Ford rises after a 5.9% increase in US sales in November
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Ford's share price rose on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, as the carmaker announced a 5.9% increase in its sales in the United States in November, compared with the same period a year earlier. The group sold 158,793 vehicles last month, thanks in particular to a strong increase in sales of SUVs and electric vehicles. SUV sales jumped 20.8 percent to 72,795 vehicles, while electric vehicle sales soared 153.6 percent to 11,116 units, growing "three times faster than the electric market as a whole," according to Ford. Pickup truck sales also rose 4.6% to 82,231 vehicles, driven by a 14.6% increase in purchases of the profitable F-Series pickup. Ford stock is up 1.4%.
The roller coaster ride on the Swiss stock exchange continued on Thursday. The SMI fell by 0.7 percent to 12,178 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 15 price losers and five price winners. 37.63 (previously: 32.84) million shares were traded. The focus was on the banking sector. Four European banks must pay fines for participating in a cartel in spot currency trading. The EU Commission imposed fines totalling 344 million euros on Barclays, RBS (now Natwest), HSBC and Credit Suisse. UBS does not have to pay anything thanks to the leniency program. Credit Suisse was ordered to pay 83 million euros in ordinary proceedings. While Credit Suisse shares lost 1.0 percent, UBS shares were one of the few winners in the SMI, gaining 0.6 percent. The luxury goods manufacturers Richemont (-2.1%) and Swatch (-0.6%), which were still sought after the previous day, were now under selling pressure again. The inclusion of the Richemont share in the Stoxx-50 did not provide any support. Swiss drugmaker Vifor Pharma jumped 21% on reports that biotech firm CSL may acquire it.
European stocks were deep in the red on Thursday, following a turbulent day on Wall Street, as traders struggle to forecast the impact of the Omicron variant on the global economy and central bank policy decisions. The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 1.2% to 465.4 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 gave up 1.3% and 1.2% respectively. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 gave up 1.4%, and the FTSE 100 in London was down 0.6%. Eurazeo (+2.8%) bought back about 0.4% of its capital on December 1 from the asset management and investment company Tikehau Capital for 24 million euros. Safran (-1%) unveiled its medium-term outlook ahead of a day dedicated to investors, the aerospace equipment and engine manufacturer expects in particular to achieve a profitability higher than before the health crisis. Orange dropped 3.3%. Bank of America on Thursday lowered its recommendation on the telecom operator from "neutral" to "underperform", pointing to the limited visibility on the company's free cash flow due in particular to its investments in fiber optics. Maisons du Monde lost 3.5%, after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the stock to "underweight" from "neutral", with a target price of 18.5 euros. Thyssenkrupp (-2.4% in Frankfurt) announced on Thursday that it was targeting an adjusted operating margin of 4% to 6% in the medium term. The German industrial conglomerate, which is continuing its restructuring and plans to list its hydrogen division, Uhde Chlorine Engineers, also wants to resume paying a regular dividend. The group also said it expects to increase its sales and adjusted operating profit in the first quarter of the current financial year. STMicroelectronics shares traded 6.7% lower but estimates for next year aren't expected to suffer from news that demand for Apple's iPhone 13 line-up has weakened, Equita Sim said, citing a report from Bloomberg that Apple informed its component suppliers of the slowdown. Jean-Marc Chery, CEO at the European chip maker, in a recent speech talked about a semiconductor market expected to grow by 10% in 2022 with STMicroelectronics expected to outperform, Equita Sim added. "We do not see major risks for STMicroelectronics 2022 estimates at the moment.“
U.S. stocks jumped Thursday, continuing a tumultuous week for markets driven by uncertainty about the potential impact of the Omicron variant on public health and the economy. The Dow industrials added 617.75 points, or 1.82%, to 34639.79, the largest one-day point gain since early November. The S&P 500 rose 64.06 points, or 1.42%, to 4577.10, with all 11 of its sectors rising. The Nasdaq Composite gained 127.27 points, or 0.83%, to 15381.32. Shares of Vir Biotechnology fell $1.03, or 2.2%, to $45.94. The biotech firm and partner GlaxoSmithKline said its Covid-19 antibody drug was effective against the Omicron variant in early laboratory studies. Meanwhile, President Biden tightened Covid-19 testing timelines for travelers entering the U.S. and extended a mask mandate on transportation. Dollar General shares fell $6.98, or 3.1%, to $215.81 after the retailer said its profit fell in the third quarter and cut its full-year guidance for same-store sales. Grocery-store operator Kroger climbed $4.44, or 11%, to $44.65 after it raised its full-year guidance. Boeing climbed $14.19, or 7.5%, to $202.38 after China’s aviation authority issued a directive on the 737 MAX, bringing the plane a step closer to returning to Chinese skies. Grab Holdings shares turned red, falling $2.26, or about 21%, to $8.75 after opening higher on their first day of trading in New York. The Southeast Asian ride-hailing and delivery giant completed a record-breaking merger with a special-purpose acquisition company. Airline stocks have swung between gains and losses this week. Alaska Air, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines added more than 6% Thursday.
In Asia, major indexes broadly closed with gains on Friday. The slight exception is the Hong Kong market (+0.1%), where regulatory hurdles are causing disgruntlement and concerns about a new round in the U.S.-China trade dispute. Didi announced its immediate withdrawal from the New York Stock Exchange just five months after going public. Also weighing on sentiment is Apple's reported warning that demand for the iPhone 13 is below expectation. Alibaba loses 4.2 percent and Meituan 4 percent. The Shanghai Composite however gains 0.9%. The Nikkei-225 in Tokyo increases by 0.8%. The Kospi (+0.8%) in Seoul continues to build on its previous day's gains.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose 1 basis point to 1.448%. The 2-year Treasury rate also climbed 5 basis points to 0.619%. Markets are still reacting to comments from Mr. Powell, who suggested the central bank was prepared to accelerate tapering, said Georgina Taylor, a multiasset fund manager at Invesco. Surging inflation in recent days has pushed the Fed to combat rising costs. Treasury yields are influenced by Fed rate-increase expectations. Rising treasury yields affect stock prices because they hurt companies by increasing borrowing costs and give investors’ alternatives to stocks.
Berenberg lowers Easyjet target to 750 (800) p - Buy
Morgan Stanley increases Thyssenkrupp target to EUR 11.20 (9.80)/Equalweight
Metzler cuts Hypoport target to EUR 400 (420) - Sell
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