Watch For:

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims; Nike Inc. 1Q earning.

Opening Call:

Stock futures rose, pointing to gains for major indexes as investors remained upbeat that trouble with property giant China Evergrande Group can be contained.

Markets have been consumed this week with questions surrounding Evergrande, China's largest property developer. Many fear its collapse could spread economic pain through the world's second largest economy, with spillovers into global financial markets.

The heavily indebted company has issued billions of dollars of bonds to international investors, with many trading for a fraction of their face value.

However, fears around its possible collapse appear to have ebbed-at least temporarily. Evergrande has an $83.5 million coupon payment due Thursday on its U.S. dollar bonds and hadn't given an indication of whether it will miss the payment.

On Wednesday, the company's flagship property business said it would make an interest payment on an onshore bond, giving Evergrande more time to work out what investors expect will be a lengthy and complicated restructuring.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Evergrande jumped 18%, though remain down 82% for the year. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, which bore the brunt of the selling pressure at the start of the week, jumped 1%. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4%.

"The consensus view is that ultimately the Chinese will control this," said John Roe, head of multiasset funds at Legal and General Investment Management. "The worry is that if you worry about Evergrande you worry about all the other developers."

Overseas markets were broadly higher. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8%, led by shares of technology, auto and retail companies.

Weekly jobless claims data are due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, declined to 320,000 in the week ended Sept. 18, from 332,000 the prior week.

Also coming, surveys of purchasing managers from a number of large economies will be scrutinized for signs of a further slowdown in global growth during September. IHS Markit is due to release figures for the U.S. service and manufacturing sectors at 9:45 a.m.

The Bank of England is expected to keep monetary policy on hold in the face of rising inflation when the central bank releases its latest decision at 7 a.m.

Investors also were digesting the Federal Reserve's decision to tee up a reversal of its pandemic stimulus measures in November. New projections released at the end of the Fed's two-day policy meeting Wednesday showed half of 18 officials expect to raise interest rates by the end of 2022.

That has given money managers confidence the Fed won't allow the current bout of inflation to become entrenched, according to Mr. Roe. "The most interesting thing about both the current statement and also the last couple of statements has almost been a rowing back on the idea they're really going to let inflation rip before they take action," he said.


The dollar should strengthen after the Fed signaled that it could start tapering asset purchases as early as November while interest rates could rise by the end of next year, MUFG said.

Although many in the market had anticipated a more cautious tone from the Fed, the dollar's reaction overnight was modest, as the currency had already risen in advance of the meeting, said MUFG currency analyst Lee Hardman.

"Overall the hawkish policy signals should encourage a stronger U.S. dollar especially against low yielding currencies like the euro," he said.

The Bank of England's policy decision later represents a major risk event for sterling, said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. Markets widely expect the central bank to leave monetary policy unchanged, with traders' focus likely to turn to bank officials' comments on inflation, he said.

Sustained weakness in GBP/USD below 1.3670 could open a path back down towards the July low at 1.3570, he said. Conversely, a solid move above 1.3670 could prompt an advance towards 1.3750.

The Swiss franc edged lower after the Swiss National Bank held its policy rate at minus 0.75%, as expected, and reiterated that the currency "remains highly valued."

The euro rose 0.3% as it continued to recover after falls that took it briefly below $1.1700 following the Fed announcement. The currency shrugged off weaker provisional eurozone purchasing managers' indexes for September.

"There are increasing signs that the euro area economy will not be able to maintain the high pace of growth in the final quarter," said Commerzbank economist Christoph Weil. He notes, however, that price indexes point to "continued high inflationary pressure."


In the bond market, the yield on 10-year Treasury notes ticked down to 1.331% from 1.332% Wednesday.

Eurozone government bond yields were trading higher after the Fed announcement.

"A hawkish Fed is moving 'ahead of the curve' and markets have little time to catch their breath," Christoph Rieger, head of rates and credit research at Commerzbank, said.


Oil prices rose thanks to rising equity markets and risk sentiment. Brent continued higher Thursday to around its highest since mid-July despite the release of what DNB Markets' Helge Andre Martinsen described as the EIA's release of bearish-to-mixed inventory data on Wednesday.

Despite those figures, API readings released Tuesday were remarkably more upbeat and broader context shouldn't be ignored, he said. "We started the year with total petroleum inventories above the five-year high and is now established below the five-year low, a remarkable transition," Martinsen said.

Gold weakened after the Federal Reserve signals tapering could start as early as November. "The gold price--surprisingly, in our opinion--did not react much to the Fed's hawkish signals and statements. Presumably this was due in part to the fact that the U.S. dollar appreciated only slightly and bond yields hardly change," said Commerzbank.

Three-month copper on the LME wavered between gains and losses. The metal was last up 0.3% at $9,299 a metric ton.



New Platform Backed by Fidelity, Goldman Seeks to Bring IPO Market Into Digital World

A new technology platform backed by the biggest U.S. banks and money managers is aiming to bring the IPO market into the 21st century.

The syndicate desk-a longtime fixture at banks across Wall Street where IPOs and other large stock sales are priced and allocated to investors-has long clung to traditional ways of doing business like phone orders and scribbled pieces of paper, even as other businesses go digital.


Boeing Projects China Would Need 8,700 New Airplanes by 2040

Boeing Co. has raised its 20-year forecast for the Chinese airline market, projecting that the country would need 8,700 new airplanes valued at $1.47 trillion by 2040, to meet rising air-travel demand.

That compares with Boeing's previous forecast of 8,600 planes.


China's Renewable-Energy Companies Rise After Xi Vows to Cut Coal Investment

Chinese energy companies with growing renewable-energy operations rallied Thursday after President Xi Jinping said Beijing would stop building coal-fired power plants overseas as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions.

Shares of China Resources Power Holdings Co., whose power generation from solar and wind power has risen more than 50% this year, were recently up 14% after hitting their highest level since 2014. The stock has nearly tripled this year on rising electricity demand in China.


Mothers Are Postponing the Return to Work. Amazon and Other Companies Are Trying to Bring Them Back.

Working hasn't worked well lately for many U.S. mothers.

About 3.5 million mothers living with school-age youngsters lost their jobs, took leave or left the labor market when Covid-19 hit last year, Census Bureau data show. Now, increased Covid-19 cases are causing some schools in hundreds of districts to bring back virtual learning-and burden mothers again.


Banks Share Data to Block Cyberattacks

Competing banks are cooperating more than ever before to beat cybercriminals.

As the number and sophistication of cyberattacks jumps, financial firms are sharing more threat intelligence with each other, according to the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a nonprofit group that facilitates the exchange of cybersecurity intelligence.


California Governor Signs Bill Targeting Amazon Warehouse Quotas

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a new law that will require Inc. and other companies to disclose any quotas or workplace-productivity measures it applies to workers in the state.

The legislation is the first to target a central facet of working at an Amazon warehouse, where the company has long used performance quotas to gauge worker productivity as it has gradually sped up shipping times. Gov. Newsom, a Democrat, signed the bill about two weeks after it was approved by state lawmakers.


FDA Clears Covid-19 Booster Shots From Pfizer for High-Risk People

U.S. health authorities cleared Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for people 65 and older and certain other adults at high risk of severe illness, a bid to help curb the pandemic and the dangerous Delta variant.

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said it permitted a third dose of the shot from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE for people who got two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech messenger RNA vaccine and are 65 years and older or are at risk of severe disease and death, including because of their jobs or where they live.


Major Evergrande Shareholder Looks to Exit Company

One of China Evergrande Group's largest shareholders has pared its stake in the debt-laden conglomerate and said it could exit the company amid concerns about the developer's financial condition.

Chinese Estates (Holdings) Ltd., the property investment company of Hong Kong tycoon Joseph Lau, said Thursday that it would seek to sell some or all of its 751.1 million shares in Evergrande within the next 12 months. Based on the stock's previous closing price, it said it could book a loss of 9.49 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$1.22 billion) if it exits its position.


Facebook's Chief Technology Officer to Step Down

Facebook Inc.'s chief technology officer, a long-serving top lieutenant to co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, said on Wednesday he will step down from the role next year.

Mike Schroepfer has been with Facebook for 13 years and will become its first senior fellow, Mr. Zuckerberg said. In the part-time role, Mr. Schroepfer said, he would focus on recruiting and developing technical talent, improving project infrastructure and overseeing artificial intelligence developments.


Blackstone's Service King Conserves Cash to Weather Traffic Slowdown

Blackstone Inc.'s Service King Collision Repair Centers Inc. has begun to skip cash interest payments and tapped a line of credit as the pandemic has pushed down automobile traffic and raised costs for the business, according to people familiar with the company.

Service King is conserving cash amid an ongoing liquidity crunch, electing to defer cash payments to term lenders and instead tack on additional debt to the loan balance, these people said. The company also has drawn down on a revolving line of bank credit, they said, a common financial maneuver ahead of a corporate debt restructuring.


U.S. Jobless Claims Are Expected to Hover Near Pandemic Low

Filings for unemployment benefits likely resumed a summer decline last week, as demand for workers keeps a lid on layoffs and the economic recovery shows signs it is holding up during the latest Covid-19 surge.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that weekly unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, declined to 320,000 in the week ended Sept. 18 from 332,000 the prior week. That would bring the four-week moving average for initial claims, which smooths out weekly volatility, to the lowest level since the Covid-19 crisis began last year.


Fed Officials See 'Transitory' Inflation Lasting Quite a While

All year the Federal Reserve's message on inflation has been consistent: This year's surge is transitory, and inflation will soon return close to the central bank's 2% target.

Yet look more closely, and it is clear officials are turning less sanguine-and that explains growing eagerness to start raising interest rates.


Taiwan Central Bank Leaves Rates Steady Amid Moderate Inflation, Uncertain Economic Recovery

Taiwan's central bank left its benchmark rate unchanged Thursday, saying moderate inflation and an uncertain economic recovery called for a continuation of its loose monetary policy.

The move came amid fears of slower economic growth in the second half of the year, after the island tightened pandemic restrictions in May, when local infections rose sharply.


Fed Tees Up Taper and Signals Rate Rises Possible Next Year

The Federal Reserve signaled it was ready to start reversing its pandemic stimulus programs in November and could raise interest rates next year amid risks of a lengthier-than-anticipated jump in inflation.

The Fed's rate-setting committee, at the end of a two-day gathering, indicated in its postmeeting statement Wednesday that it could start to reduce, or taper, its $120 billion in monthly asset purchases as soon as its next scheduled meeting, Nov. 2-3.


Iron-Ore Prices Buckle as Evergrande Adds to China Concerns

SYDNEY-The crisis engulfing property developer China Evergrande Group is causing iron-ore prices to buckle, as investors worry that pressure on China's huge property market will translate into lower appetite for steel.

Evergrande's difficulties are the most visible sign of the worsening climate for Chinese real-estate companies, and economic data point to a broader malaise in the sector, with home sales by value contracting nearly 20% year-over-year in August, and construction starts down this year.


Investors Bet Environmental Fears Will Crunch Commodity Supply, Lifting Prices

Investors are ramping up wagers that a global push to lower carbon emissions will hamper commodity production, pushing up prices for everything from natural gas to aluminum.

With producers such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. under pressure from investors to minimize environmental damage, many are limiting spending on new output. The caution comes after years of declining investments in production that were driven by lackluster commodity prices and a focus on returning money to shareholders, analysts say.


Supply-Chain Crunch, Chip Shortage Focus of White House Meeting

WASHINGTON-The Biden administration is seeking more information from companies struggling with the global shortage of semiconductors, an effort designed to increase transparency in supply chains and ease bottlenecks.

The request for information, which is voluntary for companies, will be made Thursday as the White House hosts a meeting of semiconductor producers and users. Administration officials said the objective is to get more information about supply and demand problems and identify ways the government can help.


FDA Clears Covid-19 Booster Shots From Pfizer for High-Risk People

U.S. health authorities cleared Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for people 65 and older and certain other adults at high risk of severe illness, a bid to help curb the pandemic and the dangerous Delta variant.

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said it permitted a third dose of the shot from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE for people who got two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech messenger RNA vaccine and are 65 years and older or are at risk of severe disease and death, including because of their jobs or where they live.


Biden Pushes Democrats to Find Consensus on Budget Package

WASHINGTON-President Biden pressed lawmakers to reach a consensus on his sweeping $3.5 trillion spending proposal during a series of meetings at the White House on Wednesday, aiming to settle sharp intraparty differences that threaten to derail his legislative agenda.

During his sit-down with moderate Democrats, lawmakers discussed reducing the size of the package, which would expand access to healthcare, offer universal prekindergarten and reduce carbon emissions, among other measures, to below $3 trillion, according to two people familiar with the meeting. Progressives, meanwhile, continued to threaten to block passage of a separate, roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill next week if it comes to the House floor before the larger package.


Facebook Ordered to Release Records on Closed Myanmar Accounts

WASHINGTON-A federal judge ordered Facebook Inc. on Wednesday to hand over records related to accounts it shut down in 2018 that were linked to government-backed violence against the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar, as the social-media giant grapples with the effects content on its platform has in the real world.

The ruling, by a magistrate judge in Washington, criticized Facebook for refusing to provide the records to countries pursuing a case against Myanmar in international court, saying allowing it to withhold them "would compound the tragedy that has befallen the Rohingya."


South Carolina Law Protecting Confederate Monuments, Other State Statues Is Upheld

South Carolina's Supreme Court upheld a law that protects Confederate monuments and other statues, but said the need for a supermajority vote on any changes was an "unconstitutional overreach."

Passed in 2000, the Heritage Act required a two-thirds vote in the state's General Assembly for any change or removal of a monument, statue, school or street, or its renaming. It applied specifically to American wars spanning the Revolutionary War to the Persian Gulf War, and to Native American and African-American monuments or memorials.


Judges Withdraw Ruling Allowing Handgun Sales to People Under 21

A federal appeals court in Virginia on Wednesday withdrew an earlier ruling that allowed licensed gun dealers to sell handguns to law-abiding citizens under 21 years old.

What had been a significant victory for the gun-rights movement was cast aside largely because of a technicality: The plaintiff in the original case, a Charlottesville woman who said she wanted a handgun for self-protection, had turned 21, rendering the case moot.


Angela Merkel's International Legacy: Cooler Trans-Atlantic Relations

BERLIN-After moving into the White House in January, President Biden decided his first call to a foreign leader would go to Angela Merkel, signaling a return to trans-Atlantic normality after the turbulence of the Trump era, according to aides.

The German chancellor had other plans. She declined the offer of a call on that Friday afternoon because she would be at her country cottage near Berlin, where she spends some weekends tending to her vegetable garden and walking by the lake, people familiar with the discussion said.


Write to



Nothing major scheduled

Economic Indicators (ET):

0830 Jul Employment Insurance

0830 Jul Retail trade

Stocks to Watch:

Invesco to Create ETFs Backed by Digital Coin

Invesco Ltd., one of the biggest operators of exchange-traded funds in the U.S., is making plans to roll out a lineup of funds backed by bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The Atlanta-based asset manager plans to announce Wednesday that it is joining with Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd., an upstart digital asset firm, to develop U.S.-listed ETFs that hold and track the performance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, yet trade like a stock.

By doing so, the firm aims to position itself to capitalize on the fervor around digital assets if and when the Securities and Exchange Commission approves the trading of such products. So far, though, the SEC hasn't done so.

Among the first funds planned under the partnership is a bitcoin-holding ETF that was originally proposed by Galaxy last spring. After the stock market closed on Tuesday, the ETF's filing with the SEC was revised to make Invesco the fund's sponsor.

"It's not just about getting the first bitcoin ETF to the market," said John Hoffman, head of Americas, ETFs and indexed strategies at Invesco, of the partnership. "This is about expanding the horizon. We ultimately think we can define this new market."

BlackBerry 2Q Results Beat Wall Street Projections

BlackBerry Ltd.'s stock rose nearly 10% to $10.48 in extended trading, following better-than-expected second-quarter results.

The company's second-quarter loss surged to $144 million, from $23 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the loss was 25 cents a share, or 6 cents a share on an adjusted basis.

Revenue fell to $175 million from $259 million a year earlier.

Still, the results were better than analysts' expected adjusted loss of 8 cents a share and $157.9 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Executive Chairman and Chief Executive John Chen said all businesses had beat revenue projections in the latest period, and said that the "internet of things" business unit had performed well despite the chip shortage.

Other News:

No items published

Market Talk:

BlackBerry Expects to Execute Patent Sale This Quarter, Leaves Door Open for Other Options

BlackBerry CEO John Chen says negotiations to sell the portion of the patent portfolio related to mobile devices, messaging and wireless networking continue and should be wrapped up this quarter. Chen says due diligence has been completed and the parties have settled on the price. But should things not work out, he says, there are other options. "I fully expect to finish this this quarter, but I'm tired of waiting," Chen says. "I know a lot of our investors are too." Chen says he is 80% confident the discussions will be completed but says that otherwise, there are other interested parties.

BlackBerry Taps McAfee Veteran Giamatteo to Lead Cyber Security Business

BlackBerry hired industry veteran John Giamatteo as president of its cyber security business unit, succeeding President and COO Tom Eacobacci, who had served as acting general manager of the cyber security business unit and is slated to leave the company on Oct. 29. Giamatteo, most recently at McAfee, is expected to join BlackBerry on Oct. 4. The cyber security unit reported $120M in revenue in the most recent quarter.


Expected Major Events for Thursday

06:45/FRA: Sep Monthly business survey (goods-producing industries)

07:15/FRA: Sep France Flash PMI

07:30/GER: Sep Germany Flash PMI

08:30/UK: Sep Flash UK PMI

11:00/UK: 3Q Agents' Summary of Business Conditions

11:00/UK: UK interest rate decision

12:30/CAN: Jul Employment Insurance

12:30/CAN: Jul Retail trade

12:30/US: Aug CFNAI Chicago Fed National Activity Index

12:30/US: 2Q State Quarterly Personal Income

12:30/US: 09/18 Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report - Initial Claims

12:30/US: U.S. Weekly Export Sales

13:00/RUS: Weekly International Reserves

13:45/US: Sep US Flash Manufacturing PMI

13:45/US: Sep US Flash Services PMI

13:45/US: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

14:00/US: Aug Leading Indicators

14:30/US: 09/17 EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

15:00/US: Sep Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Survey of Tenth District Manufacturing

20:30/US: Federal Discount Window Borrowings

20:30/US: Foreign Central Bank Holdings

23:01/UK: Sep UK Consumer Confidence Survey

23:30/JPN: Aug CPI (Nation), CPI ex-food (Nation)

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.


Expected Earnings for Thursday

AAR Corp (AIR) is expected to report $0.38 for 1Q.

Accenture PLC (ACN) is expected to report $2.19 for 4Q.

Aehr Test Systems (AEHR) is expected to report for 1Q.

Applied Genetic Technologies Corp (AGTC) is expected to report $-0.40 for 4Q.

Aytu BioPharma Inc (AYTU) is expected to report for 4Q.

CCUR Holdings Inc (CCUR) is expected to report for 3Q.

CalAmp (CAMP) is expected to report $-0.14 for 2Q.

Costco Wholesale Corp (COST) is expected to report $3.56 for 4Q.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) is expected to report $1.63 for 1Q.

Dynatronics (DYNT) is expected to report $0.00 for 4Q.

NIKE Inc (NKE) is expected to report $1.09 for 1Q.

Progress Software Corp (PRGS) is expected to report $0.36 for 3Q.

Rite Aid Corp (RAD) is expected to report for 2Q.

Scholastic Corp (SCHL) is expected to report for 1Q. Group Ltd (K3RD.SG,TCOM) is expected to report for 2Q.

US Global Investors (GROW) is expected to report for 4Q.

Vail Resorts (MTN) is expected to report $-3.73 for 4Q.

Vecima Networks (VCM.T) is expected to report for 4Q.

Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.



Ambarella Raised to Overweight From Sector Weight by Keybanc

Axcella Health Cut to Neutral From Buy by Goldman Sachs

Cidara Therapeutics Raised to Strong Buy From Buy by WBB Securities

Coherent Cut to Neutral From Positive by Susquehanna

DXC Technology Cut to Neutral From Buy by MoffettNathanson

FibroGen Cut to Sell From Neutral by Goldman Sachs

Frequency Therapeutics Cut to Neutral From Buy by Goldman Sachs

InnovAge Holding Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by William Blair

Peoples Bancorp (Ohio) Raised to Overweight From Neutral by Piper Sandler

PMV Pharmaceuticals Raised to Buy From Neutral by Goldman Sachs

RE/MAX Holdings Cut to Equal-Weight From Overweight by Morgan Stanley

Simon Property Raised to Buy From Hold by Argus Research

Vir Biotechnology Cut to Neutral From Buy by Goldman Sachs

Xponential Fitness Raised to Strong Buy From Market Perform by Raymond James

This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 23, 2021 06:11 ET (10:11 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.