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Morning Brief

Wake up to the Morning Quant Ride, your global markets update every morning!

Stocks are muted to start morning as yesterday’s risk-on mood fades

Mar 12, 2019

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Market data as of 7am EST

US Stocks

  • US stocks index futures are inching down with front-month Dow Jones minis –0.29%, S&P 500 minis –0.08% and Nasdaq 100 minis –0.01% 
  • While earnings season is ending better-than-expected, it is probably unlikely investors see further re-rating in the valuations of European stocks until we see better momentum in earnings results during CY2019 
  • UK Parliament will be voting on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s new BREXIT plan later this evening 
  • Strategists at JP Morgan reiterate their bullish bias to Brazilian stocks on expectations that tighter fiscal policy and looser monetary policy will drive a “virtuous cycle” that will boost valuations.  The bank sees the Brazilian stocks benchmark Ibovespa closing CY2019 at 105,900, up from a closed of 98,026 as of yesterday’s close. 
  • Citigroup argues that investors should expect more volatility this year.  YTD, the VIX is averaging 17.21 vs. 16.80 for the same period last year.  Likewise, the spread between US high-yield corporate bonds and US 10-year treasuries is 4.27 percentage points, up from 3.18 percentage points for the same period last year. 
  • The VIX is moving up this morning and is currently at 16.28 after closing at 14.33 yesterday
  • Eli Lilly (LLY) March 15 OTM Calls & Puts, Elanco Animal Health (ELAN) March 15 OTM Calls & Puts, MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) March 15 OTM Puts and Apple (AAPL) March 15 OTM Calls are some of the most heavily traded options in the US pre-market this morning. 
  • US 10-Year Treasury Bonds are lower with yields up 1.62 basis points to 2.6555%
  • The US Treasury 2s-10s Spread has widened 0.19 basis points to 0.17%
  • WTI Crude is currently up 1.28% to USD$56.79/bbl with the Brent-WTI spread down USD$-0.4 to USD$9.87/bbl
  • Gold is currently little changed 0.21% to USD$1296.1/oz
  • Oil prices continue to edge upwards on tighter supplies from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.  Remember, as highlighted in our AM note yesterday, Saudi Arabia continues to produce well below the level of 10.31 million bbls/day production rate that was set at the most recent OPEC meeting.  Venezuelan production continues to slump following news that electric problems are making it difficult for the country to operate state-owned wells. 

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Stocks Trending in the News

 

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Global Consumer Stocks Trending in the News

  • Coca-Cola (KO) was downgraded today at HSBC to hold from buy.  HSBC also cut Coca-Cola’s price target to USD$50 from USD$64.  HSBC comments that Coca-Cola has “both new and unresolved problems."  HSBC sees real challenges in its plans to become a total beverage model company.  Coca-Cola is rated “Attractive” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Top Buy” in our US Consumer Staples Global Top Stock Ideas
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) fourth quarter revenue was USD$2.49 billion matching consensus of USD$2.48 billion.  Fourth quarter ESP of USD$1.07 beat USD$1.06 consensus.  Fourth quarter same stores sales fell 2.2%, coming better than the 3.3% drop expected.  Dick’s gave 2019 ESP guidance of USD$3.15-3.35.  Dick’s Sporting Goods is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Consumer Discretionary Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Tesla (TSLA) has backtracked on its plans to close stores and sell only online.  Investors were left confused with the move that came shortly after announcing the closures of its stores and cuts to prices of 6%.  Prices will rise 3% with the announcement.  Tesla CEO Elon Musk is pushing back against the SEC and its claims saying the government is trying to muzzle him.  Telsa is rated “Top Short” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Consumer Discretionary Global Top Stock Ideas.

Global Information Technology & Communication Services Stocks Trending in the News

  • Apple (AAPL) announced a March 25th event at which it is expected to unveil an original video programming platform as well as a new premium magazine subscription service.   In announcing the event, Apple used the tagline “It’s show time.”  Apple is building its services business as iPhone sales lag, the video service is expected to be similar to other video service platforms like Netflix (NFLX).  Apple is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.  Netflix is rated “Unattractive” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Consumer Discretionary Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Care.com (CRCM) announced a set of new policies to oversee its members and providers on its site on the wake of the WSJ article criticizing its practices.  Care.com had its buy rating reaffirmed at BTIG after a WSJ article critical of the company sent the shares lower.  The WSJ said Care.com’s lack of background checks and users misunderstandings about the lack of them has led to “tragic outcomes.”  BTIG reaffirmed both its buy rating and USD$26 price target.  BTIG said it understands reputational risk exists but does not see risks of criminal liability.  Care.com is rated “Neutral” in our US SMID-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Top Short” in our US Information Technology Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Momo (MOMO) saw monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 113.3 million users.  Total paid users reached 13 million, up from 7.8 million a year ago.  Momo saw net revenue of 3.84 billion yuan (USD$559 million) in the fourth quarter.  Momo changed its reporting currency to yuan from US dollars to minimize volatility.  Momo gave first quarter revenue guidance of 3.55-3.65 billion yuan.  Momo is rated “Top Buy” in our China All-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.

Global Financials Stocks Trending in the News

  • Ping An Insurance (SEHK:2318) reported a 21% hike in profit in 2018.  Ping An’s net income rose to 107.4 billion yuan (USD$16 billion) up from 89.1 billion yuan a year earlier.  Consensus was for 97.5 billion yuan profit in 2018.   Pin An said one of its key goals is to become a world-leading, technology-powered retail financial services group.  Ping An Insurance is rated “Attractive” in our China All-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.

Global Industrials Stocks Trending in the News

  • Boeing’s (BA) problems with the 737-800 Max are growing.  Following China and India yesterday, today countries have grounded the planes in Singapore, Australia and Latin America.  The FAA in the US has declared the jet airworthy and no US airlines have stopped flying the planes.  The investigation into the latest crash has just begun so the groundings are being done out of an abundance of caution.  Boeing is rated “Attractive” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Neutral” in our US Industrials Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • JetBlue (JBLU) saw its rating cut at Barclays to equal weight from overweight.  Barclays also cut its price target for JetBlue to USD$20 from USD$27.  Barclays writes “there is a lot to like but not much traction” on a number of its initiatives.  JetBlue is rated “Neutral” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas and “Top Buy” in our US Industrials Global Top Stock Ideas.

Global Health Care Stocks Trending in the News

  • Allergan’s (AGN) price target was cut to USD$190 from USD$219 at Guggenheim today.   Despite the target cut Guggenheim maintained its buy rating on Allergan.  Guggenheim generally likes Allergan’s open science platform but believes it will be some time before investors may see consistent delivery of pipeline successes.  Allergan is rated “Unattractive” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (CNSX: HARV) will acquire Verano Holdings LLC in the largest M&A deal the US marijuana industry has seen to date. Once combined, the company will have licenses to operate up to 200 facilities across 16 US states and territories, which include 123 retail dispensaries. The acquisition, “will give us a leadership position in one of the largest cannabis markets in the world,” Harvest Health & Recreation Chairman Jason Vedadi said in a public statement. Harvest Health & Recreation is not rated in our Global Top Stock Ideas.
  • UnitedHealth Group (UNH) announced it will require new employer clients to pass any rebates received from drugmakers back to the clients who use those medications.  The change will take effect starting January 1, 2020 and will involve all clients using OptumRx, its pharmacy benefits manager.  UnitedHealth Group is rated “Attractive” in our US Large-Cap Global Top Stock Ideas.

 

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International Stocks Recap

  • The Euro Stoxx 600 is currently up +0.13%, the FTSE 100 is higher by +0.1%, the DAX has risen +0.09%, and the CAC 40 is up +0.1%
  • Banks (+0.09%), Basic Resources (+0.37%), and Chemicals (+0.2%) stocks are the top performers in the Euro Stoxx 600 today
  • Personal & Household Goods (+0.15%), Food & Beverage (-0.25%), and Utilities (+0.4%) stocks are the worst performers in the Euro Stoxx 600 today
  • Investor sentiment for European stocks is positive with the advance/decline ratio for the Euro Stoxx 600 currently at 2.7x
  • 49 stocks in the Euro Stoxx 600 are at 4-week highs while 38 stocks are at 4-week lows
  • 32 stocks in the Euro Stoxx 600 are overbought while 11 stocks are oversold according to the 16-day RSI Measure
  • The Nikkei 225 finished up +1.79%, the Hang Seng ended up +1.46%, the Hang Seng China Enterprise up +1.68%, and the CSI 300 was +0.68%
  • Investor sentiment for Japanese stocks finished positive with the advance/decline ratio for the Nikkei 225 closing at 27.13x
  • 12 stocks in the Nikkei 225 hit 4-week highs while 61 stocks reached 4-week lows
  • 3 stocks in the Nikkei 225 closed overbought while 5 stocks closed oversold according to the 16-day RSI Measure
  • Investor sentiment for Hong Kong stocks finished positive with the advance/decline ratio for the Hang Seng closing at 49x
  • 1 stock in the Hang Seng hit 4-week highs while 7 stocks reached 4-week lows
  • 1 stock in the Hang Seng closed overbought while 0 stocks closed oversold according to the 16-day RSI Measure

 

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