Landon Capital

Hong Kong Court Orders Liquidation of China Evergrande, Sending Shockwaves Through Fragile Markets

On Monday, a Hong Kong court issued a verdict to liquidate the prominent China Evergrande Group (HK:3333), marking a significant development with potential repercussions across China’s fragile financial markets. The decision, made by Hong Kong Justice Linda Chan, underscores the challenges facing the world’s most indebted developer, burdened with over $300 billion in total liabilities.

Despite months of delays, Evergrande was unable to present a viable restructuring plan, prompting Justice Chan to declare, ‘It is time for the court to say enough is enough.’ Justice Chan is scheduled to elucidate her decision at 2:30 pm (0630 GMT), with expectations of appointing a provisional liquidator to oversee Evergrande until a permanent appointment is made.

The default by Evergrande in 2021, with $240 billion in assets, had already thrown the struggling property sector into turmoil. The recent liquidation ruling is anticipated to further impact the delicate Chinese capital and property markets.

As Beijing contends with a sluggish economy, its most challenging property market in nine years, and a stock market languishing near five-year lows, any additional blows to the markets could undermine ongoing efforts by policymakers to revitalize growth.. This is good for the economy in the long term but very difficult in the short term.

Ahead of the hearing, Evergrande’s shares experienced a decline of up to 20%. Subsequent to the verdict, trading was suspended in China Evergrande and its listed subsidiaries, including China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group and Evergrande Property Services.

US Stock Futures Decline as Investors Brace for Tech Earnings and Await Federal Reserve’s Interest Rate Decision

During the Sunday night trading session, US stock futures experienced a decline as investors shifted their focus towards upcoming major technology earnings reports and the Federal Reserve’s imminent interest rate decision.

As of 6:35 pm ET (11:15 pm GMT), Dow Jones Futures exhibited a 0.2% dip, while S&P 500 Futures and Nasdaq 100 Futures both saw a 0.3% decline.

In the preceding trading week, all three primary indexes witnessed an upswing, bolstered by optimistic economic data. The US economy demonstrated robust growth in Q4, surpassing expectations, and annual core inflation figures were lower than economists had forecasted, suggesting a potential deceleration in price increases. Nonetheless, market gains were somewhat tempered compared to the previous week’s surge, attributed in part to disappointing earnings reports from major players such as Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

The upcoming week is poised to be eventful, featuring the Federal Reserve’s initial policy meeting of the year and notable data releases, including nonfarm payrolls, ISM Manufacturing PMI, and JOLTs job openings. Anticipation surrounds the Fed’s decision to maintain interest rates at their 23-year high, with investors eager to glean insights into potential rate adjustments later in the year.

On the data front, expectations suggest a potential increase of 162K in non-farm payrolls for January, marking a slowdown from the 216K rise in December. The unemployment rate is projected to remain steady at 3.7% for a second consecutive period, while monthly wage growth is anticipated to ease to 0.3% from 0.4%. The ISM PMI is anticipated to continue signaling a contraction in the manufacturing sector at the beginning of the year.

Investors will also closely monitor indicators such as the ADP employment change, Q4 labor productivity and employment costs, factory orders, and regional industry indexes including the Chicago PMI and Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index.

The ongoing earnings season remains a focal point, with key companies like Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META), and others, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ: AMD), Automatic Data Processing Inc (NASDAQ: ADP), Boeing Co (NYSE: BA), Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX), Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM), Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA), Merck & Company Inc (NYSE: MRK), Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO), and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) scheduled to report.

In Friday’s regular trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 60.3 points or 0.2% to reach 38,109.4, while the S&P 500 experienced a slight drop of 3.2 points or 0.1%, settling at 4,891, and the NASDAQ Composite decreased by 55.1 points or 0.4% to 15,455.4.

In the bond markets, the yield on the United States 10-Year Treasury notes stood at 4.137%.

ADM Delays Executive Bonuses Amid Accounting Probe and Financial Statement Audit

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co has announced a postponement in the payment of performance bonuses to select executives until the completion and audit of its financial statements, as revealed in a memo received by Reuters. This decision follows the recent sidelining of ADM’s chief financial officer and the initiation of an external investigation into accounting practices.

The inquiry is specifically directed at the nutrition segment, a relatively minor division of the grains trading giant’s operations that significantly impacted executive compensation. The delay affects compensation from ADM’s performance incentive plan for members of the executive council, including those who retired last year. While ADM declined to provide comments, the staff memo indicated that payments to other employees would proceed in March as per the company’s regular schedule.

The executive council comprises top executives and heads of various ADM businesses, with the exact number undisclosed. Following news of the accounting practices investigation, ADM shares plummeted by 24% on January 22, marking the most significant decline since 1929, according to the Center for Research in Security Prices. Furthermore, ADM has deferred the release of its full-year 2023 financial results without specifying a new date.

Ah, investing after the weekend – where financial wisdom meets Monday blues. It’s like trying to predict the stock market’s mood swings based on how much coffee it had over the weekend. Did it opt for a strong espresso, ready to conquer the week, or did it go for a decaf, signaling a slow start? Either way, we strap in for the rollercoaster ride, armed with coffee and market charts, ready to decipher the cryptic language of stocks. It’s a bit like playing the market’s favorite game: ‘Guess the Trend.’ But hey, who said Mondays can’t be thrilling, especially when your portfolio is the star of the show!