for B2B products.</p><p class='black-text'>LinkedIn's approach to humanizing brands through Thought Leader ads has shown higher engagement rates than traditional ads, although it may come at a higher cost than other social networks.</p><p class='black-text'>Recent reports indicated LinkedIn venturing into the realm of short-form video content, introducing a TikTok-style video feed to compete with Instagram, Alphabet Inc's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> YouTube, Snap Inc's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNAP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNAP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Snapchat, and Netflix Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NFLX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NFLX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action: </b>MSFT shares traded lower by 1.10% at $423.24 on the last check Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/linkedin-challenges-tiktok-and-instagram-launches-thought-leader-ads-to-tap-into-influencer-marketin Fri, 12 Apr 2024 12:30:56 -0400 Benzinga News Regulators Probe Morgan Stanley's Wealth-Management Division: Report http://www.pws.io/regulators-probe-morgan-stanleys-wealth-management-division-report <p class='black-text'>Multiple federal regulators are reportedly investigating Morgan Stanley <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> over its client vetting processes amid concerns of potential money laundering within its wealth-management division.</p><p class='black-text'>The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and other Treasury Department offices are involved, alongside the Federal Reserve, which initiated a similar inquiry last November, signaling potential supervisory actions, reported The Wall Street Journal.</p><p class='black-text'>The investigation primarily focuses on Morgan Stanley's diligence in identifying prospective clients, the source of their wealth, and monitoring their financial activities, particularly among international clients, the report added.</p><p class='black-text'>Morgan Stanley's former CEO, now executive chairman, James Gorman, stated the bank is enhancing compliance and technology to track wealth-related transactions, as per the report.</p><p class='black-text'>The SEC's inquiry extends to questionable clients, including a Russian-linked billionaire sanctioned by the U.K. and individuals with suspicious financial activities.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the OCC have sent requests for information.</p><p class='black-text'>Morgan Stanley's wealth division, vital since the 2008 financial crisis, now contributes half of its total revenue, sustaining the bank through market fluctuations.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the wealth unit's growth has slowed, with flat revenue in the fourth quarter and decreased net new assets.</p><p class='black-text'>According to the WSJ report, the SEC and FinCEN are scrutinizing disparities in vetting procedures between E*Trade and Morgan Stanley's financial-adviser unit, prompting inquiries into the technology and processes integration following Morgan Stanley's acquisition of E*Trade.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action: </b>MS shares are trading lower by 0.14% at $86.72 on the last check Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/regulators-probe-morgan-stanleys-wealth-management-division-report Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:52:59 -0400 Benzinga News Amazon Invests in Tech to Uplift Workers: New Robotics and AI Create Jobs and Improve Efficiency Across Europe http://www.pws.io/amazon-invests-in-tech-to-uplift-workers-new-robotics-and-ai-create-jobs-and-improve-efficiency-acro <p class='black-text'>Amazon.Com Inc's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> leadership, through Stefano La Rovere, the Director of Global Robotics, Mechatronics, and Sustainable Packaging, debunked the common belief that robots and advanced technology lead to job losses.</p><p class='black-text'>La Rovere emphasized how these innovations augment existing roles and spur the creation of new job categories, countering the narrative that technology displaces human workers.</p><p class='black-text'>Over 1,000 new technologies have been introduced across Amazon's European fulfillment centers in the past five years, involving an investment exceeding 700 million euros.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon reports that this technological advancement has enriched over 50,000 jobs within the region, CNBC cites La Rovere.</p><p class='black-text'>La Rovere highlighted the benefits of robotics and technology in the workplace, such as minimizing the physical strain on employees, reducing unnecessary movement, and eliminating monotonous tasks.</p><p class='black-text'>He argues that this not only enhances the work environment but also offers employees opportunities to upskill, fostering career growth and enabling them to achieve their professional goals.</p><p class='black-text'>La Rovere also pointed out the creation of over 700 job categories attributed to technological adoption, exemplified by his team's efforts in automating processes within Amazon's fulfillment centers to streamline order packaging and delivery operations.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon is swiftly expanding its robotics fleet, deploying over 750,000 robots to assist its workforce.</p><p class='black-text'>Reportedly, the company's staff count stands at 1.5 million, down from 1.6 million in 2021, reflecting a gradual reduction in its human workforce even as the number of robots has surged from 200,000 in 2019 to 520,000 in 2022.</p><p class='black-text'>These robots, including advanced models like Sequoia and Digit, are tasked with handling repetitive duties to boost efficiency, safety, and the speed of deliveries.</p><p class='black-text'>Earlier reports have highlighted Amazon's focus on leveraging AI-powered targeted advertising for the 2023 holiday season.</p><p class='black-text'>Furthermore, the company has incorporated sophisticated AI and robotics into its warehouse operations, enhancing inventory identification and shortening delivery periods.</p><p class='black-text'>Andy Jassy, the CEO, has underscored generative AI's significant role in elevating customer experiences throughout Amazon's commercial and consumer sectors.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon stock gained over 92% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via SPDR Select Sector Fund - Consumer Discretionary <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Vanguard Consumer Discretion ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VCR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VCR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VCR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VCR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VCR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action:</b> AMZN shares traded lower by 0.94% at $187.27 on the last check Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/amazon-invests-in-tech-to-uplift-workers-new-robotics-and-ai-create-jobs-and-improve-efficiency-acro Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:51:57 -0400 Benzinga News Major US Banks Top Q1 Earnings Estimates As High Interest Rates Offer Tailwinds: 'Indicators Continue To Be Favorable,' Jamie Dimon Says http://www.pws.io/major-us-banks-top-q1-earnings-estimates-as-high-interest-rates-offer-tailwinds-indicators-continue- <p class='black-text'>Five prominent U.S. financial institutions unveiled their first-quarter financial performance on Friday, surpassing consensus forecasts for both earnings and revenue, highlighting the favorable climate for banks amid heightened interest rates and a robust economy.</p><p class='black-text'><b>JPMorgan Chase & Co.: Q1 2024 Earnings Highlight</b></p><p class='black-text'>JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> first-quarter 2024 earnings revealed an EPS of $4.44, outpacing estimates of $4.17. Adjusted revenue stood at $42.55 billion, surpassing the estimated $41.64 billion mark.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite loans slightly below estimates at $1.31 trillion compared to the expected $1.33 trillion, the bank demonstrated resilience with a provision for credit losses of $1.88 billion, lower than the estimated $2.78 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Total deposits reached $2.43 trillion, exceeding the projected $2.4 trillion, while cash and due from banks were reported at $22.75 billion, below the estimated $28.97 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>JPMorgan remains optimistic about its fiscal year net interest income, maintaining an outlook of about $90 billion, slightly below the estimated $90.72 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Equities sales and trading revenue hit $2.69 billion, while FICC sales and trading revenue reached $5.30 billion. Managed net interest income amounted to $23.20 billion, slightly below the estimated $23.22 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., expressed confidence in the bank's performance, stating, "We reported strong results in the first quarter. This quarter, we grew customers, continued to position the firm for the future, maintained our fortress principles, raised the dividend, and played a critical role in driving economic growth by extending credit and raising capital totaling more than $655 billion."</p><p class='black-text'>"Many economic indicators continue to be favorable," Dimon said. However, he also acknowledged prevailing uncertainties, citing global conflicts and rising geopolitical tensions. He also noted the presence of persistent inflationary pressures, signaling potential challenges ahead.</p><p class='black-text'>Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. traded 3% lower during the premarket trading session on Friday.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Citigroup Inc.: Q1 2024 Earnings Highlight</b></p><p class='black-text'>Citi's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> first-quarter 2024 earnings report unveiled an EPS of $1.58, surpassing expectations set at $1.23. Revenue reached $21.10 billion, outperforming the estimated $20.38 billion. FICC sales and trading revenue stood at $4.15 billion, slightly exceeding the estimated $4.12 billion mark, while equities sales and trading revenue amounted to $1.23 billion, surpassing the anticipated $1.11 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Net interest income totaled $13.51 billion, while total loans reached $674.68 billion, slightly below the estimated $688.44 billion. Investment banking revenue was reported at $903 million, surpassing the estimated $776.9 million.</p><p class='black-text'>Operating expenses amounted to $14.20 billion, while the total cost of credit was $2.37 billion, lower than the estimated $2.64 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Looking ahead, Citi maintains its fiscal year adjusted revenue outlook of about $80 billion to $81 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>CEO Jane Fraser highlighted the impressive performance of U.S. Personal Banking, which achieved double-digit revenue growth for the sixth consecutive quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>Shares of Citigroup Inc rose 1.6% in the premarket.</p><p class='black-text'><b>BlackRock Inc.: Q1 2024 Earnings Highlight</b></p><p class='black-text'>BlackRock's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> first-quarter 2024 earnings revealed an adjusted EPS of $9.81, exceeding the estimated $9.34. Revenue amounted to $4.73 billion, slightly surpassing the estimated $4.68 billion mark.</p><p class='black-text'>Assets under management (AUM) reached $10.47 trillion, exceeding the estimated $10.43 trillion.</p><p class='black-text'>Equity net inflows were reported at $18.42 billion, below the estimated $27.79 billion, while fixed income net inflows stood at $41.74 billion, surpassing the estimated $29.33 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Base fees and securities lending revenue totaled $3.78 billion, slightly below the estimated $3.82 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>"Clients are turning to BlackRock to unlock the full potential of their portfolios, reflected in industry-leading total net inflows of $236 billion over the last 12 months," said Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock. "We see significant growth potential in infrastructure, technology, retirement, and whole portfolio solutions, with a strong pipeline that has some of the best breadth that we've ever seen."</p><p class='black-text'>Shares of BlackRock Inc. inched 0.7% higher in the premarket session.</p> http://www.pws.io/major-us-banks-top-q1-earnings-estimates-as-high-interest-rates-offer-tailwinds-indicators-continue- Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:50:41 -0400 Benzinga News Consumer Sentiment Worsens In April, Inflation Expectations Rise Further: Stocks Fall, Gold Surges Above $2,400 http://www.pws.io/consumer-sentiment-worsens-in-april-inflation-expectations-rise-further-stocks-fall-gold-surges-abov <p class='black-text'>The latest April report on U.S. consumer confidence paints a bleak picture, showcasing a sharp decline in overall morale and a disturbing surge in inflation expectations among American consumers, according to data released Friday by the University of Michigan.</p><p class='black-text'>"A slight uptick in inflation expectations in April reflects some frustration that the inflation slowdown may have stalled." Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu, said.</p><p class='black-text'><b>UMich Consumer Sentiment Report For March: Key Highlights</b></p><p class='black-text'><ul><li>The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index eased from 79.4 to 77.9 in April, missing expectations of 79.</li><li>The sub-index for consumer expectations inched marginally down from 77.4 to 77, below the expected 77.6.</li><li>The sub-index for current conditions fell from 82.5 to 79.3, below the expected 82.2.</li><li>The year-ahead inflation expectations rose from 2.9% to 3.1%. Long-term inflation expectations rose from 2.8% to 3%.</li></ul><b>Economist Takeaways</b></p><p class='black-text'>According to Joanne Hsu, "sentiment moved sideways for the fourth straight month, as consumers perceived few meaningful developments in the economy."</p><p class='black-text'>She highlighted risks the progress on disinflation may have stalled, as inflation expectations soared.</p><p class='black-text'>"Overall, consumers are reserving judgment about the economy in light of the upcoming election, which, in the view of many consumers, could have a substantial impact on the trajectory of the economy," she added.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Market Reactions</b></p><p class='black-text'>Stocks extended early session losses after the release, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> down 0.8% and the tech-heavy Invesco QQQ Trust <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> down 1.1%.</p><p class='black-text'>Gold prices, as tracked by the SPDR Gold Trust <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, rose further, up 1.5%, with the yellow metal breaking fresh record highs above $2,400 per ounce.</p><p class='black-text'>Treasury yields saw a material decline as investors flocked to safe havens. The 10-year yield fell 10 basis points, retracing half of the post-inflation move.</p><p class='black-text'>The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TLT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TLT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TLT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TLT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TLT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rallied 1.2%.</p><p class='black-text'>Sector-wise, only the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> managed to trade in the green, buoyed by rising oil prices, with the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) soaring above $87 a barrel on rising tensions in the Middle East.</p> http://www.pws.io/consumer-sentiment-worsens-in-april-inflation-expectations-rise-further-stocks-fall-gold-surges-abov Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:49:17 -0400 Benzinga News Animal Health Giant Zoetis Stock Crumbles: Possible Side Effect Of Its Pet Arthritis Pain Drugs Sickened Dogs, Cats http://www.pws.io/animal-health-giant-zoetis-stock-crumbles-possible-side-effect-of-its-pet-arthritis-pain-drugs-sicke <p class='black-text'>Zoetis Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ZTS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ZTS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ZTS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ZTS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ZTS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> tumbled to a 52-week low after a media report suggested the company's arthritis shots, Librela and Solensia, could have sickened dogs and cats.</p><p class='black-text'>Solensia (frunevetmab) gained FDA approval in January 2022 for pain associated with osteoarthritis in cats. It became the first monoclonal antibody (mAb) new animal drug approved by the FDA for use in any animal species.</p><p class='black-text'>In May 2023, the FDA approved Librela (bedinvetmab) for pain associated with osteoarthritis in dogs. Librela is the first mAb the FDA has approved for use in dogs.</p><p class='black-text'>The introduction of Librela and a similar treatment for cats marked a significant development in pet healthcare, offering relief for arthritis in animals.</p><p class='black-text'>However, these drugs are now under scrutiny as some pet owners link them to adverse effects and even deaths among their pets.</p><p class='black-text'>The osteoarthritis shots target a protein called nerve growth factor, but vets say this could exacerbate underlying nerve conditions or other medical problems.</p><p class='black-text'>Health regulators in the U.S. and Europe have reportedly received thousands of reports of side effects. Some veterinarians are refining the use of Librela and Solensia.</p><p class='black-text'>But Zoetis told the Wall Street Journal that these side effects represent a fraction of the more than 18 million shots of both drugs given in the U.S. and internationally.</p><p class='black-text'>Veterinarians and pet owners have reported positive outcomes with the medications.</p><p class='black-text'>However, neither the company nor researchers in arthritis and animal health have identified any connection between the drugs and the reported adverse effects, the WSJ report added.</p><p class='black-text'>In March, the European Commission initiated an investigation into whether Zoetis hindered the market launch of a competing pain medication for dogs.</p><p class='black-text'>The European Commission said that Zoetis, while working on Librela, also acquired another pain relief product in its late stages of development for the same purpose. This product was intended for commercialization in the European Economic Area by a third party.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action: </b>ZTS shares are down 7.65% at $150.28 on the last check Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/animal-health-giant-zoetis-stock-crumbles-possible-side-effect-of-its-pet-arthritis-pain-drugs-sicke Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:47:50 -0400 Benzinga News The Expansion Of China's EV Makers Could Threaten The Legacy Of European Automakers http://www.pws.io/the-expansion-of-chinas-ev-makers-could-threaten-the-legacy-of-european-automakers <p class='black-text'>The Italian government stated that it is talks with Tesla Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, as well as with Chinese automakers, in attempt to get them to bring their manufacturing to the country and boost the national output after years of decline on the automotive front.</p><p class='black-text'>At an event in Turin on Wednesday, Italy's sole major automaker, Stellantis N.V. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/STLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">STLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="STLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="STLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="STLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> CEO Carlos Tavares warned that the arrival of Chinese car manufacturing in Italy would force some tough and unpopular decisions for the automaker. This move would likely result in Stellantis losing market share and sales volumes, to which it would have to respond by doing whatever it takes to accelerate its efforts to increase productivity and its competitiveness.</p><p class='black-text'>On Thursday, Volkswagen Group <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VWAGY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VWAGY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VWAGY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VWAGY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VWAGY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> revealed its plans to invest 2.68 billion to expand its production and innovation hub in China, more precisely in the city of Hefei in Anhui Province, with the aim of increasing the speed of bringing technologies to market by about 30%. In 2022, Volkswagen got dethroned in China by the local BYD Company Limited <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BYDDY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BYDDY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BYDDY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BYDDY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BYDDY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> who became the best-selling car brand, giving even Tesla a run for its money. Moreover, BYD even shortly dethroned Tesla as the top EV Maker during the last three months of 2023. As part of its e-offensive, Volkswagen continues to prepare the two EVs it is developing with XPeng Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XPEV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XPEV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XPEV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XPEV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XPEV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, the Chinese EV maker, XPeng, continues to expand beyond the overcrowded market in China. XPeng just signed a distributor deal to expand into Honk Kong and Macau. XPeng already made its European entry and did it by launching two EVs in Germany at the end of March. With joined forces, XPeng and Volkswagen have a win-win scenario. Volkswagen gets to strengthen its footing in China and expand its EV portfolio quickly, with both enjoying an improved cost structure and XPeng gaining a European ally as it continues to expand its global footprint.</p><p class='black-text'>During the first quarter, Volkswagen Group reported that deliveries rose 3% YoY to 2.10 million vehicles, with China being among the top growth drivers, rising 8%, along with South America and North America that reported growth of 14% and 5%, respectively. But, fully electric models (BEVs) experienced a decline of 3% that was compensated by the 4% rise in deliveries of traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines. However, the good news on the EV front is that there was a strong growth of 91% in China, but it that did not fully offset the 24% decline in Europe.</p><p class='black-text'>While European automakers face an EV slowdown, Chinese EV makers continue their aggressive expansion.</p><p class='black-text'>According to market research firm Rho Motion, global EV sales and plug-in hybrids rose 12% YoY in March, but the growth in China and the U.S. were partly offset by Europe's 9% drop. Although still positive, growth has slowed, and Europe's EV enthusiasm seems to be on pause.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, Chinese EVs keep arriving to Europe's ports with EV makers like XPeng and BYD expanding to the continent. Other automakers could follow the footsteps of Volkswagen to focus on making friends in China and gaining access to its technology to avoid getting swept by the aggressive push of Chinese EV makers. If the mighty EV pioneer like Tesla had to sacrifice its margins by resorting to slashing prices to boost its competitiveness against BYD, no automaker is safe.</p><p class='black-text'><i>DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investing advice.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/the-expansion-of-chinas-ev-makers-could-threaten-the-legacy-of-european-automakers Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:46:26 -0400 Benzinga News Citigroup's Q1 Revenue Dips Slightly, But Investment Banking and Personal Finance Shine http://www.pws.io/citigroups-q1-revenue-dips-slightly-but-investment-banking-and-personal-finance-shine <p class='black-text'>Citigroup Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> reported a first-quarter fiscal 2024 revenue decline of 2% year-over-year to $21.10 billion, beating the consensus of $20.39 billion. GAAP EPS of $1.58 beat the consensus of $1.20.</p><p class='black-text'>Net credit losses for the fourth quarter were $2.30 billion, up 77% year-over-year.</p><p class='black-text'>Services revenue grew 8% year over year to $4.77 billion, mainly due to higher net interest income across Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) and Security Services.</p><p class='black-text'>Markets revenue declined by 7% Y/Y to $5.38 billion, driven by a decline in Fixed Income.</p><p class='black-text'>Banking revenue increased 49% Y/Y to $1.71 billion, driven by Investment Banking fees.</p><p class='black-text'>U.S. Personal Banking revenue grew 10% Y/Y to $5.2 billion, driven by higher net interest income.</p><p class='black-text'>Wealth revenue declined 4% year over year to $1.7 billion due to lower deposit spreads. All other revenue declined 9% year over year to $2.4 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Net income of $3.4 billion decreased 27% year over year, primarily due to higher expenses and credit costs. Operating expenses stood at $14.2 billion, an increase of 7% year over year.</p><p class='black-text'>The total allowance for credit losses on loans was $18.3 billion, with a reserve-to-funded loans ratio of 2.75%, compared to $17.2 billion, or 2.65% of funded loans, at the end of the prior-year period.</p><p class='black-text'>Citigroup's end-of-period loans were $675 billion at the quarter's end, up 3% year over year, mainly reflecting growth in U.S. Personal Banking and higher loans in Markets.</p><p class='black-text'>At quarter end, deposits were ~$1.3 trillion, down 2% from the prior year. It was primarily due to a reduction in Services, reflecting quantitative tightening.</p><p class='black-text'>At the end of the quarter, Citigroup's book value per share was $99.08 (+3% Y/Y), and its tangible book value was $86.67 (+3% Y/Y).</p><p class='black-text'><b>Outlook:</b> Citigroup reiterated fiscal 2024 adjusted revenue outlook of $80.00 billion-$81.00 billion vs. the consensus of $73.69 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Citigroup stock gained over 29% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via First Trust Nasdaq Bank ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FTXO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FTXO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FTXO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FTXO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FTXO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Opal Dividend Income ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DVIZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DVIZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DVIZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DVIZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DVIZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Price Action:</b> C shares are trading higher by 1.53% at $61.64 premarket on the last check Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/citigroups-q1-revenue-dips-slightly-but-investment-banking-and-personal-finance-shine Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:45:12 -0400 Benzinga News Retail Resilience: Wayfair, Lowe's, Best Buy — JPMorgan's Top Stock Picks http://www.pws.io/retail-resilience-wayfair-lowes-best-buy-jpmorgans-top-stock-picks <p class='black-text'>As the retail landscape evolves amidst changing consumer behaviors and economic shifts, investors seek guidance on navigating this dynamic sector.</p><p class='black-text'>The JPMorgan Retail Round-Up Conference 2024 shed light on key themes shaping the retail landscape this year, including:</p><p class='black-text'><ul><li>Stable U.S. consumer backdrop</li><li>Resurgence in denim and activewear categories</li><li>Renewed focus on consumer value.</li></ul>Amidst these trends, Christopher Horvers, head of U.S. Broadlines and Hardlines Retail at JPMorgan, presented compelling stock picks poised for growth in the retail sector.</p><p class='black-text'><b>1. Wayfair: Offers Upside From Sales, Margins</b></p><p class='black-text'>Horvers expressed optimism about Wayfair Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/W"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">W</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="W" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="W" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="W" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, the leading online specialty retailer. He attributed its potential for growth to the improving demand for home goods.</p><p class='black-text'>With sales expected to rise alongside the resurgence in home-related purchases, Wayfair stood to benefit from its dominance in the online home furnishings category.</p><p class='black-text'>Horvers noted the company's focus on cost optimization post-Covid-19 pandemic. "We see upside not only from sales but also from margins," said Hoervers.</p><p class='black-text'><b>2. Lowe's: Outdoor Patio Demand To See Acute Uplift</b></p><p class='black-text'>Horvers highlighted Lowe's Companies Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LOW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LOW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LOW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LOW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LOW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as another promising stock pick, particularly as the outdoor spring season kicks off. Anticipating increased demand for outdoor patio products, driven partly by pent-up demand from the Covid pandemic era, Horvers emphasized Lowe's exposure to seasonal categories.</p><p class='black-text'>"DIY is 75% of their business. A big chunk of that is driven off these seasonal categories," highlighted Horvers. Lowe's is well-positioned to capitalize on the anticipated uplift in demand for outdoor home improvement products.</p><p class='black-text'>"We also think that the outdoor patio area will see an acute uplift this spring ... Lowe's is acutely more exposed to this trend than Home Depot Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>."</p><p class='black-text'><b>3. Best Buy: Back-To-School Important Catalyst</b></p><p class='black-text'>Horvers identified Best Buy Co Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BBY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BBY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BBY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as an attractive investment opportunity, especially considering the potential for a turnaround in demand for big-ticket items with long replacement cycles. "Companies like Walmart Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WMT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WMT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Target Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TGT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TGT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Home Depot are still seeing headwinds," he noted.</p><p class='black-text'>Noting the uptick in demand for laptops and TVs, Horvers suggested back-to-school season could serve as a catalyst for Best Buy. With its dominant market position and conservative margins, Best Buy presents an appealing value proposition within the retail sector.</p><p class='black-text'>As the retail landscape develops amidst shifting consumer preferences and economic conditions, J.P. Morgan's retail stock picks offer investors opportunities for potential growth and value.</p><p class='black-text'>Wayfair, Lowe's and Best Buy are positioned to capitalize on emerging trends and market dynamics. Investors may find these stocks worthy of consideration in their portfolios.</p><p class='black-text'>However, as with any investment, thorough research and analysis are essential to making informed decisions in the ever-changing retail sector.</p> http://www.pws.io/retail-resilience-wayfair-lowes-best-buy-jpmorgans-top-stock-picks Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:43:36 -0400 Benzinga News Nike Stock Jumps On Upgrade To Buy As Analyst Says It's 'Time To Just Do It' http://www.pws.io/nike-stock-jumps-on-upgrade-to-buy-as-analyst-says-its-time-to-just-do-it <p class='black-text'>Nike Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NKE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NKE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NKE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NKE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NKE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares are trading higher Thursday following an upgrade from BofA Securities.</p><p class='black-text'><b>What Happened: </b>BofA analyst Lorraine Hutchinson upgraded Nike from Neutral to Buy on Thursday and raised the price target from $110 to $113, noting that "it's time to just do it."</p><p class='black-text'>Full-year earnings estimates for Nike have fallen 35% over the last two years. When paired with the fact that the stock is trading at 10-year lows on a price-to-earnings basis, BofA believes it's time to buy.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are upgrading Nike to Buy (from Neutral) as estimates finally look achievable, Nike is taking bold steps to transform, and the stock sits at a 10-year trough relative P/E," the analyst said in a new note to clients.</p><p class='black-text'>Hutchinson sees mid single-digit revenue growth ahead with margin expansion. Based on this outlook, the valuation looks "compelling," she said.</p><p class='black-text'>Nike also has catalysts ahead including the company's first investor day in seven years and the upcoming Olympics, the BofA analyst said.</p><p class='black-text'>"Nike has historically benefited from the newness and marketing around the Olympics, and we see this year as no different. Nike has ramped innovation ahead of the event, and we model accelerating demand creation spending to generate excitement," Hutchinson said.</p><p class='black-text'>The BofA analyst noted that she expects margins to buffer the anticipated sales downturn in the near term. Hutchinson's $113 price target reflects a 1.2x multiple on 25 times forward 2026 earnings.</p><p class='black-text'>Thursday's upgrade is the first of the year for Nike. According to Benzinga's analyst data, the consensus rating on Nike stock is Buy and the average price target among analysts is $100.33.</p><p class='black-text'><b>NKE Price Action: </b>Nike shares were up 3.28% at $91.92 at the time of publication, according to Benzinga Pro.</p> http://www.pws.io/nike-stock-jumps-on-upgrade-to-buy-as-analyst-says-its-time-to-just-do-it Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:32:47 -0400 Benzinga News CarMax Shares Dip On Disappointing Q4 Earnings: Analysts Adjust Expectations http://www.pws.io/carmax-shares-dip-on-disappointing-q4-earnings-analysts-adjust-expectations <p class='black-text'>Shares of CarMax Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KNX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KNX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KNX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KNX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KNX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> were falling in early trading on Friday, after the company reported downbeat earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>The results came amid an exciting earnings season. Here are some key analyst takeaways from the release.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Needham On CarMax</b></p><p class='black-text'>Analyst Chris Pierce reiterated a Buy rating, while reducing the price target from $99 to $91.</p><p class='black-text'>Hopes of an industry recovery have been pushed out due to expectations of Federal Reserve delays interest rate cuts, "putting the burden of growth on share gains," Pierce said in a note.</p><p class='black-text'>CarMax gained share in three of the five months, starting in October, the analyst stated. "A linear path to share gains would clearly be preferable, but we view recent results as thesis confirming," he added.</p><p class='black-text'><b>RBC Capital Markets On CarMax</b></p><p class='black-text'>Analyst Steven Shemesh reaffirmed an Outperform rating, while lowering the price target from $83 to $73.</p><p class='black-text'>The company's fourth-quarter results were "noisy," Shemesh said. Although there was an improvement in retail comp units, the performance quarter to date is "trending down," pushing out the long-term unit target, he added.</p><p class='black-text'>"It's tough to have much conviction in a near-term unit recovery - which we think is needed to really drive leverage throughout the model," the analyst further wrote.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Mizuho Securities On CarMax</b></p><p class='black-text'>Analyst David Bellinger maintained a Neutral rating, while cutting the price target from $80 to $75.</p><p class='black-text'>"Consumers seem to be signaling purchase intent for used vehicles, but remain hesitant to transact given ongoing affordability issues," Bellinger said in a note.</p><p class='black-text'>"KMX is making progress with its fifth consecutive quarter of sequential comp sales improvement and guiding to expense leverage on +LSD% gross profit growth," the analyst wrote. "However, we believe top-line pressures will linger throughout FY24E, pressuring a return to more normalized EPS growth in the process," he added.</p><p class='black-text'><b>KMX Price Action:</b> Shares of CarMax were down 0.71% to $71.47 at the time of publication on Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/carmax-shares-dip-on-disappointing-q4-earnings-analysts-adjust-expectations Fri, 12 Apr 2024 10:30:41 -0400 Benzinga News