Monday, February 26, 2024

US Stocks Flat as Markets Brace for Powell’s Jackson Hole Comments

HomeStock-MarketUS Stocks Flat as Markets Brace for Powell’s Jackson Hole Comments

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The pending Activision merger aims to boost Microsoft’s mobile gaming offerings and metaverse ambitions. However, UK and EU antitrust authorities have raised concerns that acquiring control of Activision’s blockbuster “Call of Duty” franchise could harm rivals like Sony.

SoftBank’s Arm Launches IPO After Years of Speculation

SoftBank-owned semiconductor firm Arm released its IPO prospectus Tuesday, formally commencing a long-expected public listing on the Nasdaq. The chip technology developer could raise around $30 billion, marking one of the biggest US tech IPOs since Airbnb and Doordash went public in late 2020.

SoftBank acquired Arm in 2016 for $32 billion but has faced pressure from investors to crystallize value from the chip design firm. An IPO would allow SoftBank to monetize its stake in a key strategic asset powering technologies from data centers to smart devices. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group are underwriting Arm’s public offering.

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Existing Home Sales Decline in July, Fed Speech Looms

On the economic data front, existing home sales fell 5.9% month-over-month to an annual pace of 4.81 million in July, according to the National Association of Realtors. The reading undershot economists’ forecasts of 4.85 million units. Surging mortgage rates have exacerbated already high housing costs, pricing out prospective homebuyers.

“Home sales are facing a one-two punch of higher interest rates and expensive gasoline,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. He noted inventory levels remain tight and homes are selling rapidly, pointing to still-robust housing demand.

All eyes are now on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole economic symposium this Friday. Investors are hoping for clarity around the central bank’s plans to raise rates and quell inflation versus fears of tipping the economy into a recession.

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Oil Flat Ahead of API Inventory Report, China Concerns

Oil prices treaded water on Tuesday as traders weighed countervailing forces. Investors are wary of faltering fuel demand in top importer China amid COVID-19 restrictions and an economic slowdown. However, tight global supplies and geopolitical tensions have put a floor under crude prices.

Brent futures rose 0.2% to $97.40 per barrel, while WTI crude edged up 0.1% to $91.80. Prices seesawed in a narrow range as the market awaits further demand cues.

Later Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute industry group will release weekly data on U.S. oil and gasoline stockpiles ahead of Wednesday’s official EIA inventory tally. Falling U.S. crude inventories have supported oil prices this year amid tight supplies.

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In summary, stocks were muted Tuesday as investors awaited Friday’s Jackson Hole speech for clarity on interest rates. Existing home sales fell again in July, reflecting hot inflation and rising mortgage rates. Meanwhile, oil was little changed with the focus on API inventory data and China’s recovery. Markets are seen trading cautiously in the next few sessions ahead of the Fed’s guidance on monetary tightening.

This concludes our financial news roundup. Thank you for reading! For more of the day’s top business and market news and in-depth stock analysis, please subscribe and Bookmark this Website. 

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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