Key Events This Busy Week: Payrolls, Powell, China People’s Congress And Much More

Key Events This Busy Week: Payrolls, Powell, China People’s Congress And Much More

As DB’s Jim Reid writes this morning, we’re currently on a run that you may not see again in your lifetimes. He is referring to the fact that the S&P 500 just completed a historic run of 16 positive weeks out of the last 18 for first time since 1971. If this carries on for another week it’ll be 17 out of 19 for the first time since 1964, a “a remarkable and relentless period of performance”… and not even that can help Biden get elected. Oh well.

In any case, if the market run survives another week it will have navigated a number of big events ending with US payrolls on Friday. Before that we have the US services ISM, China’s Caixin services PMI, the start of China’s National People’s Congress, alongside Super Tuesday in the US presidential race tomorrow. Wednesday sees the latest JOLTS data, the BoC meeting, the UK budget and Powell’s first congressional testimony of the week. Thursday has the latest ECB meeting. Biden’s state of the union address, and Powell’s second testimony. Friday has a fair bit of European data alongside payrolls, including German PPI and Industrial Production.

Let’s briefly review a few of these highlights now starting with payrolls.

  • DB economists and consensus expect +200k against +353k last month with private payrolls at +175k (consensus +160k) versus +317k last month. Winter storms in February bring a lot of uncertainty to the reading as does the fact that January saw a low response rate versus long-term averages so revisions could be sizeable.
  • Before that we’ll hear from many Fed speakers (see the week ahead calendar at the end for them all) including Chair Powell’s testimonies to the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. He will likely stick to the January FOMC script but the market always seem to get something new out of these appearances which include a lot of congressional Q&A. He may receive plenty of questions about the balance sheet.
  • The most interesting thing around the ECB meeting will be the updated staff forecasts where downgrades might not be as severe as they could have been a couple of months ago including to inflation where the flash print lasts week was ahead of consensus. So there is now unlikely to be any great urgency to cut and our economists have now pushed back their first cut to June from April. See their preview note here where they detail this and everything else you’d want to know about the meeting.
  • In politics, tomorrow sees ‘Super Tuesday’, when 16 states and territories will be holding primary elections. It perhaps lacks a bit of razzmatazz this year as a Trump vs. Biden rematch looks the overwhelmingly most likely outcome outside of an event removed from the results of the primaries. Perhaps the most interesting thing to learn is whether pollsters are accurately gauging Mr Trump’s actual support levels as a guide to more national trends/predictions for November.

Moving on to Asia, in Japan, there will be several appearances by BoJ speakers including Governor Ueda tomorrow. In China, the main event will be the National People’s Congress starting tomorrow.

Here is a day-by-day calendar of events

Monday March 4

  • Data: Japan February Tokyo CPI, France January budget balance
  • Central banks: Fed’s Harker speaks, ECB’s Holzmann speaks

Tuesday March 5

  • Data: US February ISM services index, January factory orders, China February Caixin services PMI, UK February official reserves changes, new car registrations, Italy February services PMI, France January industrial production, Eurozone January PPI, Canada February services PMI
  • Central banks: BoJ’s Ueda speaks, Fed’s Barr speaks
  • Earnings: Target, Crowdstrike, Bayer
  • Other: Super Tuesday

Wednesday March 6

  • Data: US January JOLTS report, wholesale trade sales, February ADP report, UK February construction PMI, Japan January labor cash earnings, Germany January trade balance, February construction PMI, Eurozone January retail sales, Canada Q4 labor productivity
  • Central banks: Fed’s Powell testifies before the House Financial Services Committee, Daly and Kashkari speak, Beige Book, BoC decision
  • Earnings:
  • Other: UK Budget

Thursday March 7

  • Data: US Q4 household change in net worth, January trade balance, consumer credit, initial jobless claims, China February trade balance, Japan January trade balance, current account balance, household spending, February bank lending, Germany January factory orders, Canada January international merchandise trade, building permits
  • Central banks: ECB decision, Fed’s Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee, Mester speaks, BoJ’s Nakagawa speaks, BoE DMP survey
  • Earnings: Marvell, Broadcom, Costco, Petroleo Brasiliero
  • Other: State of the Union

Friday March 8

  • Data: US February jobs report, Japan January leading index, coincident index, February Economy Watchers survey, Italy January PPI, Germany January PPI, industrial production, France January trade balance, current account balance, Canada February jobs report, Q4 capacity utilization rate
  • Central banks: Fed’s Williams speaks, ECB’s Holzmann speaks

* * *

Focusing only on the US, Goldman writes that the key economic data releases this week are the ISM services report on Tuesday, the JOLTS job openings report on Wednesday, and the employment situation report on Friday. There are many speaking engagements from Fed officials this week, including Chair Powell’s testimony before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday, March 4

  • 11:00 AM Philadelphia Fed President Harker (FOMC non-voter) speaks: Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker will deliver a presentation on the economic impact of higher education. Speech text, Q&A, and livestream are expected. On February 22, Harker said, “I believe that we may be in the position to see the [funds] rate decrease this year. But I would caution anyone from looking for it right now and right away. We have time to get this right, as we must…I think we’re close. Just give us a couple meetings.”

Tuesday, March 5

  • 09:45 AM S&P Global US services PMI, February final (consensus 51.4, last 51.3)
  • 10:00 AM Factory orders, January (GS -2.9%, consensus -2.9%, last +0.2%); Durable goods orders, January final (consensus -6.1%, last -6.1%); Durable goods orders ex-transportation, January final (last -0.3%); Core capital goods orders, January final (last +0.1%); Core capital goods shipments, January final (last +0.8%)
  • 10:00 AM ISM services index, February (GS 52.6, consensus 53.0, last 53.4): We estimate that the ISM services index fell 0.8pt to 52.6 in February. Our non-manufacturing survey tracker pulled back 0.9pt to 52.2.
  • 12:00 PM Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Barr speaks: Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr will participate in a panel discussion on modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act with FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg and Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu. Q&A and livestream are expected.

Wednesday, March 6

  • 08:15 AM ADP employment change, February (GS +160k, consensus +150k, last +107k): We estimate a 160k rise in ADP payroll employment in February, reflecting a solid underlying pace of job growth and a boost from favorable seasonality.
  • 10:00 AM JOLTS job openings, January (GS 8,700k, consensus 8,890k, last 9,026k): We estimate that JOLTS job openings fell by 0.3mn to 8.7mn in January, reflecting a pullback in online job postings.
  • 10:00 AM Fed Chair Powell speaks: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will testify before the House Financial Services Committee. On February 5, Powell said, the “danger of moving too soon is that the job’s not quite done, and that the really good readings we’ve had for the last six months somehow turn out not to be a true indicator of where inflation’s heading.” The interviewer reported that Powell “suggested to us the likely time for the first interest rate cut would be the middle of the year, a few months before the election.” We expect 4 cuts to the Fed funds rate in 2024 starting in June and 4 cuts in 2025 for a terminal rate of 3.25-3.5%.
  • 10:00 AM Wholesale inventories, January final (consensus -0.1%, last -0.1%)
  • 12:00 PM San Francisco Fed President Daly (FOMC voter) speaks: San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly will deliver the keynote address at the 2024 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference. Speech text, moderated Q&A, and livestream are expected. On February 29, Daly said, “There is no imminent risk to the economy faltering. We are ready to make moves and adjust as the data demands us to do…It would be appropriate as inflation comes down to bring the nominal rate of interest down to make sure we’re not holding on even tighter. We want to avoid holding on all the way to 2%, putting policy very tight and then cause an unnecessary downturn.”
  • 02:00 PM Beige Book, March FOMC meeting period: The Fed’s Beige Book is a summary of regional economic anecdotes from the 12 Federal Reserve districts. The Beige Book for the January FOMC meeting period noted that a majority of the 12 Districts reported little or no change in economic activity since the prior Beige Book period, while 3 reported modest growth and one reported a moderate decline. They noted that contacts from nearly all Districts reported decreases in manufacturing activity. Six Districts reported slight or modest price increases, and two reported moderate increases. We continue to look for anecdotes related to inflation pressures and economic activity in the Beige Book for the March FOMC meeting period.
  • 04:15 PM Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari (FOMC non-voter) speaks: Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will participate in a moderated discussion at the Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network Summit. A moderated Q&A and livestream are expected. On February 7, Kashkari said, “We’re not looking for better inflation data, we’re just looking for additional inflation data that is also at around this 2% level. If we get to see a few more months of that data, I think that will give us a lot of confidence.”

Thursday, March 7

  • 08:30 AM Trade balance, January (GS -$63.2bn, consensus -$63.5bn, last -$62.2bn)
  • 08:30 AM Nonfarm productivity, Q4 final (GS +3.0%, consensus +3.1%, last +3.2%): Unit labor costs, Q4 final (GS +0.7%, consensus +0.7%, last +0.5%): We estimate a 0.2pp downward revision to nonfarm productivity growth to +3.0% (qoq ar) in the final Q4 reading. We expect a 0.2pp upward revision to unit labor costs—compensation per hour divided by output per hour—to +0.7%.
  • 08:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended March 2 (GS 205k, consensus 218k, last 215k): Continuing jobless claims, week ended February 24 (GS 1,865k, consensus 1,870k, last 1,905k)
  • 10:00 AM Fed Chair Powell speaks; Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will testify before the Senate Banking Committee.
  • 11:30 AM Cleveland Fed President Mester (FOMC voter) speaks: Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester will deliver a virtual speech on the economic outlook as part of the European Economics and Financial Centre’s Distinguished Speaker Series. Q&A and livestream are expected. On February 29, Mester said, “Right now that [three cuts to the fed funds rate this year] feels about right to me if the economy evolves as I anticipate it will.” She added that the January PCE inflation reading “doesn’t really change my view.”

Friday, March 8

  • 07:00 AM New York Fed President Williams (FOMC voter) speaks: New York Fed President John Williams will participate in an event organized by the London School of Economics. Q&A and livestream are expected. On February 28, Williams said, “The economy is still strong, we expect to see positive growth and inflation to keep coming down. So something like three rate cuts is a reasonable starting point when you think about it… We still have a ways to go on the journey to sustained 2% inflation.” On February 29, Williams added, “I expect us to cut interest rates later this year.”
  • 08:30 AM Nonfarm payroll employment, February (GS +215k, consensus +200k, last +353k); Private payroll employment, February (GS +175k, consensus +160k, last +317k); Average hourly earnings (mom), February (GS flat, consensus +0.2%, last +0.6%); Average hourly earnings (yoy), February (GS +4.2%, consensus +4.3%, last +4.5%); Unemployment rate, February (GS 3.7%, consensus 3.7%, last 3.7%); Labor force participation rate, February (GS 62.6%, consensus 62.6%, last 62.5%): We estimate nonfarm payrolls rose by 215k in February (mom sa), reflecting a 30-50k boost from a favorable swing in the weather. We believe fewer end-of-year layoffs drove the 353k jump in January payrolls, and with that tailwind now behind us, we assume a return towards a more normal pace of job gains. Big Data employment indicators also indicate solid or strong job growth, albeit well below that of January. We estimate that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%, reflecting a moderate rise in household employment offset by a 0.1pp rebound in the labor force participation rate to 62.6%. We estimate unchanged average hourly earnings (mom sa) that lower the year-on-year rate by three tenths to 4.2%, reflecting a 0.2pp drag on the monthly rate from the reversal of January’s weather-related distortions, as well as waning wage pressures and neutral calendar effects.

Source DB, Goldman, BofA

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 10:40

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Snowpocalypse Closes Highways In Northern California

Snowpocalypse Closes Highways In Northern California

Shocking footage shared on social media platform X shows the aftermath of a massive blizzard that dumped feet of snow across the Sierra Nevada mountains, which led to the closure of major highways across Northern California and stranded hundreds of vehicles over the last 48 hours. 

According to local media outlet 2 News Nevada:

I-80 remains closed from the Nevada State Line to Colfax. 

According to a post from Caltrans District 3 on X, I-80 will remain closed for the rest of Sunday. They hope to be able to reopen the road sometime on Monday. 

They also shared a picture of traffic leaving the Lake Tahoe Basin on Highway 50. They said traffic is moving very slowly and chain controls are still required. 

National Weather Service meteorologist William Churchill warned over the weekend of “life-threatening concern” for residents near Lake Tahoe, calling the storm an “extreme blizzard.” Areas around Nevada, Utah, and Colorado were also hit by winter weather. 

“Moderate to heavy snow has persisted overnight across the northern Sierra Nevada,” the National Weather Service in Sacramento wrote on X Sunday, adding, “Wind gusts … are continuing to result in blizzard conditions.”

“There are some areas in the highest elevations that could still see 10-12 feet,” Alan Reppert, an AccuWeather senior meteorologist, told USA TODAY.

So, no more global warming?

This is wild. 

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 3 wrote on X late Sunday, “With a break in the weather, we hope to be able to reopen I-80 sometime tomorrow.” 

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 10:20

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

In Unanimous Decision, Supreme Court Rules Trump To Remain On Presidential Ballots

In Unanimous Decision, Supreme Court Rules Trump To Remain On Presidential Ballots

The US Supreme Court has ruled in a unanimous decision that former President Donald Trump will be allowed to remain on primary and general ballots in the 2024 US election, after several states removed the former president under the 14th Amendment.

The decision comes after several states – kicked off by the Colorado Supreme Court – ruled that Trump was disqualified from appearing on ballots, citing an interpretation of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment provision which stipulates that candidates who engaged in an “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States – which Trump has not been charged with or convicted of – should be prevented from holding office.

Maine’s Democratic secretary of state made a similar decision days later, and a judge in Illinois recently issued a similar ruling to prevent his appearance on ballots, according to the Epoch Times.

This is the first time in US history that the US Supreme Court has considered section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The decision comes after a Sunday announcement that the Court would come to a decision today.

And of course, the left is now trying to discredit the Supreme Court despite the fact that this was a unanimous decision.

As the Epoch Times notes further, Lawyers for the former president asked the nine justices to reverse the Colorado court decision because only Congress can make a determination as who can become president.

The Colorado court’s decision was “the first time in the history of the United States that the judiciary has prevented voters from casting ballots for the leading major-party presidential candidate,” his lawyers said, concluding that it “is not and cannot be correct.”

After the ruling, President Trump wrote on social media that he is “not an insurrectionist,” adding that President Joe Biden is one. He also noted that he told supporters to protest “peacefully and patriotically” during a rally on Jan. 6, 2021, before protesters and rioters entered the U.S. Capitol during the certification of electoral votes for the 2020 election, which forms the basis of the “insurrection” accusations against him.

Justices for the Colorado Supreme Court had argued that they believed President Trump engaged in an insurrection because of his activity before and on Jan. 6, 2021, during the breach of the U.S. Capitol building. The former president, however, was never charged or convicted of insurrection. He was charged by a federal special counsel in connection with the 2020 election, but not for insurrection, rebellion, or related charges.

“President Trump asks us to hold that Section Three disqualifies every oath-breaking insurrectionist except the most powerful one and that it bars oath-breakers from virtually every office, both state and federal, except the highest one in the land,” the majority for the Colorado Supreme Court wrote in its 4–3 ruling.

“Both results are inconsistent with the plain language and history of Section Three.”

Oral Arguments

During oral arguments in front of the justices in early February, at least six of the justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, appeared to be at least skeptical of some of the claims made by the lawyer representing several Colorado voters who brought the lawsuit against the Republican front-runner.

“It’ll come down to just a handful of states that are going to decide the presidential election,” Chief Justice Roberts said, referring to the potential effect of the Colorado court’s ruling.

“That’s a pretty daunting consequence.”

Justice Clarence Thomas asked the lawyer, Jason Murray, why there weren’t many examples of individual states’ disqualifying candidates under the 14th Amendment after the Civil War.

“There were a plethora of confederates still around, there were any number of people who would continue to either run for state offices or national offices, so it would seem—that would suggest there would at least be a few examples of national candidates being disqualified,” Justice Thomas, a Bush appointee, said.

Justice Elena Kagan, considered a member of the court’s liberal wing, asked the attorney why one state would have power to determine which candidates should be on the ballot for a nationwide election.

“Why should a single state have the ability to make this determination not only for their own citizens but also for the nation?” she asked the attorney, adding the move would be “quite extraordinary.”


Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 10:06

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Bitcoin, Bullion, & Breakevens Soar As Markets Lose Faith In ‘Inflation-Fighting’ Fed

Bitcoin, Bullion, & Breakevens Soar As Markets Lose Faith In ‘Inflation-Fighting’ Fed


For months, the talking heads have espoused soft-landings and disinflationary trends and rate-cut-paloozas (but hell no recession at all).

But, after the last set of inflation data hit – showing stickier than expected price rises (especially the acyclical segment)…

…it appears the market ain’t buying what The Fed is selling anymore…

First things first, Breakevens are soaring (the market’s bet on where inflation will be)…

Gold is breaking out, near record highs…

And of course, bitcoin is soaring, also back near record highs…

So is inflation under control or not? Who do you believe, The Fed or your lying eyes?

We also note that the ‘juice’ from last year’s massive loosening of financial conditions is starting to wear off (not great timing for an incumbent in an election year)…

And as a reminder, The Fed is entirely apolitical and would never cut-rates in an election year to juice sentiment in the face of all this ‘animal spirits 2.0’ growth and sticky inflation, and record high stock valuations…. right?

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 10:05

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Central Bank Gold Buying Expected To Remain Hot Over Next Several Years

Central Bank Gold Buying Expected To Remain Hot Over Next Several Years

Authored by Mike Maharrey via Money Metals,

Net central bank gold buying exceeded 1,000 tons two straight years, and commodity analysts at ANZ Bank expect central bank gold demand to continue hot for at least the next six years.

[Emerging market] central banks could purchase over 600 tons of gold annually until 2030, to take its share in their foreign reserves to 10 percent. China will likely occupy the lion’s share in global official gold demand.

Analysts at the Australian bank noted that annual central bank gold demand has nearly tripled and now makes up 25 to 30 percent of total global demand.

Central bank net gold purchases totaled 1,037 tons in 2023. That fell just 45 tons short of 2022’s multi-decade record.

China was the biggest buyer in 2023. The People’s Bank of China officially reported a 225-ton increase in its gold reserves.

Total central bank gold buying in 2022 came in at 1,136 tons. It was the highest level of net purchases on record dating back to 1950, including since the suspension of dollar convertibility into gold in 1971.

ANZ analysts say the recent bout of price inflation helped drive central bank gold demand.

Recent inflation shocks globally, aggressive policy rate hikes in the developed markets, and valuation losses on foreign currency reserves held by emerging market (EM) central banks have enhanced Gold’s appeal relative to bonds in their portfolios.

ANZ analysts also pinpoint declining faith in the bond market – particularly U.S. Treasuries – as another reason central banks are diversifying into gold.

Depleted trust in the US fixed-income assets and the rise of non-reserve currencies are other themes that could support central bank gold buying.

ANZ notes U.S. Treasuries represent approximately 59 percent of the total foreign currency reserves globally. But bond prices have dropped precipitously since the Fed embarked on its monetary tightening project to address hot price inflation.

Higher interest rates also led to dollar strength, making servicing dollar-denominated debt much more expensive.

According to ANZ, about 50 percent of the decline in Asian central bank FX reserves in 2022 was due to valuation losses.

This was quite large and has likely left a lasting sour taste. It is unsurprising, therefore, that central banks are diversifying their reserves away from bonds.

Financial analyst Jim Grant has warned about a “generational bear market” in bonds. In an interview on the Odd Lots Podcast last summer, Grant said he thinks we’re at the beginning of a long-term trend of a weak bond market with higher interest rates that could last decades.

I speculate that we are embarked on a long cycle of rising rates. And I say that first of all, for reasons of pattern recognition, there’s no theory behind it. But I observe that in 2020 and ‘21, some unimaginably large number of debt securities were priced to yield less than nothing. Bloomberg keeps this particular figure. And I bet still, perhaps you could check me on this, I bet still there’s like a hundred billion of bonds priced to yield less than nothing worldwide. But there were $18 trillion, I think at the peak.

[It was] the most extraordinary expression of unqualified bullishness on an asset class because it had the name of ‘bonds’ which had been falling in yield, rising in price. So no, it would not surprise me at all if we were embarked on something resembling a generation-length bear market in bonds, meaning rising yields and falling prices that would fit the form.

According to ANZ, the recent run of central bank gold buying could be part of a broader move away from the dollar.

The global monetary system is evolving, with EMs pushing their own currencies for international payments. China is reportedly settling trades with Russia in RMB and has made clear its intention to internationalize its currency. Other regional players, like India, are also pushing to settle foreign trade in their own currency. This evolving multi-currency system will see a gradual shift in foreign currency reserve portfolios, and gold is likely to play an important role as this develops.

Photo courtesy of the Bank of England used under Creative Commons license.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 09:45

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Biden Trots Out Harris To Issue Biting Criticism Of Israel & ‘Inhumane’ Conditions In Gaza

Biden Trots Out Harris To Issue Biting Criticism Of Israel & ‘Inhumane’ Conditions In Gaza

President Biden has sent Vice President Kamala Harris out before the world to do his dirty work of desperately trying to reign Israel in as the US administration faces rising global criticism for its unwillingness to attach humanitarian conditions to weapons given to Israel for use in Gaza amid a soaring civilian death toll.

Harris has issued a call for a six-week ceasefire at a moment Israel is boycotting ceasefire talks in Cairo. Harris spoke Sunday in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama – scene of state troopers beating civil rights marchers almost 60 years ago. Her comments on the Gaza crisis appear to be the most direct and biting criticisms yet from any Biden admin official aimed at Israel

Getty Images

She said Israel isn’t doing enough to negate the unfolding “humanitarian catastrophe” amid “inhumane” conditions in the Gaza Strip. Some of her statements, especially the immediate call to implement ceasefire, gained loud cheers from the crowd at the bridge.

“Given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza there must be an immediate ceasefire,” Harris said. “For at least the next six weeks, which is what currently is on the table.” Gaza health officials have said the death toll has surpassed 30,000 at this point, and is mostly civilians. “The conditions are inhumane and our common humanity compels us to act,” she said at one point.

“Hamas claims it wants a ceasefire. Well, there is a deal on the table. And as we have said, Hamas needs to agree to that deal,” she continued of talks in Cairo. “Let’s get a ceasefire. Let’s reunite the hostages with their families. And let’s provide immediate relief to the people of Gaza.”

She even then tied the suffering of Gazans to the cause of the historic civil rights struggle in the United States:

People in Gaza are starving. The conditions are inhumane and our common humanity compels us to act,” Harris said at an event to commemorate the 59th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in Alabama. “Our hearts break for… all the innocent people in Gaza who are suffering from what is clearly a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Revealing deep Biden administration frustrations over Israel’s handling of the war against Hamas, she said: “The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid. No excuses.”

“They must not impose any unnecessary restrictions on the delivery of aid.  They must ensure humanitarian personnel, sites, and convoys are not targeted.” The latter reference was to last week’s deadly aid convoy incident which resulted in the deaths of over 100 civilians. Some were shot by Israeli forces as they attempted to access food. The US vice president called called “more food, water and fuel can reach those in need.”

The US joined Jordan over the weekend in providing airdrops for the increasingly hungry population. But critics warned that the aid delivered was but a drop in the bucket of what’s needed for over two million people.

So far at least, Israel looks completely unfazed in its stance in the face of Harris’ words. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant addressed troops at Israel’s southern border on Sunday. “We will not end this war without eliminating Hamas. There will be no such situation,” he said, echoing Netanyahu’s own pledges. “There will be no Hamas as a ruling organization. It will take the time it takes.”

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 09:25

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Nothing Left To SAVE: Spirit Plummets After JetBlue Terminates Acquisition As Bankruptcy Looms

Nothing Left To SAVE: Spirit Plummets After JetBlue Terminates Acquisition As Bankruptcy Looms

Several weeks ago, when retail momentum chasers were hot in pursuit of the latest hot tip from Dave Portnoy…

… we warned that not only was the doomed Jetblue transaction – which a Judge blocked on anti-trust grounds back on Jan 16 – not salvageable….

… but that a standalone Spirit – with the hilariously ironic ticker SAVE – was guaranteed to promptly file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy courtesy of record high debt fast approaching $7 billion, coupled with record cash burn.

Well, moments ago all of that fell into place when as we warned, JetBlue Airways, which had been facing pressure from Carl Icahn to return to sustainable growth, formally terminated its acquisition of Spirit Airlines more than a month after a federal judge blocked the $3.8 billion acquisition.

The carriers reached an agreement to walk away after determining that terms of the pact, including “receiving necessary legal and regulatory approvals, were unlikely to be met” by dates specified in the deal, JetBlue said Monday in a statement. Jetblue will be happy to walkaway from the catastrophic purchase by only paying Spirit the $69 million termination fee which should cover cash burn for at least a few weeks, and which resolves all outstanding matters related to the deal. Spirit confirmed the news in a separate statement.

“We concluded that current regulatory obstacles will not permit us to close this transaction in a timely fashion under the merger agreement,” said Spirit Chief Executive Officer Ted Christie.

The highly anticipated – except by a bunch of retail momo chasers – decision ends JetBlue’s lengthy quest for Spirit and marks a sharp reversal after the companies pledged to fight for the tie-up. JetBlue had hoped to accelerate its growth with a quick infusion of Spirit’s planes and pilots at a time when both are in short supply.

As Bloomberg notes, it wasn’t immediately clear whether Icahn’s presence influenced the decision to drop the appeal but we can safely assume it was not insubstantial. In the weeks since the deal was blocked, Icahn revealed a roughly 10% stake, making him one of JetBlue’s largest shareholders. The carrier shortly thereafter gave the investor a pair of board seats, heading off a proxy fight.

The market reaction spoke volume: JetBlue shares surged 6.3% while Spirit stock plunged more than 15% after it was unhalted, and was last seen trading around $5.40. It has about $5.40 more to drop before this particular story ends…

… the same way every other Biden admin intervention ends: with thousands of people unemployed

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 09:10

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Why They Are Creating $1 Trillion Of Debt Every 100 Days

Why They Are Creating $1 Trillion Of Debt Every 100 Days

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

“There has been abundant evidence of great evil at work in the world, throughout time and in our present time. Do you really wish to be ignorant of its existence and operation?”

– The Great Taking – Daniel Webb

From 2000 through 2007, while waging two wars in the Middle East, the U.S. ANNUAL Federal deficit averaged $220 billion PER YEAR. And many fiscal conservatives thought that was outrageously out of control. Well, Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden, the despicable scum in Congress, and the rest of the Deep State calling the shots in this military empire of delusion and debt said, HOLD MY BEER.

Just as the wheels were starting to come off in late 2019, the convenient arrival of the Covid plandemic provided the cover for these purveyors of propaganda and panic to run $3 trillion deficits and establish a new baseline of $1 trillion per year. The house of cards, built upon a crumbling foundation of debt comes crashing down when deficits are allowed to drop below $1 trillion. Running in place gets more expensive by the day.

Now it requires $1 trillion of new debt every 100 days to achieve nothing but remaining static economically. The regime media pundits and the cabal on Wall Street tell us the economy is doing great. No recession in sight. All is well. The dumbed down and distracted ignorant masses don’t realize all the reported “economic growth” is “created” by the government, enabled by The Fed, spending billions on their wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, funneling the money into the Military Industrial Complex corporations; paying for the transportation, feeding, and housing of the illegal invading hordes; hiring more government drones to harass the citizenry, and desperately trying to prop up a corrupt tottering empire in its final death throes.

Anyone with even the slightest mathematical acumen knows increasing the national debt at a rate of $1 trillion every 100 days is a death wish. Why would those pulling the strings behind the scenes of this acceleration towards the cliff of national suicide be doing so at this point in time? It’s almost as if the November elections are a deadline for them to complete their exit strategy plan.

I believe we are entering the Great Taking phase of this clown show.

They are purposely creating a global financial disaster in order to take everything you and I have. It sounds crazy, but so is adding $1 trillion of debt every 100 days. Remember, the psychopaths running this world do not care about you. In their warped view of the world, you are nothing more than a parasite to be extinguished at their whim.

There will be an epic end point to the decades of seemingly out-of-control financialization, which served no beneficial purpose for humanity, but the devastating effects of which are apparent even now. It has been a deliberate strategy executed over decades. This was the purpose of inflating the global bubble entirely out of proportion with any real world thing or activity, which must end in disaster for so many, with no pockets of resilience allowed to remain in any country.” 

– The Great Taking – Daniel Webb

* *  *

To donate to Jim’s blog via Stripe, click here.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 09:10

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

Apple Hit With $2 Billion EU Antitrust Fine; Concerns Rise Over iPhone Demand

Apple Hit With $2 Billion EU Antitrust Fine; Concerns Rise Over iPhone Demand

Apple shares dipped in premarket trading in New York after the European Union imposed a fine of €1.84 billion ($2 billion) on the tech giant for violating its competition laws. Additionally, another Wall Street analyst wrote a note to clients about mounting concerns surrounding the demand for iPhones and wearable products. 

Let’s begin with the news from Europe. 

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, wrote in a statement that after a yearslong investigation into Apple’s app-store practices. It was found that Apple violated antitrust rules by limiting Spotify and other music streaming services from allowing users to pay outside the App Store. 

The EU competition enforcer wrote in a statement:

Today, the Commission has fined Apple €1.8 billion for abusing its dominant position on the market for the distribution of music streaming apps.

Apple did so by restricting app developers’ ability to inform users of Apple devices about alternative, cheaper options to purchase music available on the internet outside of the Apple ecosystem.

This is illegal. And it has impacted millions of European consumers, who were not able to make a free choice as to where, how, and at what price to buy music streaming subscriptions.

The Commission noted: 

For a decade, Apple has restricted music streaming app developers from informing their consumers about cheaper options available outside of the app. Apple has done so by contractually imposing ‘anti-steering rules‘ on music streaming app developers.” 

It lists three examples of Apple’s ‘anti-steering obligations’

  • First, music streaming developers were not allowed to inform their users, inside their own apps, of cheaper prices for the same subscription on the internet.
  • Second, they were also not allowed to include links in their apps to lead consumers to their websites and pay lower prices there.
  • And third, they were also not allowed to contact their own newly acquired users, for instance by email, to inform them about pricing options after they set up an account.

And the result of this practice: 

Millions of European music streaming users were left in the dark about all available options. And Apple’s anti-steering rules also made consumers pay more for such services because of the high commission fee imposed on developers and passed on to consumers.” 

Apple criticized the EU decision in a statement to Reuters:

“The decision was reached despite the Commission’s failure to uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm, and ignores the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive, and growing fast.

“The primary advocate for this decision — and the biggest beneficiary — is Spotify, a company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Spotify has the largest music streaming app in the world, and has met with the European Commission more than 65 times during this investigation.” 

Earlier Monday, Evercore ISI dropped Apple from its “Tactical Outperform” list following the company’s report of better-than-expected results in the quarter ending December 2023, attributed to strong performance in iPhones and services, despite some weaknesses in iPad and wearables

The analysts, led by Amit Daryanani, said there is some disappointment in forecasts for the current quarter ending in Mach, which suggests revenues of about $90 billion, marking a 5% decrease year-over-year, with expected earnings per share around $1.50. 

Daryanani believes iPhone sales remain steady and, more crucially, identifies several positive trends that could benefit Apple, including the launch of artificial intelligence products, the adoption of Vision Pro, and an increase in capital allocation. 

Evercore maintained its Outperform rating and a $220 price target for Apple’s stock. 

This followed Goldman Sachs’s move last week to remove it from the “Conviction List” amid concerns over weak iPhone demand. 

“There are many reasons a stock could get removed from the list. The can include (but are not limited to), analysts no longer having conviction in their idea, price realization, the passage of catalysts or the subcommittee believing there are better opportunities elsewhere,” Goldman said. 

The combination of the EU antitrust fine and an increasing number of Wall Street analysts concerned about product demand woes sent shares down more than 1.3% in premarket trading. 

More buybacks please… 

Apple lags behind other big tech stocks. 

There are 33 analysts with buy recommendations on the stock, 17 holds, and 7 sells. 

Is Apple’s magic fading?

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 08:50

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden

British Man Jailed For 2 Years Over Stickers As PM Whines About “Democracy”

British Man Jailed For 2 Years Over Stickers As PM Whines About “Democracy”

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via,

As unelected British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak whined about ‘democracy’, a man in the UK was imprisoned for two years for the crime of distributing stickers that criticized mass migration.

Yes, really.

Sam Melia, who has a young daughter and a wife 8 months pregnant with their second child, is behind bars after a judge ruled he had ‘incited racial hatred’ by distributing the stickers.

The stickers included the phrases “reject white guilt,” “It’s okay to be white” and “love your nation”.

Meanwhile, non-whites who racially abuse police officers to their faces receive no jail time whatsoever.

While Melia was locked up for ‘offensive’ stickers, the same judge gave a man who was caught in possession of child sex images no jail time.

Others are free to commit all kinds of horrendous acts and escape justice, but apparently stickers are just beyond the pale.

While this was all unfolding, mobs of pro-Palestinian protesters were free to roam the streets of London engaging in any obscenities they liked, including open support for terror groups, with virtually no consequences.

For example, two women who displayed parachute images in support of Hamas jihadists who slaughtered innocent people on October 7th walked free with no punishment.

Meanwhile, unelected Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was busy whining about democracy being under threat from the “far-right” after someone outside of the establishment, George Galloway, was democratically elected in a by-election.

As we document in the video below, while the country is going to shit, at least it’s going to shit under the most diverse government ever.

*  *  *

Your support is crucial in helping us defeat mass censorship. Please consider donating via Locals or check out our unique merch. Follow us on X @ModernityNews.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/04/2024 – 08:35

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden