My top 10 things to watch Thursday, March 16
1. Concerns about a banking crisis in the U.S. and Europe hit American regional banks. Wall Street remains skittish. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq set for lower open. Between bank worries and cooling inflation data, the Fed gets cover for a quarter-point interest rate hike and a pause. Besides, what’s left to slay when it comes to inflation now that oil has cracked and foodstuff is starting to come down? The European Central Bank (ECB), after Thursday’s meeting, hikes its rates by a half-point.
Sign up for my Top 10 morning thoughts on the market email newsletter for free
2. First Republic (FRC), premier bank for rich people, leads Thursday’s decline in regionals as fears of more bank failures persist. Shares of FRC drop roughly 30% in premarket trading despite the Swiss National Bank extending a lifeline to embattled Credit Suisse (CS). Shares of the Swiss bank bounce, one day after sinking to a 52-week low under $2 per share and raising the specter of contagion.
3. Bidu (BIDU) fails with phony Chinese-language ChatGPT alternative Ernie. Shares in the U.S. sink 6% ahead of open. Is that because it doesn’t have Nvidia (NVDA) chips? The Biden administration banned export of powerful Nvidia GPUs to China on national security concerns that the technology would be used by the Chinese military.
4. Washington tells ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to sell its stake in the wildly popular social media service or face possibly getting booted in the U.S. National security concerns here, too. Club holding Meta Platforms (META), which started Reels to compete with TikTok, would be a beneficiary an American ban.
5. Amazon (AMZN) sentiment near multiyear low. The e-commerce giant is simply trying to figure out which roles it doesn’t need. I’ve been saying for months that Club holding Amazon needs to cut more costs. But, it’s reluctant to act rashly because it doesn’t want impact the ability to deliver stuff to quickly. That’s the company’s massive edge. JPMorgan says buy.
6. Adobe (ADBE) reports a stupendous quarter. Reasons why: ChatGPT still needs a commerce platform. Shares jump 5%. On Adobe’s proposed deal to buy Figma, the acquisition is key to the expansion of the Creative Cloud. Speculation the Justice Department could sue to block the deal.
7. Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) upgraded to positive from neutral (buy from hold) at Susquehanna. Biggest customer of its chip-related capabilities is Club holding Apple (AAPL). Susquehanna upgrades chipmaker and Club stock Qualcomm (QCOM) to buy. Inventory correction is over. Analyst sees Apple business “now de-risked.”
8. Netflix (NFLX): Wall Street is obsessed with this company. Obsessed. Citi takes the stock up $5-per-share to $400. The reason? Some password-positive price cut story. Enough already.
9. Is Block (SQ), formerly named Square, the next tech that’s going through the pivot to profitability? Mizuho says yes. Upgrades the stock to a buy and raising price target to $93 per share from $80.
10. FedEx (FDX) upgraded to buy from hold at Stifel, which also raised price target to $222 per share from $171. Too much opportunity to ignore. Still some material risks.
(Jim Cramer’s Charitable Trust is long NVDA, META, AMZN, QCOM. See here for a full list of the stocks.)
As a subscriber to the CNBC Investing Club with Jim Cramer, you will receive a trade alert before Jim makes a trade. Jim waits 45 minutes after sending a trade alert before buying or selling a stock in his charitable trust’s portfolio. If Jim has talked about a stock on CNBC TV, he waits 72 hours after issuing the trade alert before executing the trade.