By Swissquote Analysts
Jeff Bezos to Step Down as Amazon CEO
Topic of the day
Jeff Bezos is stepping down as chief executive of Amazon.com Inc. to become executive chairman, marking the biggest change in leadership of the tech giant since he started it in a Washington state garage more than 26 years ago. Amazon said that he will be succeeded as CEO in the third quarter by Andy Jassy, Mr. Bezos's closest lieutenant and the longtime head of the company's booming cloud-computing business. Mr. Bezos, 57 years old, is handing over the day-to-day reins, as Amazon's core businesses of online retail and business-computing services are booming during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has shifted work and life to the internet more than ever. The company announced his changing role as it reported that revenue in the fourth quarter soared 44% to $125.56 billion -- surpassing $100 billion for the first time in a three-month span – and profit more than doubled. But Amazon also faces the biggest regulatory challenges in its history, with multiple federal investigations into its competitive practices and lawmakers drafting legislation that could force Amazon to restructure its business.
The SMI continued its recovery Tuesday, surging 0.6 percent to 10,804 points as it continued to recoup last week’s losses. Traders said the speed of recovery from market setbacks was a good sign. Hopes of a US stimulus package also buoyed the market, though no breakthrough was achieved when US President Joe Biden met Republican senators. Investors also hope that with the ongoing vaccine campaigns, the pandemic will soon be overcome and a strong economic recovery will then set in this year. Swatch was still in demand, rising 2.9 percent on positive analyst comments since it released figures Thursday. Richemont surged 2.1 percent. Analysts also confirmed their “outperform” rating and said the long-term outlook was positive. UBS, CS Group, Zurich Insurance and Swiss Re gained between 1.0 percent and 2.5 percent. Givaudan slumped 1.6 percent despite good 2020 figures. Analysts forecast it would be unable to maintain 2020 growth levels and revised their 2021 profit forecast down 3 percent.
European stocks rise as volatility from a surge in retail-investor stock-buying eases, but losses for oil and mining stocks limit the London market's gains. The Stoxx Europe 600, DAX and CAC-40 all advance more than 1%, though the FTSE 100 lags behind, up 0.8%.. "One could argue that normal service has resumed as the established players are buying back into stocks," David Madden at CMC Markets says. "Disappointing results from BP, plus a pullback in miners like BHP, Rio Tinto and Glencore, are the reasons why the British index is showing roughly half the continental benchmarks' percentage gains. "Airbus SE said Tuesday that it has signed a further contract with the European Space Agency for the construction of three more service modules. The service modules, which are components of NASA's Orion spacecraft, will be built at the Airbus facility in Bremen, Germany, the European aerospace company said. Airbus didn't disclose the financial details of the deal. BP stock fell early on Tuesday, as the oil major's profit plunged 96% in the fourth quarter on the way to its first annual loss in a decade. The FTSE 100-listed company reported a full year loss of $5.7 billion, down from a profit of $10 billion in 2019, as it rounded off a tough 2020 with another difficult quarter. BP said the annual loss, its first since 2010, was driven by lower oil and gas prices, exploration write-offs and depressed demand. The London-listed shares fell 3%.
U.S. stocks rose Tuesday, reflecting a steadier tone for markets this week despite fireworks in GameStop shares and silver futures. The S&P 500 rose 52.45 points, or 1.4%, to 3826.31 a day after the broad stocks gauge posted its biggest one-day advance since November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 475.57 points, or 1.6%, to 30,687.48. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 209.38 points, or 1.6%, to 13612.78. For the fifth straight trading day, stocks at the center of a social media frenzy - led by GameStop - did the opposite of the Dow industrials. Shares of GameStop tumbled $135.00, or 60%, to $90. That wiped out the gains from the past week but keeps the videogame company up 378% for the year. Exxon Mobil Corp. posted its fourth consecutive quarterly loss, bringing its total loss for the fiscal year to more than $22 billion. Exxon reported a fourth-quarter loss of $20.07 billion, or $4.70 a share, compared with a profit of $5.69 billion, or $1.33 a share, a year earlier. Adjusted profit was 3 cents a share, which exceeded Wall Street's consensus estimate of 1 cent a share, according to FactSet. The company's results included more than $19 billion in impairments for the fourth quarter. Uber Technologies Inc. said it reached a deal to buy alcohol-delivery service Drizly for $1.1 billion in stock and cash, signaling the company's ambitions to provide a wider range of items to consumers' doorsteps.
The players on the East Asian stock markets are currently unperturbed in their confidence. Although the Caixin Purchasing Managers' Index for the Chinese service sector declined significantly in January, the buying propensity of the previous days continued to dominate on Wednesday. After all, the index remained in growth-indicating territory at 52 after 56.3 in December. Moreover, the decline comes as no surprise after the official index had already shown a clear drop.
U.S. Treasury yields edged up in Asia, as the continued positive tone in equities helped sap demand for safe-haven government bonds. On Tuesday, the 10-year Treasury note yield rose 2.8 basis points to 1.105%, its highest since Jan. 21. The rise in longer-term yields helped steepen the yield curve, with the spread between the 2-year and 10-year widening to 99 basis points, its biggest gap in three weeks
CS rises Rio Tinto to Outperform and lowers BHP to Neutral
IR rises the Wacker Chemie target to 128 (104) EUR – Hold
RBC rises the Richemont target to 100 (95) CHF – Outperform
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