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Major Stocks Slide as Megacap Companies Relinquish Prior Advances

U.S. stocks closed in the red on Monday, putting a halt to last week’s upward trend, as investors exercised caution ahead of crucial employment data scheduled for release this week. The outcome of this data has the potential to shift expectations concerning the Federal Reserve’s inclination towards an early rate cut next year.

The S&P 500 pulled back, witnessing a downturn in megacap giants like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) by more than 1%. This drop was attributed to the rise in U.S. Treasury yields, making stocks less appealing in terms of returns.

Last Friday, the S&P 500 achieved its peak close for the year following remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, acknowledging the central bank’s need for cautious progress amidst indications of a softening economy. These comments bolstered the anticipation that the Fed has completed its rate hikes.

Contrarily, small-cap stocks saw an upswing on Monday, with the Russell 2000 rallying by approximately 1%, marking nearly a 7% gain for the year.

The S&P 500 concluded the session with a 0.54% decline, settling at 4,569.78 points. Simultaneously, the Nasdaq decreased by 0.84% to 14,185.49 points, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a 0.11% drop to 36,204.44 points.

Trading volume on U.S. exchanges observed a relative surge, recording 12.7 billion shares traded, in contrast to an average of 10.6 billion shares over the previous 20 sessions.

Uber Technologies (NYSE: UBER) experienced a 2.2% surge subsequent to the announcement on Friday of its inclusion in the S&P 500 effective from Dec. 18.

Conversely, Alaska Air (NYSE: ALK) Group faced a 14% decline after revealing plans on Sunday to acquire Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ: HA) for $1.9 billion, encompassing debt. Hawaiian’s shares nearly tripled in value, contributing to the rise in the Russell index.

The pivotal macroeconomic focus of this week will center on November’s jobs report slated for release on Friday. This report holds significant weight in aiding investors to gauge the Fed’s prospective interest rate trajectory and the potential for a “soft landing” strategy – managing inflation while averting a recession.

Market participants broadly anticipate the central bank to maintain unchanged rates at its forthcoming meeting. Interest rate futures imply a 58% likelihood of the Fed commencing rate cuts by March 2024, according to CME Group’s (NASDAQ: CME) FedWatch tool.

Nonetheless, some analysts caution that markets might be prematurely pricing in the possibility of lower interest rates.

Dow ends lower on tech weakness as rising Treasury yields bite

The Dow ended lower Monday, though cut some losses into close despite weakness in tech amid rising Treasury yields ahead of the monthly jobs report later this week.

By 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 35 points, or 0.1%, the S&P 500 fell 0.6%, and the NASDAQ Composite fell 0.8%.

Treasury yields rise to hurt tech ahead of key economic data; Meta down as Zuckerberg trims holdings

Growth sectors of the market including tech stocks took a breather from their recent climb as Treasury yields started the week on the front foot as investors question recent bets on sooner rather later rate cuts ahead of key economic data this week.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose 4 basis points to 4.266%, with some suggesting the recent plunge in yields on Fed cut bets has been too much too fast. “[T]he market has moved too quickly towards pricing a more balanced environment that we expect will come only slowly,” {{0|Goldman Sachs said in a recent note.

Big tech stumbled, paced by a decline in Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), with the latter also weighed by concerns about iPhone production disruptions.

Apple is reportedly facing iPhone supply disruptions in India as suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron stopped iPhone production at facilities near Chennai, India owing to adverse weather Reuters reported Monday, citing sources.

Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META), meanwhile, fell more than 1% after CEO Mark Zuckerberg sold 680,000 of his shares in the company in November, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Spotify swings axe on jobs again; Virgin Galactic falls on weaker investment outlook

Spotify Technology SA (NYSE:SPOT) rose more 7% after detailing plans to cut 1,500 jobs, or about 17% of its workforce as music streaming company looks to trim costs amid a challenging economic backdrop.

Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) fell 18% after Richard Branson told the Financial Times that he had no plans to plough further money in the space travel company.

Alaska Air set to buy Hawaiian; Ford advances on rising hybrid sales

In corporate news, Alaska Air (NYSE:ALK) stock fell 14% after the carrier agreed to acquire rival Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ:HA) for $1.9 billion, with the acquisition anticipated to close within the next 12 to 18 months.

Ford (NYSE:F) stock rose 1% after the auto giant posted a 0.5% drop in U.S. sales for November, following the impact from production disruptions owing to lengthy workers’ strike, though the automaker also posted strong sales of its hybrid vehicles.

Hybrid vehicle sales rose 75.2% to 12,108 units.

Crypto stocks shine as bitcoin briefly tops $42,000

Crypto-related stocks including  Coinbase Global (NASDAQ:COIN), MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR), and Riot Platforms (NASDAQ:RIOT) rallied sharply after bitcoin crossed $40,000 for the first time this year. The latest move higher comes amid ongoing optimism that a spot-bitcoin exchange traded fund is likely to be approved by U.S. regulators.

Bitcoin (BitfinexUSD) topped $42,000 before paring some gains.


Blackstone Mulls Selling Anthos Therapeutics: From Zero Revenue to Billion-Dollar Buzz

Blackstone, the big player, is apparently pondering selling Anthos Therapeutics, a project it birthed alongside Novartis four years ago. While Anthos hasn’t pocketed a penny or brought any products to market yet, whispers suggest a potential sale could rake in a few billion dollars, which is quite the leap from the $250 million Blackstone initially threw in back in 2019.

The kicker? Anthos has its blood-thinning concoctions in the final stretch of clinical trials, a usual precursor to regulatory nods. This move has pumped up its value significantly, as the grapevine has it.

Hailing from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Anthos’ star player, a monoclonal antibody named abelacimab, is gunning for folks with atrial fibrillation, giving a side-eye to standard blood thinners that heighten bleeding risks. And hey, Anthos claims there are over 37 million people globally rocking this atrial fibrillation, making strokes a high-stakes reality.

Insiders whispered that Blackstone’s busy chatting up investment bankers, all hush-hush, to see if selling Anthos is a viable move. But they’re flashing the caution lights – no promises on a deal.

Blackstone’s spokesperson, true to the code of silence, zipped their lips on the matter.

Investing is like curating your own financial playlist – sometimes you go for the classics, those stable, evergreen tunes that never fail to deliver, while other times, you dive into the new beats, the disruptive rhythms that might just become tomorrow’s chart-toppers. It’s a dance between risk and reward, a bit of strategy, a dash of luck, and a whole lot of faith in the future. So, grab your headphones and start composing your money moves – after all, in the symphony of investments, you might just find your perfect crescendo.