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News archive

History beckons

27 May

Technology stocks boosted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Friday, concluding a turbulent but positive week. Both major indices extended their winning streaks to five weeks. The leaders on the day included Qualcomm (+4.3%), AMD (+3.7%), Tesla (+3.2%), Meta (+2.7%) and Nvidia (+2.6%).

In company news, Intuit dropped 8.3% after the company reported a decline in the number of people using the free version of its TurboTax product. Elsewhere, Deckers Outdoor surged 14% as the maker of Ugg boots and Hoka shoes stomped all over Wall Street's sales and profit expectations.

On Friday, the JSE All-share closed up 0.25%, the S&P 500 gained 0.70%, and the Nasdaq was 1.10% higher. A good final outcome, that's what counts.

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Nvidia surges

24 May

US markets dipped yesterday, marking the second consecutive day of declines for all three major indices. Nvidia was the standout, surging 9.3% after impressive quarterly results. The S&P 500 fell the most yesterday, with ten out of eleven sectors down. Only the information technology sector managed a modest 0.6% gain.

In company news, the US Justice Department has sued to break up Live Nation, alleging that their Ticketmaster subsidiary illegally inflated concert ticket prices and harmed artists. We suspect that ticket resellers might be the real issue. Live Nation shares fell 7.8% on the news. Meanwhile, Amazon announced a $17 billion investment in Spain to expand its cloud business across Europe. Lastly, Apple is contesting a $1.9 billion fine from the European Union, which accuses the company of stifling competition from music streaming rivals like Spotify.

At the end of the day, the JSE All-share closed down 0.67%, the S&P 500 shed 0.74%, and the Nasdaq was 0.39% lower.

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Appetite for less

23 May

US markets cooled off yesterday after minutes of a recent Fed meeting revealed concerns about persistent inflation, casting doubt on when officials might cut interest rates. All major indices closed down, with energy and utilities leading the losses.

In company news, Nvidia surged 6% after-hours thanks to blowout revenue numbers and a stronger-than-expected second-quarter outlook. The chipmaker also announced a 10-for-1 share split and a 150% increase in its dividend to 10 cents per share (still pathetic). Meanwhile, big-box retailer Target fell 8% after reporting its fourth straight quarter of declining sales.

In summary, the JSE All-share closed down 0.40%, the S&P 500 shed 0.27%, and the Nasdaq was 0.18% lower.

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Stay rich with Richemont

22 May

US markets were up yesterday. The S&P 500 hit another record high, its 24th this year, while the Nasdaq also closed at a new high. Notable performers included First Solar (+8%), Tesla (+6.7%) and Eli Lilly (+2.6%). All three major indices have gained over 5.4% this month, driven by a strong earnings season and lower inflation. Beautiful!

In company news, Macy's rose 5.1% after increasing its profit forecast for the year. In contrast, Lowe's dropped 1.9% following a report of declining sales. Newly-listed Finnish company Amer Sports posted better-than-expected sales and profits, largely driven by its (badly-spelled) Arc'teryx brand, but its shares fell 7.9%.

Here's the lowdown, the JSE All-share closed down 0.33%, but the S&P 500 rose 0.25%, and the Nasdaq was 0.22% higher.

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German weasels

21 May

US markets kicked off the new week on a positive note. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed at a new all-time high, driven by gains in Nvidia (+2.5%), Netflix (+3.2%), and Applied Materials (+3.7%). The S&P 500 also ended slightly in the green, contributing to the positive market sentiment.

In company news, Palo Alto Networks tumbled 8.7% after-hours following a soft billing outlook. Zoom Video Communications also dipped 1% in late trade after reporting underwhelming numbers. Finally, Tencent suspended Dungeon & Fighter Mobile within an hour of its Chinese debut due to unspecified server problems. This was one of 2024's most anticipated games.

In summary, the JSE All-share closed up 0.68%, the S&P 500 rose 0.09%, and the Nasdaq was 0.65% higher. Sweet moves.

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Chips, Charts, and Chubb

20 May

On Friday, US markets drifted aimlessly. The S&P 500 edged higher, driven by energy stocks, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dipped slightly. However, the weekly performance was strong, with the S&P 500 gaining 1.3% and the Nasdaq advancing 1.7%.

In company news, Richemont shares soared 5.3% after the luxury conglomerate reported sales that were better than expected. Elsewhere, GameStop fell 20% on Friday after the meme stonk reported slowing sales and announced plans to sell 45 million additional shares. The rally earlier in the week was clearly just driven by hype. A classic pump and dump, how absurd!

On Friday, the JSE All-share closed up a tiny 0.03%, the S&P 500 rose 0.12%, and the Nasdaq was 0.07% lower.

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Perform on your platform

17 May

Yesterday, US markets closed slightly lower. The most notable achievement was the old-school Dow Jones Industrial Average crossing 40 000 for the first time ever. It's up nearly 40% from its lows in September 2022 and has more than doubled since May 2020, amidst the tumult of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In company news, farm equipment-maker Deere dropped 4.7% after revising its 2024 guidance downwards. Conversely, Walmart surged 7% to reach new highs as it surpassed quarterly earnings and revenue estimates, largely driven by affluent shoppers using its online platform. Finally, Take-Two Interactive dipped 2.5% in after-hours trade due to decreased net bookings and the postponement, again, of its Grand Theft Auto VI release to 2025.

In short, the JSE All-share closed up 0.19%, the S&P 500 fell 0.21%, and the Nasdaq closed 0.26% lower.

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Coin toss investments

16 May

Wednesday saw another strong performance from US markets, with all three major indices closing at record highs. This followed a CPI report indicating a slight easing of inflation in April, suggesting that price pressures might be stabilising. Leading the gains in the S&P 500 were tech sector giants such as AMD (+4.3%), CrowdStrike (+4.1%), Nvidia (+3.6%), and biotech giant Eli Lilly (+3%).

In company news, Cisco surged 5% in late trading after reporting better-than-expected earnings and providing upbeat guidance. Netflix revealed that its monthly active users for its ad-supported subscription plan skyrocketed to 40 million from just 5 million a year ago. Lastly, Boeing may face criminal prosecution after the US Justice Department found that the company breached a deferred-prosecution agreement related to two fatal crashes five years ago.

At the close, the JSE All-share was up 0.93%, the S&P 500 rose 1.17%, and the Nasdaq was 1.40% higher. Wow, epic moves!

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15 May

US markets made solid gains last night, with the Nasdaq reaching a record high. Producer-price index data came out which was mixed, rising a little more than expected, although March's figures were revised downward. Notable large-cap gainers included Oracle (+3.9%), Tesla (+3.3%), Broadcom (+3.2%), and Blackstone (+3.1%).

In company news, Microsoft has committed to investing EUR4 billion in cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure in France. The company intends to train one million individuals and provide support to 2,500 startups by 2027. Elsewhere, Home Depot reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat expectations, despite soft sales. Lastly, Sea Limited rose by 2.8% after the Singapore-based e-commerce company reported strong sales at its Shopee division.

In summary, the JSE All-share closed down 0.07%, but the S&P 500 rose 0.48%, and the Nasdaq was 0.75% higher. All good.

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Less birth on Earth

14 May

Yesterday, US markets had an uneventful trading session. The Dow broke its eight-session green streak, the S&P 500 was basically unchanged even though nine of its eleven sectors ticked lower and the tech-heavy Nasdaq advanced slightly thanks to gains by Apple and Nvidia.

In company news, Uber is looking to buy Delivery Hero's Taiwanese business called Foodpanda for $950 million. The food delivery business has been a standout performer for Uber. Elsewhere, Anglo American turned down BHP's second offer that valued the miner at $43 billion.

At the end of the day, the JSE All-share ended up 0.28%, the S&P 500 declined by just 0.02%, and the Nasdaq was 0.29% higher.

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Jim did win

13 May

On Friday, US stocks ended on a positive note, capping strong gains for the week and putting April's slowdown behind us. All three major indices have seen increases of at least 3.7% so far in the month of May and all-time highs are back in sight. Very satisfactory.

In company news, Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) posted impressive sales figures, leading to a 5% share price increase. Elsewere, Novavax rose by a staggering 99% after announcing a licensing agreement with French healthcare giant Sanofi to jointly commercialise its Covid-19 vaccine. Its 5-year share chart still looks awful.

On Friday, the JSE All-share closed up 1.19%, the S&P 500 rose 0.16%, and the Nasdaq was unchanged.

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Buy in May and stay

10 May

Yesterday, US markets edged higher, propelled by gains in property and utilities companies. The gains in May from all three major indices have reversed April's declines, and they are approaching new record highs. This surge in confidence stems from the growing belief on Wall Street that the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates later this year. Sell in May and go away has been very bad advice so far.

In company news, Airbnb saw a 6.9% decline after its projection for the current quarter failed to meet analysts' expectations. Meanwhile, Warner Music Group ended 8.6% lower due to a slowdown in recorded music, and Roblox dropped 22% after its full-year guidance fell short of forecasts.

At the close, the JSE All-share closed up 0.47%, the S&P 500 rose 0.51%, and the Nasdaq was 0.27% higher.

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09 May

US markets had an uneventful day. The S&P 500 ended slightly lower, its smallest movement since 2018 according to the statistics boffs. As the first-quarter earnings season approaches its conclusion, FactSet reports that S&P 500 companies grew earnings by 5.3%, the best outcome since the second quarter of 2022. Well done everyone.

In company news, Lyft soared 7.1% following a rise in revenue and a reduction in its losses from last quarter. Its competitor Uber did not fare as well (pun intended), falling 5.7% after reporting a loss due to some accounting policy changes. Elsewhere, Shopify dropped by 19% after the e-commerce service provider projected a slowdown in sales growth. Finally, Arm Holdings tumbled 9% in late trade as the chip designer's lukewarm revenue forecast for the fiscal year sparked concerns that the spending spree on artificial intelligence servers may be slowing down.

In short, the JSE All-share closed up 0.32%, the S&P 500 was basically unchanged, and the Nasdaq fell 0.18%. Nothing to get excited about.

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Stryker operates

08 May

On Tuesday, the US markets closed with a mixed performance. The S&P 500 saw modest gains, bringing its year-to-date returns to 9.4%. However, the Nasdaq, experienced a slight decline, although its year-to-date performance remains impressive at 10.6%, despite the pullback it faced in April.

In company news, luxury sportscar maker Ferrari fell 4.7% after reporting an outlook that disappointed the market despite a solid start to the year. Elsewhere, Coupang, South Korea's biggest online retailer, saw its stock dip 5% after hours following earnings that fell short of expectations. The acquisition of Farfetch resulted in more losses than anticipated, impacting the company's performance. Lastly, entertainment giant Disney shed 9.5% as its quarterly loss and earnings outlook fell shy of Wall Street's forecasts.

Here's the lowdown, the JSE All-share closed up 0.20%, the S&P 500 rose 0.13%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.10%.

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The weighting game

07 May

US markets pushed higher ahead of another busy week of corporate earnings. Both the broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq extended their rally from last week with the usual suspects Eli Lilly (+4.3%), Nvidia (+3.8%), Meta (+3%), Netflix (+3%) and Tesla (+2%) leading the charge.

In company news, Palantir Technologies declined 8.4% after-hours, despite reporting robust first-quarter revenue in its commercial segment, driven by a surge in artificial intelligence demand. Chipotle announced a 50-for-1 share split, making its stock more accessible to its employees as part of its retention plan. Lastly, Spirit Airlines dropped 9.7% following the announcement of a larger-than-anticipated first-quarter loss by the discount carrier.

At the end of the day, the JSE All-share closed up 0.46%, the S&P 500 rose 1.03%, and the Nasdaq was 1.19% higher. Would you look at that!

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