US equity indexes are rising even as the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book report that “economic activity increased among most Districts, but gains were generally modest and activity remained well below levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic”. The S&P 500 Index is advancing 1.1% with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1% led by gains in Coca-Cola and IBM stocks.The Nasdaq Composite Index is edging 0.7% higher.
For the rest of the week, investors will be watching out for weekly jobless claims tomorrow, and the US monthly employment report on Friday, which is expected to show payrolls rebounded last month from lows seen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nvidia (NVDA) is up almost 4% after the chip company said it has worked with Micron to create the world’s fastest discrete graphics memory for the RTX 30 series, GDDR6X. It provides data speeds of close to 1TB/s system memory bandwidth for graphics card applications, maximizing game and app performance. Post-launch Merrill Lynch’s Vivek Arya boosted his Nvidia price target to a Street-high $650 up from $600 previously.
Profit taking: Tesla (TSLA) is the top decliner on the Nasdaq plunging almost 7% after a major shareholder of the electric carmaker automaker, fund management company Baillie Gifford & Co, slashed its passive stake to 4.25% from 7.67% as of Dec. 31, according to an SEC filing. On Tuesday, Tesla announced a plan to raise $5 billion through a share offering. All this comes as shares have rallied a whopping 427% this year.
In the spotlight: DraftKings shares got a lift, jumping more than 8% after the sports betting company announced that Michael Jordan is joining its board of directors and has agreed to take an equity interest. Jordan, a member of the National Basketball Association Hall of Fame, will serve as a special advisor and provide strategic and creative input to the board of directors on product development, marketing activities and other key initiatives.
India’s Flipkart, which is majority-owned by Walmart, launched an online wholesale service through an app in three cities of the country. The new “Flipkart Wholesale” app targets mom-and-pop stores and other small businesses and aims to compete with rival Amazon and other e-commerce players. The platform is currently available for fashion apparels in the cities of Gurugram, Delhi and Bengaluru. Flipkart plans to expand the service to 20 more cities and in categories such as groceries by the end of the year.
Revamp: Medtronic is up 1% after informing investors of a restructuring plan to simplify its organizational structure and thereby cut annual costs by $450 million – $475 million by fiscal 2023. The “new operating model is designed to make the company a more competitive organization focused on accelerating innovation, driving revenue growth, and winning market share,” the medical device maker said.
Deals: The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) entered into a $5.5 billion long-term real estate investment partnership with a consortium headed by Apollo Global Management. Under the real estate partnership, Apollo (APO) led a group of institutional investors to acquire a 49% stake in Abu Dhabi Property Leasing Holding Company (ADPLHC), a wholly owned affiliate of ADNOC.
Now, turning to earnings, shares of clothing retailer Guess are surging 11% as its 2Q revenue of $399 million topped analysts’ expectations of $385 million. The company posted a 2Q loss of $0.01 versus estimates for a loss of $0.58. Guess’ CEO Carlos Alberini said that the company is “well positioned” for the second half of the year.
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