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In an Asian market tango that could give even the boldest oil baron a spin, prices took a two-week nose-dive on Thursday. Think of it as oil’s attempt at a limbo dance, only this time, the bar seems to be set by China’s economic slowdown and the swagger of a dollar strutting its stuff thanks to the Federal Reserve’s hawkish stance.

Despite a heroic effort by U.S. inventories to yank oil prices back up, it seemed like the black gold was on a three-day rollercoaster ride with a one-way ticket down. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that U.S. production had been brushing elbows with pre-COVID highs lately, leaving oil no choice but to hang on for dear life.

Adding to the spectacle, China, the oil kingdom’s grand importer, has been flexing weak economic indicators like a reluctant weightlifter grappling with reality. As if that weren’t enough, they’re also juggling a real estate conundrum that could rival any circus act. So, as oil prices keep their rollercoaster playlist on repeat, it’s clear that global economic acrobatics are stealing the show.

Biggest Movers

Dow futures tick higher, Cisco lifts 2.2% after earnings

U.S. stock futures were trading in a tight range during Wednesday’s evening deals, following a negative session among major benchmark averages as market participants assessed the growing possibility of further interest rate increases from Federal Reserve policymakers.

By 7:25pm ET (11:35pm GMT) Dow Jones Futures were 0.1% higher while S&P 500 Futures and Nasdaq 100 Futures were flat.

In extended deals, Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) added  2.2% after reporting EPS of $1.14 versus $1.06 expected, while revenues were reported at $15.2 billion, exceeding expectations of $15.05 billion.

Synopsys Inc (NASDAQ:SNPS) added 1.6% after reporting quarterly EPS of $2.88 versus versus $3.02 expected on revenues of $1.49 billion versus x expected.

Avnet (NASDAQ:AVT) added 6.8% after reporting Q4 EPS of $2.06 versus $1.65 expected, while revenue came in at $6.6 billion versus $6.27. Avnet sees Q1 2024 EPS of $1.45-$1.55. Avnet sees Q1 2024 revenue of $6.15-6.45 billion expected.

Wolfspeed Inc (NYSE:WOLF) shed 14.4% after reporting Q4 losses of $0.42 per share versus expected losses of $0.20 per share, while revenues came in at $235.8 million versus $224.53 million.

Paycor HCM Inc (NASDAQ:PYCR) dipped 6%, reporting Q4 EPS of $0.08 versus $0.05 expected on revenues of $140 million versus $136.51 million expected.

Ahead in Thursday’s trade, investors will be looking towards weekly jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index and the Fed’s balance sheet, as well as earnings results from Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT), Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ:AMAT), Ross Stores Inc (NASDAQ:ROST), Tapestry Inc (NYSE:TPR) and Lenovo Group (OTC:LNVGF).

During Wednesday’s regular session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 180.7 points or 0.5% to 34,765.8, the S&P 500 lost 33.5 points or 0.8% to 4,404.3 and the NASDAQ Composite lost 156.4 points or 1.2% to 13,474.6.

On the bond markets, United States 10-Year rates were nearing fresh 16-year highs of 4.258%.


BET on Hold: Paramount Global Pulls Plug on Stake Sale, Keeps Streaming Scene Thriving

Paramount Global has apparently decided to hang onto its BET Media Group, complete with the VH1 and BET cable networks, along with the BET+ streaming service. The Wall Street Journal spilled the beans, relying on those in the know.

The grievances spilled out like a fashion faux pas on the runway – wage cuts and pilferage leading the pack, followed by unfair dismissal drama, inhumane work tempo twists, and the grand finale: forced overtime extravaganza. All this juicy intel comes courtesy of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), the non-governmental maestros, whose upcoming report has Reuters salivating, poised to debut this Wednesday.”

In a move that signals its expanding prowess, OpenAI has revealed its acquisition of Global Illumination, a digital products company. This marks the first high-profile purchase by the AI juggernaut, leaving curious minds buzzing about the undisclosed financial intricacies.

Hailing from the vibrant streets of New York and established in 2021, Global Illumination was brought to life by the dynamic trio of Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon, and Joey Flynn. Notably, these luminaries previously lent their talents to the Instagram realm under the Meta (META) umbrella. Among their feather-laden caps, Dimson stands tall for contributing to the very code that set Instagram’s content-ranking algorithms into motion, as proudly touted on his personal digital domain.

Investing smart is like crafting a gourmet sandwich – you carefully layer your financial ingredients, spreading risk-reducing mayo, adding slices of diversification, and topping it off with a sprinkle of due diligence. It’s not about throwing all your dough into the trendiest stock just because it’s hot – that’s like putting too much jalapeño on your sandwich and regretting it later. Instead, it’s about savoring the flavors of long-term growth, rebalancing as needed, and relishing the taste of a well-prepared portfolio that leaves your financial taste buds dancing with delight. So, take a bite out of investment wisdom, and remember, just like a good sandwich, patience and a balanced approach are the keys to a satisfying outcome.