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JPMorgan’s Prophets Warn: U.S. Equity Rally Could Be Running on Borrowed Confetti!

JPMorgan’s strategists are sounding the alarm once again, like the financial world’s resident party poopers. They’re side-eyeing this year’s U.S. equities rally, which has soared by 16.2% so far, and they’re not exactly throwing confetti. In fact, they’re serving up a dose of reality with a side of concern.

These strategists are basically saying, “Hey, folks, the party’s getting wild, but it might be time to slow down.” They point to the fact that the S&P 500’s rise has been fueled mainly by investors throwing multiples into the mix, all while real rates and the cost of capital are giving them the stink eye. According to them, this relationship is akin to trying to fit a giraffe into a phone booth – increasingly unsustainable.

JPM’s model, with all its fancy calculations, suggests that the current S&P 500 multiple is about 2.7 times fancier than it should be. In plain English, it means stock prices might be sashaying away from their underlying fundamentals faster than a runway model on roller skates.

Moving Markets

CPI looms, Apple’s newest iPhone, Arm’s IPO pricing – what’s moving markets

The release of key U.S. inflation data on Wednesday is in focus, as investors attempt to gauge how the numbers could impact Federal Reserve interest policy decisions. Elsewhere, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveils incremental changes to its all-important iPhone device, while Arm reportedly gears up to price its initial public offering at the top end of its indicated range.

1. Futures edge lower ahead of key inflation data

U.S. stock futures inched lower on Wednesday, but stayed relatively close to the flatline, as traders awaited the release of crucial inflation figures later in the session that could help determine the path ahead for Federal Reserve monetary policy.

At 05:27 ET (09:27 GMT), the Dow futures contract had slipped by 31 points or 0.1%, S&P 500 futures dipped by 3 points or 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 futures fell marginally by 11 points or 0.1%.

All three of the main indices slumped in the prior session, with the Nasdaq Composite in particular shedding 144 points or 1.0%. A drop in shares in business software group Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) following a disappointing current-quarter revenue outlook, as well as a decline in Apple stock after the tech giant’s annual fall hardware event, weighed on equity markets.

2. CPI seen accelerating in August

Attention now turns to the publication of the U.S. consumer price index (CPI), a major gauge of price gains, for August.

Fed officials and markets alike will likely be keeping a close eye on the data, which may impact how the central bank will approach interest rate decisions over the rest of the year.

Economists expect the pace of annual headline inflation in the world’s largest economy to have picked up to 3.6% during the month from 3.2% in July, while the month-on-month CPI is projected to accelerate to 0.6% from 0.2%, due in large part to a recent uptick in energy prices.

The core reading, which strips out volatile items like food and fuel, is anticipated to have slowed from 4.7% to 4.3% year-on-year. On a monthly basis, the reading is seen holding steady at 0.2%.

Corraling elevated inflation has been a major objective of the Fed’s nearly year-and-a-half long campaign of interest rate hikes. Policymakers are widely tipped to skip further tightening at their upcoming meeting this month, but uncertainty still remains over what they may choose to do later on in 2023. Wednesday’s CPI print may bring some clarity to the matter.

3. Apple’s incremental hardware update

Shares in Apple dipped on Tuesday after the tech giant revealed four new iPhone models at its annual hardware refresher, but refrained from launching major updates to the flagship device’s design or software.

One of the most notable revisions to the latest iPhone 15 gadget is the first-ever inclusion of a universal USB-C charging port. Apple was under pressure to build in the feature in order to comply with European Union law that sets a common charging standard for all smartphones and portable electronic devices.

Pricing, meanwhile, remained at broadly the same levels as last year, although the cost of the iPhone 15 Pro Max was effectively bumped up $100 to $1,199 as Apple attempts to extract more money out of the top-of-the-line model.

The world’s most valuable company has been moving to stem a slide in revenues in the last three quarters that has been linked to a slowdown in the global smartphone market. Concerns are also rising around Apple’s demand and production in China following reports that government officials have been asked not to use iPhones for work. Meanwhile, Chinese rival Huawei has unveiled its own updated smartphone, threatening the California group’s market share in the country.

4. Final pricing of Arm IPO expected – Reuters

Arm has reportedly secured enough investor backing to at least price its much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO) at the top end of its indicated range, giving the British chip designer a fully diluted valuation of $54.5 billion.

According to a source quoted by Reuters, Arm chose to accept only the top end of its target band of $47 to $51 a share — or an even higher price — after reviewing a round of investor commitments. The company will decide how much it wants to sell its shares on Wednesday, Reuters said, citing the unnamed person and a second source.

Shares in Arm are currently set to begin trading in New York on Thursday.

Arm’s IPO is expected to be the largest in almost two years. Strong demand for the flotation may also add fuel to the resurgent market for listings in the U.S., which had gone relatively dormant as firms shelved plans to go public due to worries over uncertain economic conditions. This week, e-commerce group Instacart, marketing automation company Klaviyo, and sandal maker Birkenstock have all teed up their own IPO plans.

5. Looney steps down as BP chief

Bernard Looney has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of BP (LON:BP) (NYSE:BP) over a failure to disclose all details surrounding his personal relationships with internal colleagues, the oil major announced.

In a statement, BP said Looney admitted that he was “not fully transparent” in prior disclosures made about these relationships. The 53-year old also conceded that “he did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obligated to make more complete disclosure.”

Chief Financial Officer Murray Auchincloss will replace Looney on an interim basis. London-listed shares in BP were lower in early trading on Wednesday.

The departure raises questions around BP’s future strategy, which had largely centered around a push into green energy that was spearheaded by Looney. Executives have previously said that the business would continue to transition away from fossil fuels even as a spike in crude prices after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine boosted annual profits to record levels in 2022.

Following a dip in oil prices earlier this year, the main benchmarks are now sitting close to their highest marks since last November. By 05:23 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.6% higher at $89.39 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.6% to $92.58.


Cano Health Gets NYSE Wake-Up Call, Contemplates Stock Jigsaw Puzzle

Cano Health (NYSE: CANO) just received an “Oh, snap!” notice from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It turns out their stock has been playing a game of limbo, and it’s winning – or losing, depending on how you see it. The NYSE tapped them on the shoulder and said, “Hey, folks, your Class A common stock’s been partying below the $1.00 per share threshold for a whole 30-day shindig.”

Now, NYSE has given Cano Health a little time-out, but it’s a six-month time-out, which, in adult terms, is basically a universe away. The company’s got until the sand runs out of the compliance hourglass to make sure its stock price does the “Cha-Cha” above the $1.00 line.

Cano Health, being the problem-solving aficionados they are, promptly told NYSE, “We’ve got this.” They’re getting their thinking caps on, and one option on the table is a reverse stock split. That’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle but in reverse. Instead of breaking it into more pieces, you’re combining them to make a fancier picture.

As this financial chess match unfolds, CANO stock showed a smidge of resilience, sneaking up +0.75% to $0.3617. Let the compliance games begin, and may the stock odds be ever in their favor!

American Airlines: Navigating Q3 Profits Like a Turbulent Flight – From 85 Cents to Just 30 Cents Per Share!

American Airlines pulled a classic “wait for it” move on Wednesday when they unveiled their third-quarter profit forecast revision. With a dramatic flair, they cited the culprits as higher fuel costs and the “show-stopping” expenses associated with their newfound friendship with the ALPA union.

In this thrilling twist, the airline now predicts an adjusted profit of a mere 20 to 30 cents per share for the third quarter. This is quite the somersault from their earlier range of 85 to 95 cents per share. Buckle up, folks; the turbulence has just begun!

Smart investing is not about making the flashiest moves or shouting “YOLO” while throwing your money at the latest meme stock. No, it’s more like channeling your inner Warren Buffett – sipping on a fine cup of tea while calmly analyzing balance sheets and market trends. It’s the art of making your money work for you, not the other way around. So, while others are chasing after shiny unicorns, the smart investor is building a financial empire, one well-thought-out move at a time. It’s not just about beating the market; it’s about becoming the market’s secret weapon.