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Hasbro Job Cuts, Oracle’s Stock Decline, Google’s Epic Antitrust Loss, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
December 12 2023 5:50AM

U.S. index futures were slightly up in pre-market trading this Tuesday, focusing on consumer inflation and the Federal Reserve meeting. Expectations for rate cuts by the Fed next year have decreased, with the markets foreseeing a 45% chance of a cut in March, down from 57% the previous week, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

At 05:06 AM, Dow Jones futures (DOWI:DJI) rose 66 points, or 0.18%. S&P 500 futures were up 0.10% and Nasdaq-100 futures increased 0.16%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bonds was at 4.199%.

In the commodities market, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for January was up 0.39%, at $71.62 per barrel. Brent crude for February rose 0.34%, near $76.31 per barrel. Iron ore with a 62% concentration, traded on the Dalian exchange, went up 1.52%, to $135.08 per ton.

On Tuesday’s economic agenda, investors await at 08:30 AM the November consumer price index reading by the Department of Labor. Economists project that U.S. consumer inflation remained stable in November compared to the previous month and rose 3.1% on an annual basis. The Fed’s two-day meeting also starts today, and it is expected that the U.S. central bank will keep interest rates stable at 5.25% to 5.5%.

European markets are on the rise, focusing on the UK’s labor market data. Investors are waiting for this data to assess its impact on inflation before the Bank of England’s meeting on Thursday. Wages, excluding bonuses, are expected to rise by 7.4% in the three months to October, indicating a slight decline from September’s 7.7%. These numbers keep the central bank alert to inflationary pressures.

Asian markets closed higher, with Hong Kong standing out before the last Federal Reserve meeting of the year in the U.S. Producer prices in Japan increased more than expected, with a 0.3% annual gain. The Japanese yen slightly strengthened against the dollar. Major Asian indices recorded the following gains: Shanghai SE (+0.40%), Nikkei (+0.16%), Hang Seng (+1.07%), Kospi (+0.16%), ASX 200 (+0.50%).

In Monday’s trading, stocks ended moderately higher, reaching their best closing levels in over two years. Dow Jones rose 0.43%, S&P 500 0.39%, and Nasdaq 0.20%. The market was cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement. Semiconductor and network sectors saw significant gains, while gold stocks fell.

On Tuesday’s corporate earnings front, investors will be watching reports from Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI), Mama’s Creations (NASDAQ:MAMA), Emcore (NASDAQ:EMKR), Loop (AMEX:LPTV), and Champions Oncology (NASDAQ:CSBR).

Wall Street Corporate Highlights for Today

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)Apple plans to offer incentives to artists and record labels to produce music in spatial audio with Dolby Atmos technology starting next year. This could result in higher royalty payments. Mixing music in Dolby Atmos is widely accessible and supported by Apple‘s audio products.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)Microsoft and AFL-CIO have agreed on a union neutrality deal, allowing the company to remain neutral in employee unionization efforts. Additionally, the two parties will collaborate on the future of artificial intelligence and the impact of technology on the workforce.

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)Alphabet‘s Google lost an antitrust case brought by Epic Games, maintaining its monopoly on app distribution and payments in the app store. Epic claimed that Google exploited app developers and stifled competition. Google plans to contest the verdict.

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL)Oracle fell 8.6% in Tuesday’s pre-market after reporting second-quarter revenue of $12.94 billion, below the average estimate of $13.05 billion, according to LSEG data. The adjusted earnings of $1.34 per share for the quarter ended November 30 narrowly beat estimates. Oracle forecasted below-estimate quarterly revenue due to competition in the cloud computing market and economic uncertainty. Inflation and high borrowing costs impacted business spending, affecting companies like Oracle. The acquisition of Cerner might also have impacted the results. (NASDAQ:JD)‘s founder Richard Liu acknowledged inefficiency and poor management issues in the e-commerce giant during an internal employee forum. He responded to a criticism from an employee about the platform’s complexity and pricing strategy. Liu promised changes and encouraged the team to join him in reforming the company.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)Netflix resolved “technical issues” that caused an outage for most users in the U.S., according to the streaming giant. The outage affected thousands of users on Monday but was resolved. Downdetector reported 984 outages after a peak of 17,000 reports.

Disney (NYSE:DIS)Reliance Industries (USOTC:RLNIY) and Walt Disney are finalizing a non-binding agreement to merge their media operations in India. Reliance will have 51%, Disney 49%, and the deal might be announced in January, with a new Viacom18 unit absorbing Disney‘s Star India through a stock swap deal.

Nokia (NYSE:NOK)Nokia revised down its comparable operating margin target to 13% by 2026, due to losing a contract with AT&T (NYSE:T). The company plans to cut costs and aim for a double-digit margin on sales of 10 billion euros by 2026.

BlackBerry (NYSE:BB)BlackBerry appointed John Giamatteo, head of its cybersecurity unit, as CEO and scrapped plans to separate its IoT and cybersecurity divisions. The units will operate independently and profitably.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B)Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway halved its stake in HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ), moving from the second-largest shareholder to the third-largest, while Carl Icahn resigned from the board of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) due to reducing his stake in the company.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM)JPMorgan Chase plans to outsource its local custody operations in Hong Kong and Taiwan to Citigroup (NYSE:C), HSBC (NYSE:HSBC), and Standard Chartered (LSE:STAN). This follows the bank’s exit from local custody business in other Asian markets due to lower margins and a drop in assets under custody. Additionally, JPMorgan plans to renovate branches acquired from First Republic Bank to expand its presence, opening 167 new locations, despite the decline in U.S. bank branches. The bank aims to retain 90% of First Republic‘s customers and enhance service to wealthy clients.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS)Goldman Sachs hired Paul Camp, former Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) executive, as head of its transaction banking sector. The hiring follows the dismissal of executives from the transaction banking unit in September for violating the company’s communication policy.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)Bank of America promoted 334 employees to managing directors, including investment bankers and commercial division professionals. Over half of the promotions were to minorities.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) – Michael G. Rhodes will assume the role of CEO and board member of Discover Financial Services on March 6. Interim CEO John Owen will continue as a director of the company and the bank. Rhodes has over 25 years of experience in the financial services sector.

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY)Occidental Petroleum agreed to acquire shale oil producer CrownRock in a $12 billion deal, including debts, expanding its presence in the U.S. shale oil field. The deal comes amid a new wave of shale consolidation backed by major oil companies.

Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) – The IATA urged the Brazilian government and Petrobras to adjust how aviation fuel is charged in the country, claiming that kerosene prices are “excessively high” and do not reflect the reality of an oil-producing country. IATA also criticized the heavy taxes on kerosene in Brazil.

Boeing (NYSE:BA)Boeing plans to halve the number of planners in its main divisions as part of a strategic reorientation. This follows the appointment of Stephanie Pope as Chief Operating Officer, as the company faces financial challenges.

Ford Motor (NYSE:F)Ford plans to halve the production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickups in 2024 due to a shift in market demand, reducing to about 1,600 units per week instead of the initial plans of 3,300. The company will adjust to customer demand.

Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) – Sherry House left her position as CFO of Lucid Group to seek new opportunities, with Gagan Dhingra serving as interim CFO. Lucid Group, known for its luxury electric sedan Air, revised its production forecast for this year downwards.

AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Revance Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RVNC), Evolus (NASDAQ:EOLS), Supernus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SUPN) – Public Citizen asked the U.S. FDA to require stronger warnings about the risk of botulism in Botox injections and similar products, even at recommended dosages. The petition is based on over 5,400 reports of serious adverse events.

Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY)Sanofi announced that it would nullify its agreement with Maze Therapeutics after the Federal Trade Commission attempted to block it, alleging that the deal would eliminate competition in the treatment of Pompe disease. Sanofi disagreed with the FTC’s decision, emphasizing that the partnership aimed to accelerate the development of a treatment for this rare genetic condition.

Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS)Hasbro announced the elimination of over 900 jobs globally, a year after announcing a 15% workforce reduction due to weak sales. This brings the total to 1,900 job cuts, representing 29% of its staff. The company aims to save up to $400 million annually by the end of 2025.

Grocery Outlet (NASDAQ:GO) – CFO Charles Bracher will leave his position at Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. on March 1st “to pursue another opportunity.” Accounting Director Lindsay Gray will act during the transition, and the search for a replacement is ongoing. The company maintained its outlook for the 2023 fiscal year.

Unilever (NYSE:UL) – The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is investigating Unilever’s environmental claims, concerned that the company might mislead buyers about the environmental impact of products like Dove and Lynx, as well as the use of colors and images that may create a misleading impression.