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Fed's Hawkish Minutes Push Yields Higher

Published 05/23/2024, 02:42 AM

See, at his latest post-FOMC press conference, Federal Reserve (Fed) President Jerome Powell stated that the Fed’s next move will probably not be a rate hike—a statement that brought joy to investors. But apparently, he was referring to a hawkish discussion among Fed members during a meeting where many questioned whether the 'high-for-longer' rhetoric was restrictive enough to tame inflation, and if hiking rates might be a better idea. Fortunately, the minutes were released after last week’s CPI data showed a slowdown in April; the opposite scenario would have been dramatic. Yesterday’s unexpected twist from the Fed minutes sent the US 2-year yield to the doorstep of the 4.90% level, and eased appetite for S&P 500 and Nasdaq near their ATH levels.

Nvidia’s Blowout Results No Longer Impress?!

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) announced another round of better-than-expected results and forecasts yesterday after the bell. This is perhaps why we see the US futures back in the green this morning.

Nvidia’s Q1 sales hit $26bn (again $2bn more than the company’s own forecast of $24bn) and the company said that they expect to make $28bn during the current quarter. If we rely on the forecast-beat pattern, Nvidia sales could hit the $30bn mark by the end of this quarter. And that’s not all. Nvidia is expanding business beyond chips. It has a new software platform, called NIM, that offers an ‘AI ecosystem’ - THE AI ecosystem – a ‘set of easy-to-use microservices for accelerating the deployment of foundation models on any cloud or data’. And because it’s a software licensing model, it’s 100% profitable and opens the door to a better profitability as companies from all sectors rush into AI. And last but not least, Nvidia will opt for a 10-to-1 split of its stock to boost demand as the price of one share is now flirting with the $1000 level.

Nvidia jumped 6% in the afterhours trading – but note that the kneejerk reaction has been softer than one would expect. The stock price will certainly reach $1000 per share, but whether it can maintain that level is uncertain. Seemingly, investors got used to blowout results, and even a comfortable beat is not enough to spark joy. That’s worrying for the future earnings announcements for Nvidia, but it’s promising for the extension of the rally toward other names.

Qualcomm’s name pops this week as the company will be powering Microsoft’s and Dell’s AI-focused computers in the next months. In numbers, 50 mio of these computers are expected to be shipped over the next 12 months, compared with the 250-mio-unit worldwide market.

Speaking of chips and central banks, the Bank of Korea kept its policy rate unchanged for the 11th consecutive meeting today, and revised its growth forecasts higher. The Korean won gave a little positive reaction to the news but that’s not what I want to focus on. I want to bring up the fact that the country also announced a $19bn worth of support package for its chipmakers to narrow the gap with the international competition. Korean chipmakers make up almost a fifth of the country’s exports but it stands for only 1% of the fabless market share, that they would like to get a bigger share of. For those looking to diversify their chip holdings beyond Nvidia and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Samsung Electronics could be a good candidate. Samsung Electronics has a PE ratio of around 27 compared to Nvidia’s 55.

A Bit Early.

In a surprise decision, British PM Sunak announced yesterday a general election on 4th of July, way earlier than thought. Maybe he is scared that inflation will pick up until autumn and he will lose his ‘we pulled inflation to normal levels’ rhetoric. Whatever it is, the fact that the UK election is due on July 4 combined with yesterday’s hotter-than-expected inflation print, washed out the expectation of a June rate cut from the Bank of England (BoE) That expectation went from a coin flip to none in just one session. Consequently, Cable is pushing higher above the 1.27 level right now, but the upside potential will likely remain capped as – if nothing – the uncertainty surrounding the UK general election will most probably tame appetite for sterling in the next six weeks.

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