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Post by thelivyjr »


"Stocks close lower as Nvidia weighs ahead of earnings"

By Chuck Mikolajczak

February 20, 2024


* Walmart hits all-time high on strong FY sales view

* Discover Financial jumps on Capital One's $35.3 bln buyout deal

* Focus on Nvidia results due Wednesday

* Indexes down: S&P 0.6%, Dow 0.17%, Nasdaq 0.92%

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended lower on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq showing the largest declines as chipmaker Nvidia stumbled ahead of its highly awaited earnings report, while gains in Walmart kept losses on the Dow Industrials in check.

Shares of the chip designer Nvidia tumbled 4.35%, it's biggest daily percentage fall since Oct. 17, while the broader Philadelphia semiconductor index declined 1.56% as other chip stocks followed.

Investors are concerned whether Nvidia's quarterly results, expected after markets close on Wednesday, will justify its expensive valuation, currently at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just over 32, and continue to fuel the buying frenzy around artificial intelligence (AI) related stocks.

AI-fueled bets have helped Nvidia become the third-most valuable U.S. company and recently supplant Tesla as Wall Street's most traded stock.

"It is priced to perfection, no matter what they say they are probably going to take money out of it," said Ken Polcari, managing partner at Kace Capital Advisors in Boca Raton, Florida.

"No matter what they say, the traders are going to lock in profits, the asset managers are going to peel off a piece of their core position and lock in some profits and some of that is even happening today ahead of the number tomorrow."

Shares in Super Micro Computer, which has surged in recent weeks as the latest stock seen to benefit from AI, fell 1.96%, its second straight decline, after closing down nearly 20% on Friday to snap a nine-session streak of gains.

The S&P 500 lost 30.06 points, or 0.60%, to end at 4,975.51 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 144.87 points, or 0.92%, to 15,630.78.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64.19 points, or 0.17%, to 38,56.80.

Walmart closed at a record high and was the best performer on the Dow Industrials after the U.S. retail giant forecast fiscal 2025 sales largely above Wall Street expectations and raised its annual dividend by 9%.

The S&P 500 consumer staples index, which includes Walmart, rose 1.13% as sole advancer of the 11 major S&P sectors, while information technology, down 1.27% was the weakest.

Shares of fellow Dow component Home Depot alternated between modest gains and losses and before closing up 0.06% after the home improvement retailer forecast full-year results below analysts' estimates.

A weeks-long rally on Wall Street stalled last week, as hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation data pushed back market expectations for the timing of a rate cut from the Federal Reserve.

The rate cut is expected in June, according to a slim majority of economists polled by Reuters, who also flagged risk of a further delay in the first cut.

Investors are also awaiting the release of minutes from the Fed's latest policy meeting as well as remarks from a slew of central bank officials later this week.

Smart-TV maker Vizio jumped 16.26% after Walmart said it would buy the company for $2.3 billion.

Discover Financial Services shot 12.61% higher on Warren Buffett-backed consumer bank Capital One's plans to acquire the U.S. credit card issuer in a $35.3 billion deal.

Capital One shares edged 0.12% higher.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 1.4 to 1 ratio on the NYSE, while on Nasdaq, decliners topped advancers by 1.9 to 1.

The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 111 new highs and 95 new lows.

On U.S. exchanges 11.67 billion shares changed hands compared with the 11.64 billion moving average for the last 20 sessions.

Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Aurora Ellis ... 024-02-20/
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Post by thelivyjr »

WRGB Albany

"Hochul's favorability, job approval down in new Siena Poll"

Story by WRGB Staff

21 FEBRUARY 2024

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s favorability rating, 41-46%, down from 45-42% last month, and job approval rating, 48-47%, down from 52-43%, each fell by net eight points from January, according to a Siena College poll of registered New York state voters released Tuesday.

A majority of voters said Hochul is hardworking, and pluralities think she is honest and is not corrupt, while voters are closely divided on whether she is effective or a strong leader, and a plurality of voters says she is out of touch with average New Yorkers.

Nearly half of voters, 49%, identify the cost of living in New York as one of their top two issues for the governor and Legislature to address, with 29% calling it the top issue.

The recent influx of migrants, crime, and affordable housing are New Yorkers’ next three top issues.

President Biden leads former President Trump in a head-to-head matchup, 48-36%, up a little from 46-37% last month.

If given their way, 41% of voters say they want the next president to be someone other than Biden or Trump, each of whom has the support of 28% of voters in that scenario.

“After recording her best favorability and job approval ratings in nearly a year last month, Hochul saw both fall by net eight points this month, with her favorability rating slipping back into negative territory, where it spent most of 2023,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said.

Hochul’s favorability and job approval ratings fell the most with downstate suburban voters and Democrats.

“Another potential factor affecting how voters see Hochul is that a majority, 56%, continue to say that the quality of life in New York is getting worse, compared to only 14% who think it’s getting better, and 25% who say it’s staying about the same,” Greenberg said.

More than two-thirds of Republicans and independents think the quality of life in New York is getting worse, as do a plurality, 42%, of Democrats. ... 1ed7&ei=38
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Post by thelivyjr »

UPI News

"Houthi rebels attack U.S. ships near Yemen"

Story by Darryl Coote

21 FEBRUARY 2024

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Houthi rebels have attacked at least two more U.S.-owned commercial shipping vessels near Yemen, resulting in both sustaining minor damage and heightening already high tensions in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to strike Houthi targets in the civil war-torn country as it seeks to degrade the Houthis' abilities to attack commercial shipping vessels in the region.

The United Kindom Maritime Trade Operations said the attacks occurred Monday near the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea.

The latest incident occurred about 60 nautical miles north of Djibouti.

The ship was hit by a drone, resulting in the vessel sustaining "superficial damage to the accommodation superstructure," it said, adding that its crew was reported safe and it was continuing to its next port of call.

U.S. Central Command seemingly identified the ship in a statement on Tuesday as the Marshall Islands-flagged, U.S.-owned bulk carrier M/V Navis Fortuna, which it said was struck by a drone at about 7:20 p.m. local time Monday resulting in the vessel sustaining only minor damage and it "continued on its voyage toward Italy."

That attack came hours after the Greek-flagged, U.S.-owned M/V Sea Champion was targeted by two anti-ship ballistic missiles fired from areas of Yemen under the Houthis' control between 12:30 p.m. and 1:50 p.m. as it was transporting grain to the Port of Aden near the Bab al-Mandab Strait, CENTCOM said.

CENTCOM confirmed that one of the missiles detonated near the vessel, causing it minor damage.

It said the vessel's crew was still able to reach its destination with grain "for the benefit of the Yemeni people."

"Houthi aggression in the region has exacerbated already high levels of need in conflict-impacted Yemen, which remains one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, with nearly 80 percent of the entire population needing humanitarian assistance," CENTCOM said in a statement.

"We are committed to countering the Houthis' malign activities, which directly endanger the imports of foodstuff and humanitarian aid to Yemen."

The Houthis have been attacking commercial as well as U.S. and British military vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in solidarity with the Palestinian people amid Israel's war against Hamas, another Iran proxy militia.

The United States and its allies have been responding to the attacks with those of its own since Jan. 11, stating that it is seeking de-escalation by degrading the Houthis' ability to strike ships.

CENTCOM said that overnight and into Tuesday it and coalition forces shot down 10 one-way attack drones in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden as well as struck a surface-to-air missile launcher.

The USS Laboon also shot down an anti-ship cruise missile fired toward it from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, it said. ... 1ed7&ei=53
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Post by thelivyjr »

The Washington Post

"There’s an obvious reason Biden isn’t dropping out of a tied race"

Story by Philip Bump

21 FEBRUARY 2024

Politicians are unquestionably risk-averse.

Throughout their careers, they learn certain lessons about electoral politics that are hard to unlearn.

This is enormously useful to campaign consultants who can sell candidates on pricey, not-terribly-useful plans of action if similar plans of action have gotten their clients elected in the past.

What unwashed socks are to an outfielder on a hitting streak, a certain TV spot might be to a person running for Congress.

Over the past two presidential elections, the winning candidates learned lessons that it seems fair to assume might have colored the way they look at politics.

The lesson Donald Trump might have taken away from 2016 is that his assessment that polling was undercounting his support was correct.

Joe Biden might have extracted a similar lesson four years later, after a surprisingly poor performance in the first few nominating contests: The result that matters is the one in November.

It’s useful to remember 2020 when considering Biden’s path toward his reelection bid this year.

Then, he and his staff took a very even-keeled approach to the nomination and the general election, watching allies and supporters get spun up into a sense of crisis while they simply pressed forward.

To some extent, Biden’s team got lucky in the way any candidate might, but either way, the approach worked.

Biden won.

So you can understand why Biden’s team might similarly be waiting out this moment of consternation among his allies and other observers.

The report on his possession of classified documents from special counsel Robert Hur triggered a new round of analysis about Biden’s age and how perceptions of his age would affect the general election and so on.

There has been no shortage of musing about how, hey, maybe Biden could just step aside?

Maybe the Democrats could just pretend that the past 10 months or so didn’t happen and start some truncated sort of delegate-assigning process right now with a new slate of candidates?

Maybe this could be Trump-vs.-Someone-Else after all?

Prompting the expected response from Biden’s team: no real response at all.

Yes, you get the inside-baseball stories about how the State of the Union address will be a reset, but there’s no sign Biden won’t be the Democrat on the ballot in November.

Just like Biden kept his head down until the South Carolina primary in 2020 and so on.

This is not as wildly deluded an approach as some seem to think.

First of all, the race remains close.

Yes, four years ago, Biden consistently led in national polling at this point and, yes, Democrats needed to win the national vote by a healthy margin to keep the electoral college close in 2016 and 2020.

That’s all true.

But it is not the case that Biden is obviously losing any of the states he won in 2020.

In part, this is because there aren’t a lot of polls yet and, in part, this is because polling this far out isn’t that useful.

Consider polling from March of each presidential year since 1968.

Or, to be more accurate, let’s consider the polling averages compiled by 538, a useful assessment of the state of polling in each of those contests.

In some cases, we have state-level averages; in some, we don’t.

But if we look at the average March two-party margin in states (that is, the difference in support for the Republican and Democrat) and compare it with the actual margin in November, we see that, across about 300 data points, the average difference is seven percentage points.

Yes, there’s correlation: States that Republicans win tend to have the Republican up in March.

But that’s still a big difference.

That’s the average since 1968.

If we look at each year, you can see that the results jump around — and that years with strong independent or third-party candidates tend to see bigger differences.

Polls aren’t designed to predict the results of a contest nine months in the future.

They’re not even designed to predict the results of a close contest the next day.

People are often far too willing to assume that a poll showing a candidate up by two points was “wrong” if the candidate loses by one point — as though the pollsters didn’t tell people about the margin of error.

Let’s assume, though, that recent polling showing Trump up a point or two nationally is broken-clock-twice-a-day-style exactly predictive of where the race would be in November if nothing else changed.

The thing about that is … things will change!

The race isn’t actually set.

That’s not to say that Nikki Haley will be the Republican nominee instead of Trump; despite the Haley campaign’s insistence that she might be — and some of the media’s willingness to entertain that idea for the sake of keeping people interested — it will take something other than standard campaign machinations for that to occur.

Instead, saying the race isn’t set means that Americans aren’t tuned into the idea that Trump and Biden will once again be facing off in November and/or aren’t paying attention to the race just yet.

Democrats’ negative views of Trump have softened in recent months.

Will that still be the case after five months of relentless campaign ads?

What’s more, voters’ decisions are historically influenced by things that, in 2024, haven’t yet happened.

Research presented in 2012 showed that the presidential popular vote margin was influenced most heavily by income growth in the second quarter of the election year — that is, the quarter that won’t begin until April 1.

Then, of course, there’s the issue of a theoretical replacement.

The natural choice would be Vice President Harris, the person Biden himself selected as a successor.

Would subjecting her to a primary fight, however short, be better for the party’s chances than keeping Biden in place?

Would replacing her?

Is there a scenario in which the party dukes it out until and through the convention that doesn’t result in a weaker nominee with less time to gain ground against Trump?

All of that aside, there is one Democrat in the mix who has beaten Trump in a national election previously: Joe Biden, the likely nominee.

Things can also get worse for Biden, of course.

Whether some manifestation of his age is one of those things, though, is hard to say.

Perceptions of Biden’s age are heavily baked into the state of the race at the moment.

It might be the case that there are people who might be persuaded not to vote for Biden by some seemingly age-related mistake between now and November, but it seems fair to assume that a lot of those who express concern about his age aren’t likely to change their vote anyway.

Particularly since this year, like 2020, is shaping up to be a referendum not on Biden but on Trump.

Now take all of this and overlay the lesson that Biden’s team might have learned in 2020: storms pass.

Does that seem like a recipe for Biden to decide now, this late, not to run?

Biden may well lose in November.

This learned, perhaps performative sanguinity may not pay off the way it did four years ago.

But it seems about as fair to think it might as to assume that it won’t.

And that, in a nutshell, is why there’s little reason to think that Biden won’t be the Democratic nominee. ... 1ed7&ei=58
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Post by thelivyjr »

Business Insider

"Iran-backed Houthi rebels just shot down an MQ-9 Reaper, costing the US another $30 million combat drone"

Story by (Jake Epstein)

21 FEBRUARY 2024

* The Houthis shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone off the coast of Yemen on Monday.

* Two US officials told Business Insider the confirmation was based off of initial indications.

* It's the second time the Iran-backed rebels have downed a Reaper drone since early November.

The Houthi rebels shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone off the coast of Yemen on Monday, two US officials confirmed to Business Insider.

It marks the second time since early November that the Houthis have managed to destroy a Reaper drone, and comes amid rising tensions between Western militaries and the Iran-backed rebels in the strategic Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

The Houthis claimed to have shot down the Reaper above western Yemen with a surface-to-air missile, and published footage purporting to show the incident and the subsequent wreckage.

The claims were not immediately confirmed, and the video could not be verified.

But the US officials on Tuesday said initial indications were that the Reaper was, in fact, shot down by the Houthis off the coast of Yemen early Monday morning local time.

A Pentagon spokesperson said the rebels used a surface-to-air missile to take down the drone, which has not yet been recovered by the US.

The incident comes less than three months after the Houthis shot down an American Reaper drone off the coast of Yemen as the aircraft was flying through international airspace.

The rebels also successfully downed an MQ-9 with a surface-to-air missile in June 2019.

Reaper drones can be well-armed with Hellfire missiles and precision bombs, and are capable of operating at high altitudes for long periods of time.

The MQ-9, which costs around $30 million and has a wingspan over 20 feet longer than an F-15 Eagle, can be used to collect valuable intelligence and carry out high-level strikes for the US military.

The Reaper can loiter for as long as a day, giving its remote pilots the power to rapidly destroy land targets spotted with Hellfires.

These capabilities make the Reaper useful in the US efforts to stop Houthi missiles before they fire at international shipping.

It's been a rough year for the Reaper.

Over the past 12 months, Russian fighter jets have harassed and clipped the drones in Europe and the Middle East, breaking some of them and even causing others to crash — drawing frustration from the Pentagon.

The downed Reaper drone was not the only escalatory move by the Houthis over the past two days.

On Sunday evening local time, the rebels fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles at a commercial vessel, hitting it and causing damage, according to US Central Command, or CENTCOM.

The incident forced the crew to issue a distress call, and they were taken to a nearby port by another commercial vessel.

Just a few hours later, on Monday, the Houthis fired more anti-ship ballistic missiles at a commercial vessel, causing minor damage.

Later in the day, a one-way attack drone hit a merchant ship and caused minor damage, CENTCOM said in a Tuesday summary of the incidents. ... c629&ei=12
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Post by thelivyjr »

The Hill

"DOJ filing says FBI informant told investigators he got Hunter Biden dirt from Russian officials"

Story by Nick Robertson

21 FEBRUARY 2024

The confidential source at the heart of the House GOP investigation into Hunter Biden who was charged with lying last week received the information from Russian intelligence, according to a Department of Justice filing Tuesday.

Alexander Smirnov was charged Thursday with making false statements to the FBI in relation to his testimony about Hunter Biden.

Smirnov, who had worked as an FBI informant since 2010, previously told the agency that both President Biden and his son Hunter received $5 million bribes from the head of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.

In a filing arguing for Smirnov to be detained pending trial, prosecutors wrote that Smirnov told investigators after his arrest that the claims originated from Russian intelligence.

“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about Businessperson 1,” the filing reads.

Businessperson 1 is Hunter Biden.

Smirnov’s Burisma claims were a focus of public attention in the House GOP investigation of Hunter Biden and related impeachment inquiry into the president.

Smirnov’s arrest has raised concerns about the validity of other claims in the investigation, though House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said the committee’s impeachment claims are not based on Smirnov’s allegations.

Comer said the FBI previously refused to release an unredacted version of Smirnov’s allegations, citing his privacy as a confidential source.

“The FBI had this form for years and it appears they did nothing to verify the troubling claims contained within the record until Congress became aware of and demanded access to them,” Comer said in a statement last week.

“To be clear, the impeachment inquiry is not reliant on the FBI’s FD-1023,” he continued, referring to Smirnov’s claims.

DOJ prosecutors also argued that Smirnov should be detained because he previously made plans to travel outside the U.S. to meet with “multiple foreign intelligence agencies” that were capable of relocating him outside the U.S.

They further claimed that Smirnov has access to about $6 million in funds, far beyond the $6,500 he claimed to have in pre-trial documents, which would allow him to live abroad should he not be detained.

Smirnov’s detention hearing was scheduled for Tuesday. ... c629&ei=42
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Post by thelivyjr »

The Daily Mail

"NY Times doubles down on scathing opinion pieces critical of Biden"

21 FEBRUARY 2024

New York Times' publisher has revealed the White House said they have been unhappy at recent press coverage in the newspaper after a series of opinion articles focused on President Joe Biden's age and his unsuitability to run for a second term.

A.G. Sulzberger), 43, who has been publisher for the last six years, said the White House was 'extremely upset' - yet he insists the paper will 'continue to report fully and fairly.'

'We are going to continue to report fully and fairly, not just on Donald Trump but also on President Joe Biden,' he told the Reuters Institute in an interview. ... c629&ei=70
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Post by thelivyjr »

"GlobalFoundries wins $3 billion from feds for massive expansion - Chipmaker to sign largest CHIPS Act funding deal to date, paving way for $12.5 billion expansion that includes long-anticipated second fab in Malta"

By Larry Rulison, Albany, New York Times Union

Feb 19, 2024

The White House will announce Monday a $3.1 billion federal aid package it has negotiated with GlobalFoundries to help the semiconductor company undertake a historic $12.5 billion expansion in Saratoga County and Vermont, work that would include the construction of a second computer chip factory at its Fab 8 headquarters in Malta.

Officials said the money would help add more than 1,000 jobs at the new factory at the company’s Saratoga County headquarters and GlobalFoundries' operation in Essex Junction, Vt.

The federal funding will come from the U.S. Commerce Department through the $52 billion CHIPS and Science Act authored by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York and signed by President Joe Biden in 2022.

The CHIPS law provides an unprecedented amount of money and support for computer chip companies to expand manufacturing and supply chains in the United States.

It was enacted as a rising China increasingly is seen as a geopolitical adversary to the U.S. and Taiwan, where the majority of high-end chips are made.

“This is such a big day,” U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo said during a conference call with reporters on Sunday.

“A big day for our country, and a big day for New York and Vermont.”

The package includes a $1.5 billion grant and up to $1.6 billion in loans that can be used to pay for manufacturing expansion projects in the two states, although most of the spending will occur in New York.

In addition to building a second factory at its Fab 8 campus, GlobalFoundries is undertaking a $1 billion capacity expansion at its existing Malta factory which is needed for a new supply agreement with General Motors, the Department of Defense and other customers.

GlobalFoundries employs about 3,000 people at Fab 8.

The expansion and the new fab will create 1,500 new jobs at Fab 8.

There would be thousands of construction jobs created both in New York and Vermont as the projects get underway.

The Vermont factory, which dates to the 1950s when it was built by IBM, is in danger of becoming obsolete without the technological and manufacturing upgrades the federal dollars will fund.

GlobalFoundries has been working with Schumer for years to support the passage of the CHIPS Act as a way not only to prevent China from gaining control of higher-end central processing chips but also the continued creation of so-called “legacy” chips that are not as costly to make but are critical to the auto and defense industries.

During the global pandemic, supply chain issues made it impossible for automakers to obtain the hundreds of chips that are now used in each of their vehicles.

The supply problems forced mass layoffs and factory closures and helped to trigger historic inflation across the U.S.

GlobalFoundries has since stepped in to help the auto industry and Defense Department suppliers secure their own dedicated supply of chips.

Schumer made certain that at least $2 billion of the CHIPS law funding was set aside for expansions involving these legacy chips made by GlobalFoundries.

GlobalFoundries CEO Thomas Caulfield said in a statement that the $3.1 billion aid package is “central to the next chapter of the GlobalFoundries story” and the industry.

“They would also play an important role in making the U.S. semiconductor ecosystem more globally competitive and resilient,” Caulfield added.

Schumer said in an interview with the Times Union that GlobalFoundries, which first broke ground on Fab 8 back in 2009, was his “North Star” in developing the ideas and policies behind the CHIPS Act.

The statute encourages industry involvement and a focus on workforce development and policies like child care offerings for employees.

There is also a requirement for contributions from local governments.

New York is expected to soon announce a tax credit package for GlobalFoundries that will be tied to the CHIPS funding and require GlobalFoundries to address climate change as part of the project.

“It shows that government can do something right if you’re focused and never give up,” Schumer said.

The CHIPS Act also set aside $11 billion for chip manufacturing research and the creation of a national lab to lead and coordinate that effort which will also include the private sector and academic partners.

Schumer has repeatedly pushed to have the lab located at Albany Nanotech on Fuller Road, which the state operates through the NY CREATES nonprofit.

An announcement on the future of the lab, known as the National Semiconductor Technology Center, will come later this year.

“We are a perfect choice for that center,” said U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, whose congressional district includes both Albany Nanotech and GlobalFoundries' Malta complex. ... 0headlines
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Post by thelivyjr »


"Oil Edges Up in Choppy Session"

by Bloomberg | Julia Fanzeres and Alex Longley

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Oil rose as traders weighed tightening physical supplies against financial markets that have remained under pressure.

Global benchmark Brent rose to settle above $83 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate climbed near $78, near the upper ends of narrow bands the prices have traded in so far this year.

The potential of restrained economic growth due to elevated interest rates has pushed traders away from risk assets, including crude, a commodity often correlated to economic demand.

Still, physical markets continue to show signs of strength amid refined-product shortages.

Brent’s prompt spread — the difference between its two nearest contracts — strengthened to 95 cents in backwardation, hovering at three month highs, excluding volatile contract-expiration dates.

Oil has remained in a roughly $10 trading range this year as the push and pull of bearish and bullish factors mute volatility.

Attacks on ships in the Red Sea and the Israel-Hamas war have ramped up tensions in the Middle East and added a geopolitical risk premium to prices.

Still, concerns about the outlook for China’s economy and its impact on consumption, as well as the pace of non-OPEC supply growth, are limiting gains.

The “oil price is expected to continue to be range-bound short term despite escalating tensions in the Middle East,” said Helge Andre Martinsen, a senior oil analyst at DNB Bank ASA.

“Continued strong non-OPEC production data, from Norway and Canada this week, combined with a soft global economic outlook counter the effect of higher Middle East tensions.”


WTI for April delivery rose 87 cents to settle at $77.91 a barrel in New York.

Brent for April settlement advanced 69 cents to settle at $83.03 a barrel. ... 6-article/
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Post by thelivyjr »


"U.S. Treasury yields are higher after Fed minutes show concern about lowering rates too early"

Pia Singh @PIA_SINGH_ Alex Harring @ALEX_HARRING Sophie Kiderlin @IN/SOPHIE-KIDERLIN-B327B914A/ @SKIDERLIN


U.S. Treasury yields advanced on Wednesday after meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve showed caution around lowering interest rates too quickly.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was up by nearly 5 basis points at 4.323%.

The 2-year Treasury yield was last higher by about 5 basis points to 4.664%.

Yields and prices move inversely.

One basis point equals 0.01%.

The meeting minutes released Wednesday afternoon indicated they were in no hurry to lower the cost of borrowing.

Fed officials said they want to see more before starting to ease policy, but also said rate hikes were likely finished.

“In discussing the policy outlook, participants judged that the policy rate was likely at its peak for this tightening cycle,” the minutes stated.

But, “Participants generally noted that they did not expect it would be appropriate to reduce the target range for the federal funds rate until they had gained greater confidence that inflation was moving sustainably toward 2 percent.”

Prior to the January meeting, traders had been pricing in a high chance of rate cuts beginning as early as March.

In a post-meeting press conference, however, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said this was unlikely, dampening hopes from investors.

Expectations have since moved to a June rate cut.

Economic data released last week also dashed hopes that rate cuts will begin sooner rather than later, especially as Fed officials have indicated that their decision-making will be data-led.

Both the consumer price index and producer price index came in hotter than expected for January, which suggested to many investors that inflation is more persistent than they had hoped. ... nutes.html
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