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Market News / Analysis

Bank earnings upbeat but stocks drop. Is there a buying opportunity for investors?

Bank earnings topped estimates, yet prices of bank stocks JPM, C, WFC dropped. What drove their earnings? Buoyant markets helped drive investment banking revenues for these banks, but lack of volatility impacted their trading revenues that proved to be a… Continue Reading →

Crude oil prices’ fine balancing act. Will the markets rebalance?

Crude oil prices rose on reports of global demand picking up and are up about 4% through Thursday Supply woes intensify While the markets welcomed the good news, they continue to remain cautious about increasing supply. The oil market, since… Continue Reading →

UK’s slowing wage growth despite record employment levels – good news or bad news?

After last week’s dismal industry and trade data from the UK, yesterday’s news of falling unemployment levels lent some support to the sterling.However, UK’s slowing wage growth once again reminded the markets of UK’s dimming growth prospects. Why are wages… Continue Reading →

Q2 earnings underway – will energy sector deliver or disappoint?

Big banks like $JPM, $C, $WFC will set the ball rolling for the Q2 earnings season with their reports pouring in on Friday this week. As per estimates, Y/Y earnings and revenue growth in Q2 are expected to be around… Continue Reading →

Illinois credit downgrade – hanging in the budget balance

Moody’s warned yesterday of a credit rating downgrade to junk for the US state of Illinois. The background The state hasn’t had a full year budget for the last 2 years because of disagreement over spend/revenue plan between its Republican… Continue Reading →

North Korean Crisis – how does it impact the world markets?

Yesterday, North Korea’s missile launch marked an escalation of its nuclear program as part of its survival and security enhancement program. This event has heightened geopolitical tensions and is impacting global markets. The dynamics The Korean peninsula has been marked… Continue Reading →

China’s manufacturing data – is this recovery sustainable?

China’s upbeat PMI manufacturing data for June, published this week, points to an expanding economy and improving economic conditions in Q2. But how should one read this data in light of growth prospects for China? Short-term outlook improving Concerns of… Continue Reading →

Amazon’s acquisition of wholefoods a game changer? Don’t jump the gun yet..

Amazon last week announced its intent to acquire Whole Foods for ~14bn. The acquisition would initiate Amazon’s foray into brick-and-mortar space, a reversal of current e-commerce trend sweeping the retail industry. Food retailer stocks suffered a setback on the announcement… Continue Reading →

MSCI’s China A-Shares inclusion – how does it impact the markets?

MSCI announced its decision to include shares of 222 large cap China A-share companies in its benchmark Emerging Markets Index on Tuesday. What does the decision mean? It means that China’s A shares – that are shares of mainland China-based… Continue Reading →

UK and Brexit Negotiations – trapped in the exit?

The Brexit negotiations that started yesterday mark the beginning of 2 years of the extraction process of the UK out of the EU. The beginning of the negotiation process doesn’t change much at the get-go – other than being symbolic… Continue Reading →

Section 232 investigations: will tariffs on steel imports help restore American jobs?

Trump proposed a probe on the impact of steel imports on the nation’s national security via section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, in April. The results of the investigation are expected to be released this week. Why the… Continue Reading →

Tech slump eases – did the global markets overreact?

Stocks of tech giants Apple, Facebook, Google fell more than 3% on Friday with the sell-off continuing on Monday as well and spreading to Europe and Asia. But the slump has abated since then. Why the drop? While there was… Continue Reading →

Qatar conflict – impact on oil prices, trade, and investments

Last week, Arab nations that include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain, severed diplomatic relations with Qatar citing its support for terrorism. Oil prices rose 1% as the markets reacted to the possibility of supply disruption, but pared gains… Continue Reading →

Trump’s adieu to the Paris Accord

President Trump announced the withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate agreement last week, arguing it was destroying American jobs. Though the US markets broadly reacted positively to the news, there were winners and losers. Coal stocks trended higher,… Continue Reading →

Dodd Frank Repeal – will the Congress pass the reform bill?

US House votes for the Dodd-Frank repeal this week. What it means? The Dodd-Frank, a law for the regulation of the financial industry, was introduced in 2010 to promote financial stability. Trump is proposing a repeal of the law to… Continue Reading →

UK Elections this week

UK elections happen this week. The conflicting polls about the Conservatives lead over the Labour Party have added an element of uncertainty to the almost certain expectations of a landslide win by the Tories (Conservative Party) a month ago. It… Continue Reading →

Greece Crisis – harbinger of doom or a toothless threat?

European shares, this week, were hit by growing investor worries about the Greece crisis. What does this mean? Greece’s debt repayments are due in July and its lenders meet in June to work out a solution. Greece recently deepened austerity… Continue Reading →

Gold prices: catalysts that could support its rise this year

Gold is holding on to its monthly high at the start of the week. The metal is up ~9% YTD. A few catalysts could support gold prices going forward: 1) A no hike / reduced pace decision from Fed could… Continue Reading →

Will OPEC’s deal extension help lift oil prices in long term?

On Thursday, OPEC and other non-members extended the November production cut agreement by 9 months. If the deal cut announcement was in keeping with the market consensus, why did oil drop ~5% after the news? The drop could be a… Continue Reading →

Moody’s China downgrade is a warning, not a verdict

Moody’s downgraded China’s credit rating on Wednesday citing rising debt levels. The country’s benchmark equity index fell 1% but recouped losses. The reaction of the global stock markets was also muted. Given the fact that the global markets have been… Continue Reading →

FCC’s vote against net neutrality: impact on stakeholders

Last week, the FCC voted to start the repeal of Obama’s key internet policy of net neutrality. What does it mean? In 2015, broadband internet was reclassified as a vital utility, subjecting it to heavier regulations. The idea was to… Continue Reading →

Brazil’s political scandal: treading markets amidst turmoil

Brazil’s President Temer was accused this week of bribery.The stock market fell 10% on Thursday and the Real sank 7% vs the dollar after the news. After two years of recession, it appeared that Brazil’s economy was finally turning the… Continue Reading →

Will Walmart’s Earnings buck the retail downtrend?

Walmart earnings for Q1’18 are set to release tomorrow. The retail sector is observing a growing trend of the shift to online commerce. Retail players are facing increasing competition from Amazon, that, according to estimates, accounts for more than half… Continue Reading →

Belt and Road Initiative: resultant investment opportunities

China President Xi Jinping announced renewed focus on the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) during the two-day infrastructure summit for international cooperation held on May 14-15. The initiative BRI involves the development of trade routes connecting China with Asia, Africa,… Continue Reading →

Brexit and UK’s growing pains: its not doomsday yet

UK’s recent economic data has revived fears of Brexit slowdown.Q1 GDP fell to 0.3% vs 0.7% in previous quarter. March industrial production data, released this week, was weaker than estimates. Trade deficit has widened and is at six-month high The… Continue Reading →

South Korea Elections: impact on corporates and the stock market

Moon Jae-in won the South Korea elections yesterday. What does this mean for S.Korea’s businesses? 1) Per Moon’s campaign promise of restricting the power of Chaebols (family owned conglomerates), markets are expecting reforms in their governance (Chaebols put the interest… Continue Reading →

Glass-Steagall – should bank investors worry about it?

Trump last week talked about working on “breaking up the big banks”. This refers to reinstating the 21st-century version of the Glass-Steagall Act (1933-1999) – that separated commercial banking from investment banking. So how does Glass-Steagall V2 impact the Systemically… Continue Reading →

Ethereum is breaking barriers, but is it a good investment?

Ether climbed to an all-time high of above $80 this week. The currency has gained more than 700% this year vs Bitcoin’s growth of 50%. What is Ether/eum? And how is it different from Bitcoin? Ethereum is a platform that… Continue Reading →

Bitcoin – will the momentum sustain?

Bitcoin touched an all-time high of above 1400 today. News of the SEC reconsidering Winklevoss ETF proposal mainly fueled this rise. Japan’s legalization of Bitcoin as a payment method since April has also boosted investor sentiment.Growing regulatory acceptance by Japan… Continue Reading →

SENSEX breaches 30K – how should investors ride the rally?

The Indian stock market index, BSE Sensex, crossed the high of 30K this week. While the rally was mostly supported by positive global events that included strong corporate quarter and tax reforms in the US, abating French election worries and… Continue Reading →

Under Armour earnings: here is what investors should focus on

Under Armour (UA) is expected to report its first-ever operating loss tomorrow. The stock dropped 20% in January following dismal Q4’16 results. UA has projected a mere 10-12% revenue growth for 2017 vs it’s 20%+ growth in the last 26… Continue Reading →

Trump Tax Reform Plan – It’s not all glitter

Trump tax reform announcement is expected this week. There are two proposals – led by Trump and House speaker Ryan. Ryan’s plans include a border adjustment tax (BAT) to be imposed on imports to fund the cuts as opposed to… Continue Reading →

Twitter earnings for Q1 next week – things to consider

Twitter reports Q1 next week. Its shares are down 80% from its all-time high of $69 due to multiple issues that include slowing user, revenue growth, anaemic profits, account security issues and top management exodus. The company has taken multiple… Continue Reading →

May’s UK Elections announcement: is sterling’s rise sustainable?

On Tuesday, UK PM Theresa May announced surprise general elections, to be held on June 8. Sterling rose more than 2% to a six-month high of $1.2904 following the news, snapping its prolonged downturn since the referendum last year What… Continue Reading →

Aramco IPO – How will it impact global oil prices?

Aramco IPO is generating a lot of interest in global markets. And it certainly deserves this attention, for, at an estimated valuation of $2tn(debated), and 5% on offer, it would be the world’s biggest IPO ever. Why is Saudia Arabia(SA)… Continue Reading →

French Elections: implications for Euro markets and currency

France’s presidential candidates met in a pre-election debate today ahead of the French elections this month. These elections are significant as they have the potential to threaten the existence of the EU owing to the growing popularity of Le Pen,… Continue Reading →

OPEC’s Deal Extension

Last week, oil producers in Kuwait discussed OPEC’s November production cut deal extension. With US shale production offsetting OPEC’s cuts, the deal so far has failed to prop oil prices to $60. Before the deal expires in June, OPEC will… Continue Reading →

Brexit triggered – how are UK businesses impacted?

May officially triggered Brexit this week and marked the beginning of two-year negotiations for Uk’s exit from the EU. Multiple negotiation outcomes are possible. But in the worst case scenario, if no agreement is reached, the trade would revert to… Continue Reading →

SEC’s Rejection of the Second Bitcoin ETF Proposal

The SEC yesterday rejected the SolidX ETF proposal, citing concerns relating to the possibility of market manipulation and difficulty in the regulation of the peer-to-peer network in overseas markets. It had earlier rejected the Winklevoss proposal for a Bitcoin ETF… Continue Reading →

Nike Earnings Report for Q3 – here is what to focus on

Nike will post Q3’17 earnings tomorrow. Despite being a dominant player in the sports apparel industry, the stock underperformed the S&P 500 index last year as it faced increasing competition from Under Armour (basketball shoes) and Adidas (fashion shoes). In… Continue Reading →

China’s strong start in 2017 – does it indicate recovery?

China’s economy had a strong start in 2017. FA investment growth picked up, with private sector investment at a yearly high. And though falling auto sales drove retail sales growth numbers to below 10% for the first time since 2003,… Continue Reading →

Triggering Article 50 – implications for the UK market

The UK parliament has cleared the bill for Article 50. It is expected that PM Theresa May will officially begin Brexit negotiations with the EU by March end. What this means: 1) The legalities Despite gaining a 2-year timeline following… Continue Reading →

Oil sinks lower from supply woes – blip or downtrend?

WTI suffered its steepest one-day fall in 13 months on Wednesday and is now trading below $50. EIA report of record build in US inventories triggered the plunge. Rising shale oil production has been keeping a lid on oil prices… Continue Reading →

SNAP IPO – is the hype overshadowing the substance

Snapchat finishes its first day of trading on the NYSE at $24.48, about 44% higher than its price of $17, at a market cap of $28bn, Ok, the SNAP IPO is another tech mega IPO with a lot of expectations… Continue Reading →

The soaring US Stock Markets – is the rally sustainable?

Dow breached the 21000 mark for the first time today, S&P and Nasdaq hit record intraday highs post Trump speech. Overall, the US stock market s are up more than 10% post elections driven mainly by anticipation of “phenomenal” tax… Continue Reading →

Target Earnings – here is what you need to focus on

Target earnings report for Q4 will be released today. The stock has had a bearish outlook and underperformed the S&P and some peers in 2016. Its holiday sales in November and December were not encouraging, leading to a revision in… Continue Reading →

Bharti Airtel’s Telenor Acquisition : Here Comes Another Indian Telecom Deal..

Bharti Airtel shares, on Thursday, rose over 10% intraday and ended the session over 1.5% higher, following Telenor acquisition announcement. This deal announcement follows the merger announcements by Vodafone-Idea and RCom-MTS-Aircel. The Indian telecom sector is abuzz with M&A news… Continue Reading →

Yahoo Verizon deal: Why is Yahoo up despite Verizon’s discount?

Yahoo shares were up 0.7% on Tuesday despite news of Verizon discounting its deal price by $350 mn to $4.48bn. Why so? Background: The deal was first announced in July last year when Verizon sought to buy Yahoo’s core internet… Continue Reading →

Kraft Heinz Unilever deal – A Mega-Merger Goes Kaput..

Kraft Heinz recently proposed a $143 billion takeover deal to Unilever, valuing its shares at $50, an 18% premium. Unilever rejected the offer citing low valuation. Why the brouhaha over this deal? The deal, if successful, would have been the… Continue Reading →

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