Highlights

Wall Street Breakfast

Author: bmotrader   |   Latest post: Thu, 3 Dec 2020, 8:38 AM

 

Wall Street Breakfast: Boeing Looks To Turn A Page

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It's the day Boeing (NYSE:BA) has been waiting for after nearly two years of investigations, corporate upheaval and a standoff with global regulators. FAA Administrator Steve Dickson is expected to sign an order today lifting the flight ban on the 737 MAX - once Boeing's hottest-selling jet - as well as an airworthiness directive requiring new pilot training and software upgrades. A stall-prevention system called MCAS was faulted in the 737 MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people in 2018/2019 and triggered a crisis that cost Boeing some $20B and tarnished its reputation. Resuming deliveries will open up a crucial pipeline of cash for Boeing and hundreds of parts suppliers whose finances were strained because of the ban. When it does fly again, Boeing will also run a 24-hour war room to monitor all MAX flights for issues that could impact the jet's return. (10 comments)

Aviation - What's next?

The role of the FAA went under the microscope during the Boeing (NYSE:BA) crisis, and the House just unanimously passed a bill to reform how the FAA certifies airplanes (a Senate panel is taking up a similar bill today). The U.S. planemaker won't be allowed to sign off on the airworthiness of some 450 already-built 737 MAXs, meaning in-person, individual inspections could take a year or more to complete. Anticipating FAA approval, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) plans to relaunch commercial MAX flights on Dec. 29, while Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), the world's largest MAX operator, does not plan to fly the aircraft until Q2 of 2021. Foreign regulators in Europe, Brazil and China also must issue their own approvals after independent reviews, while Boeing still faces strong headwinds like a resurgent coronavirus pandemic and new European tariffs. BA +4.2% premarket.

Bitcoin takes out $18,000

"If you had told me three years ago the U.S. was going to print a trillion dollars in one month, I would have said 1,000 to 1 against," said Dan Morehead, the CEO of Pantera Capital, and an early Bitcoin (BTC-USD) investor. "It just happened... I think it's going to melt up" - meaning good times are ahead for things you can't "quantitatively ease." Bitcoin's all-time high hit in 2017 was about $20K, but oft-forgotten about the 2017 mania was how little time the crypto actually spent above $10K - literally a handful of days. The distinguishing feature of this year's move is its relative (at least until very recently) stability. Bitcoin has been above $10K since mid-summer. (109 comments)

Retail in focus

U.S. equities took a pause on Tuesday, retreating from record highs after an injection of vaccine optimism, though the pullback may prove temporary as futures rose 0.3% overnight. The mood had dimmed on Tuesday as investors focused on the surging number of COVID-19 infections (and possible lockdowns), while U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% during October, the smallest increase since the recovery took off in May. More retail data will be seen today as Target (NYSE:TGT), Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) and TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) report quarterly results before the opening bell. L Brands (NYSE:L) will report after the close, along with chipmaker Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA).

Shelton stays on the sidelines

Senate Republicans have failed to secure enough votes to advance the confirmation of Judy Shelton to the FOMC as the upper chamber voted 50-47 against a move that would have advanced the nomination by limiting debate. She's a controversial pick given her long history of unorthodox economic commentary, like questioning the basic role of the Fed and advocating a return to the gold standard. While the GOP was left short of the votes needed due to senators that entered quarantine, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell switched his vote to "No" in a tactical decision that would allow him to bring the nomination up for reconsideration. Not much time remains, however, as Republicans will lose a seat in the Senate when Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly takes Martha McSally's place after Thanksgiving. (21 comments)

Moderation transparency

Congress sought to put a warning label on Big Tech yesterday as lawmakers grilled Twitter's (NYSE:TWTR) Jack Dorsey and Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) Mark Zuckerberg. Republican concerns centered around how the platforms moderate their content, narrowing in on censorship and the ideological makeup of their work forces, while Democrats focused on whether more moderation could help prevent the spread of hate speech and violence. What the two sides appeared to agree on was that Facebook and Twitter have enforced their policies inconsistently, and often don't explain the steps they have taken. The two tech leaders agreed that reform around how content is moderated should be revisited, with Zuckerberg welcoming a new regulatory moderation framework and Dorsey hoping to give users more tools to control the content they see.

Some public attention

Robinhood (RBNHD) has requested IPO pitches from investment banks, according to Bloomberg, as it aims to go public as soon as the first quarter of 2021. At its most recent funding round in September, Robinhood raised $460M at an $11.7B valuation. It follows a huge year for the platform, which in many ways is a symbol of the work-from-home bull market (accounts at Robinhood are up to 13M). Its targeting of millennials and Gen-Z traders has also increasingly drawn the attention of other brokers like TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD), Interactive Brokers (NASDAQ:IBKR), Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) and E-Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC).

     
Covid - DIY testing

The FDA has issued an emergency use authorization to the single-use COVID-19 diagnostic test kit from Lucira Health, a privately-held manufacturer based in California. The test (prescription use only) allows users age 14 and older to swab themselves to collect a nasal sample, which is then swirled in a vial of laboratory solution that plugs into a portable device. Results are displayed in 30 minutes as lights labeled positive or negative. While the FDA did not reveal the price of the test, the company's website said it is "intended to cost less than $50."

     
#Plantbased

Unilever (UL, UN) is attempting to expand its annual sales of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives to €1B by 2027, marking a five-fold increase to what the company expects to sell this year. Sales would be driven by new products from The Vegetarian Butcher, a Dutch brand it acquired in 2018, as well as vegan and dairy-free versions of its ice cream and mayo ranges from Ben & Jerry's, Hellmann's, Magnum and Wall's. If multinationals continue to push into this area, industry experts think plant-based products would get cheaper and the market would consolidate. Last month, the European Parliament also ruled that meatless products can continue to label themselves sausages, steaks or burgers, rejecting a meat lobby proposal that called the terms "cultural hijacking."

What else is happening...

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) expands disappearing-content with new 'Fleets' feature.
Goldman (NYSE:GS) is plotting a second round of job cuts - Bloomberg.
Labor unrest may have GM (NYSE:GM) pull out of South Korea.
Vale (NYSE:VALE) ends meeting without dam disaster settlement.

    
Wednesday's Key Earnings

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) -2.5% despite Q3 beat, U.S. comp rising 24.1%.
Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) +11.6% on confident look, dividend plan.
NIO (NYSE:NIO) -1.9% AH in spite of record deliveries, upside outlook.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) -2% falling back after climbing on robust e-commerce.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -1.1%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China +0.2%. India +0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt +0.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.3%. Crude +1.5% to $42.06. Gold -0.6% at $1873.30. Bitcoin +8.5% to $18191.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 0.86%

Today's Markets

7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 Housing Starts and Permits
10:00 Fed's Evans Speech
10:00 Quarterly Services Report
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
12:15 PM Fed's Williams Speech
1:00 PM Results of $27B, 20-Year Bond Auction
1:20 PM Fed's Bullard: U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy
6:00 PM Fed's Kaplan Speech
6:00 PM Fed's Bostic Speech



 

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