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21/03/22 Daily Briefing


The stock market is on track for a modestly lower start as futures on the S&P 500 trade ten points below fair value.

Global markets began the new week on a mixed note while Japan's Nikkei was closed for Vernal Equinox. A China Eastern Airlines Boeing (BA 180.80, -12.03, -6.2%) 737-800 crashed in Southern China, with reports indicating that there were no survivors among the 132 passengers and crewmembers.

In Ukraine, the country's leadership refused to give in to Russia's demand to surrender in the Southeastern city of Mariupol. On a related note, Turkish officials reportedly believe that Ukraine and Russia are close to agreeing on fundamental issues.

Most commodity prices are rising again with crude oil futures up $4.65, or 4.4%, at $109.35/bbl while gold is little changed at $1926.00/ozt.

Treasuries are on track for a lower start with the 10-yr yield rising three basis points to 2.18%.

The U.S. session will not see the release of any data today or tomorrow.

U.S. equity futures:

  • S&P 500 Futures: +2 @ 4,465

  • DJIA Futures: -84 @ 34,671

  • Nasdaq 100 Futures: -10 @ 14,410

Overseas:

  • Europe: DAX +0.1%, FTSE +0.7%, CAC -0.1%

  • Asia: Nikkei Closed; Hang Seng -0.9%, Shanghai Composite +0.1%

Commodities:

  • Crude Oil +3.97 @ 107.06

  • Nat Gas +0.018 @ 4.881

  • Gold -3.65 @ 1925.65

  • Silver +0.090 @ 25.177

  • Copper -0.0705 @ 4.6690

U.S. Summary:

  • Earnings/Guidance (Full Earnings Calendar):

  • Murphy Oil (MUR) reaffirms Q1 and FY22Production guidance


  • General News:

  • Russia fired rockets from air, land, and sea at Mariupol. Russia is also using Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, but ground troops remained stalled around Kyiv, according to the New York Times

  • Turkey believes Russia and Ukraine are close to agreement on fundamental issues. However, UN ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield does not believe Russia is looking for a diplomatic solution, according to Financial Times

  • Chinese ambassador Qin Gang says China will work to de-escalate Russia's war on Ukraine, according to Bloomberg

  • President Biden will travel to Poland following his meetings in Brussels this week

  • UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci says he thinks US will see an "uptick" in cases, but not a surge. He does not think restrictions will return because vaccines and prior immunity protect against Omicron sub variant, according to ABC News

  • Ministers want the EU to impose sanctions on Russian oil, according to Reuters

  • Chipmakers could have two year equipment shortage, according to Financial Times

  • Agreement on Iran nuclear deal could occur soon, according to Independent

  • UK will look toward wind and nuclear energy, according to Bloomberg

  • Amazon (AMZN): Judge dismissed antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, according to Bloomberg

  • Ambarella (AMBA) CFO passes away

  • AstraZeneca (AZN): EVUSHELD long-acting antibody combination retains neutralizing activity against Omicron variants including BA.2 in new independent studies

  • Athira Pharma (ATHA) presents study overview and baseline data from ACT-AD Phase 2 Trial of Fosgonimeton in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's Disease at the 2022 AD/PD Congress

  • Aura Biosciences (AURA) announces that the European Commission has granted Orphan Drug Designation to AU-011for the treatment of uveal melanoma

  • Baker Hughes (BKR) suspends new investments for its Russia operations

  • Boeing (BA) 737 jet with 132 people aboard crashed in China

  • Boeing (BA): Russia's biggest cargo airline Volga-Dnepr Group has suspended all flights using Boeing aircraft, according to Reuters

  • Bristol-Myers (BMY) receives FDA approval for Opdualag

  • Bunge (BG) says all 4.875% cumulative convertible perpetual preference shares will automatically convert into common shares

  • Chevron (CVX): Workers at California Chevron refinery will strike today, according to Reuters

  • Compugen's (CGEN) Computational Discovery Leverages Single Cell Spatial Transcriptomics to Gain In-Depth Understanding of the Tumor Microenvironment

  • Cronos Group (CRON) announces that the Board of Directors has appointed Mike Gorenstein as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, effective March 21, 2022, in connection with Kurt Schmidt's retirement

  • Disney (DIS): Shanghai Disney will temporarily close amid coronavirus outbreak in China, according to Bloomberg

  • Farmland Partners (FPI) purchased 369 acres of Illinois farmland for $3 million

  • Guess? (GES) has entered into an accelerated share repurchase agreement to repurchase $175 mln of its common stock

  • Halliburton (HAL) suspends future business in Russia

  • ImmunoGen (IMNG) presents full results from positive pivotal SORAYA trial of Mirvetuximab Soravtansine in Ovarian Cancer at SGO Annual Meeting

  • KBR (KBR) continues to support NASA Exploration with $640 mln contract

  • KemPharm (KMPH) announces full data set from higher-dose serdexmethylphenidate (SDX) Phase 1 clinical trial

  • Kosmos Energy (KOS) provides update on Ghana pre-emption

  • Membership Collective Group (MCG) authorizes stock repurchase program to repurchase up to $50 mln of the Company's Class A common stock

  • Moderna (MRNA) announces new supply agreement for 2023 with Switzerland for additional seven million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 booster vaccine

  • Natera (NTRA) announced new Signatera data from the prospective, multi-center CIRCULATE-Japan trial published

  • Nuvei (NVEI) announces automatic share purchase plan

  • Power REIT (PW) agrees to fund energy efficiency improvements at its greenhouse in York County, Maine

  • Provention Bio (PRVB): FDA accepts BLA resubmission for teplizumab for the delay of clinical type 1 diabetes

  • SAP SE (SAP) Supervisory Board mutually agreed with Luka Mucic, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Board Member, that he will depart the company on 31 March 2023

  • Schlumberger (SLB) announces update on Russia Operations

  • Sorrento (SRNE) reports promising results with a universal chimeric mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine that elicits potent neutralizing antibodies and protection against Omicron and Delta Variants

  • SQZ Biotechnologies (SQZ) has been awarded a $2 mln SBIR Phase II grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences

  • Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) authorizes up to $300 mln for share repurchases, replacing the previous program approved in 2019

  • Vistra Energy (VST) announces President and CFO Jim Burke will become CEO effective August 1

  • Weatherford (WFRD) announces update on Russia Operations

  • Zai Lab (ZLAB) presents positive results from Phase 3 PRIME study of ZEJULA (Niraparib) at Society of Gynecologic Oncology Meeting


  • M&A:

  • Alleghany Corporation (Y) to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) for $848.02 per share

  • Anaplan (PLAN) to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for $66.00 per share

  • Brookfield Business Partners (BBU) to acquire La Trobe Financial

  • General Motors (GM) acquires SoftBank's stake in GM Cruise; also plans to make an additional $1.35 bln investment in Cruise

  • Nielsen (NLSN) Board discloses proposal from consortium to acquire company; rejects proposal following extensive review and shareholder opposition

  • Ondas Holdings (ONDS) to acquire Ardenna, a provider of image processing and machine learning software solutions for rail infrastructure monitoring and inspections

  • Ternium S.A. (TX) declines Ternium Argentina's request to improve offer to acquire the minority participation in Ternium Mexico


  • Syndicate:

  • Interpublic (IPG) files mixed securities shelf offering


  • IPOs:

  • Expected to Price:

  • No IPOs expected to price.



Gapping Up/Down

  • Gapping up:

  • PLAN +27.3%, WTI +8.6%, USO +3.8%, SRNE +3.1%, MCG +2.8%, SHEL +2.3%, PSX +2.3%, SLB +2.1%, KOS +1.9%, XLE +1.8%, BP +1.7%, XOM +1.7%, HAL+1.6%, MUR +0.8%


  • Gapping down:

  • IMGN -27.9%, NLSN -16.1%, BA -8.1%, ATHA -5%, BLFS -5%, COIN -2.6%, ZLAB -1.6%, TX -1.2%


Analyst Research (see Upgrades/Downgradescalendarfor full list):

  • Upgrades

  • Air Products (APD) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan; tgt $275

  • Armstrong World Industries (AWI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies; tgt $111

  • Assoc Banc-Corp (ASB) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Wells Fargo; tgt raised to $28

  • Azenta (AZTA) initiated with an Outperform at Evercore ISI; tgt $100

  • Banco Santander (SAN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies

  • BlackBerry (BB) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital Mkts; tgt $7

  • Caixabank (CAIXY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies

  • Commerce Bancshares (CBSH) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Wells Fargo; tgt raised to $70

  • Deutsche Bank (DB) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA Securities

  • Duolingo (DUOL) upgraded to Overweight from Sector Weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets; tgt $112

  • Eni S.p.A. (E) upgraded to Buy from Hold at HSBC Securities

  • Integral Ad Science (IAS) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James; tgt raised to $27

  • Manchester United (MANU) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank; tgt $18

  • Old Second Bancorp Inc. (OSBC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson; tgt $22


  • Downgrades:

  • AvePoint (AVPT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman; tgt $7

  • Blend Labs (BLND) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Truist; tgt $7.50

  • Check Point Software (CHKP) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Piper Sandler; tgt $130

  • Dingdong Ltd (DDL) downgraded to Underweight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley; tgt lowered to $4.20

  • eHealth (EHTH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup; tgt lowered to $15

  • Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies; tgt lowered to $95

  • H&M (HNNMY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan

  • Huntsman (HUN) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets

  • Immunogen (IMGN) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Mkts; tgt lowered to $6

  • Installed Building Products (IBP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies; tgt lowered to $105

  • JOANN Inc. (JOAN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim

  • TotalEnergies SE (TTE) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC Securities


  • Others:

  • Alleghany Corporation (Y) initiated with an Outperform at Keefe Bruyette; tgt $815

  • American Tower (AMT) added to Positive Catalyst Watch list at Citigroup; tgt $300

  • BioAtla (BCAB) initiated with a Buy at H.C. Wainwright; tgt $25

  • Equinix (EQIX) resumed with a Buy at Citigroup; tgt $950

  • Playtika (PLTK) resumed with a Neutral at Citigroup; tgt $20

  • Silvergate Capital (SI) initiated with a Buy at BofA Securities; tgt $200

  • SpartanNash (SPTN) initiated with a Buy at CL King

  • St James's Place PLC (STJPF) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies

  • United Natural Foods (UNFI) initiated with a Buy at CL King


Upcoming Events:

  • Econ Data:

  • No economic data of note.


  • Earnings:

  • Monday (Mar 21)

  • Afternoon: NKE TME


  • Tuesday (Mar 22)

  • Morning: CCL GDS HUYA

  • Afternoon: AIR ADBE GAN PAGS POSH WOR


  • Wednesday (Mar 23)

  • Morning: CTAS YOU EPAC EVGO GIS JKS WGO

  • Afternoon: FUL KBH OLLI OXM SCS COOK TCOM


  • Thursday (Mar 24)

  • Morning: DRI FDS MOMO KC NEOG SNX TITN

  • Afternoon: HNST NIO


  • Friday (Mar 25)

  • Morning: DOOO




Asia & Europe detail:

Asia: Nikkei Closed; Hang Seng -0.9%, Shanghai Composite +0.1%

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly lower Monday, cooling off after many posted big gains last week. Japan's stock exchange was closed in observance of Vernal Equinox Day. China's Shanghai Composite eked out a gain. The PBOC left the loan prime rates unchanged, although speculation persisted that China will ultimately provide monetary and fiscal stimulus to support the economy. The rise of COVID cases there, which has resulted in the first deaths in China in more than a year, has bolstered such speculation. On a related note, lockdown measures have been eased in Shenzhen but tightened elsewhere. Shanghai Disney has been closed until further notice. Hong Kong, in turn, is starting to ease some restrictions, but expects to maintain COVID measures through April 20. Reuters reported that Australia announced a ban on alumina and aluminum ores exports to Russia.

  • In economic data:

  • New Zealand's February Credit Card Spending +1.0% yr/yr (prior +5.1%)


---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei: closed for holiday

  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng: -0.9%

  • China's Shanghai Composite: +0.1%

  • India's Sensex: -1.0%

  • South Korea's Kospi: -0.8%

  • Australia's ASX All Ordinaries: -0.2%

---FX---

  • USD/JPY: flat at 119.17

  • USD/CNH: flat at 6.3662

  • USD/INR: +0.4% to 76.212

Europe: DAX +0.1%, FTSE +0.7%, CAC -0.1%

Major European indices are mostly holding form with modest gains ahead of the U.S. open. The Russia-Ukraine situation hasn't been prone to progress in peace talks. Ukraine leader Zelenskyy said Ukraine will not give up any territory, which is reportedly a key demand from President Putin who is aiming to see Ukraine recognize Crimea as Russian territory and Donetsk and Luhansk as independent republics. President Biden will be speaking about the Russia-Ukraine matter with German, French, Italian, and UK leaders today before heading to the NATO Summit in Europe on March 24. Brent crude futures are up 4.5% to $112.82/bbl, driven in part by reports that the EU is considering a possible embargo on Russian oil. ECB member Knot has suggested that it is not unrealistic to expect a rate hike in 2022.

  • In economic data:

  • Germany's February PPI +1.4% m/m (expected +1.7%; prior +2.2%) and +25.9% yr/yr (expected +26.2%; prior +25.0%)


---Equity Markets---

  • STOXX Europe 600: +0.1%

  • Germany's DAX: +0.1%

  • U.K.'s FTSE 100: +0.7%

  • France's CAC 40: -0.1%

  • Italy's FTSE MIB: +0.6%

  • Spain's IBEX 35: +0.1%

---FX---

  • EUR/USD: -0.2% to 1.1030

  • GBP/USD: -0.4% to 1.3127

  • USD/CHF: -0.1% to 0.9308

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