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US futures, Apple lawsuits, WeWork bid, Boeing CEO - what's moving markets

Published 03/26/2024, 05:05 AM
Updated 03/26/2024, 05:14 AM
© Reuters.

Investing.com -- Wall Street trades positively Tuesday, even as tech giant Apple grapples with more lawsuits and Boeing starts the search for a new CEO. WeWork could be back in play, following reports former boss Adam Neumann has submitted a bid.

1. Futures higher as sentiment remains upbeat

U.S. stock futures traded higher Tuesday, continuing the recent positive tone despite the previous session’s breather amid confidence that the expected upcoming Fed rate cuts will boost the country’s economic performance.

By 05:05 ET (09:05 GMT), the Dow futures contract was up 50 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 futures had risen by 16 points or 0.3%, and Nasdaq 100 futures had risen by 85 points or 0.5%.

Wall Street posted slight losses on Monday, but this pullback came on the back of last week’s strong gains, during which the indexes reached new all-time closing high levels. They remain on course for a fifth consecutive month of gains.

There is more U.S. economic data to digest later in the session, including March’s consumer confidence data, February durable goods orders and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing survey.

However, major movements are unlikely given the Fed’s favorite inflation gauge, the core personal consumption expenditures price index, is due for release when markets are closed for Good Friday.

The Fed last week stuck with projections for three interest rate cuts this year, but added that it wanted more evidence inflation is slowing before easing.

2. Apple faces more lawsuits in US

Apple’s troubles appear to be mounting, after the iPhone maker was hit by a number of new consumer lawsuits accusing it of monopolizing the smartphone market.

The lawsuits, seeking to represent millions of consumers, mirror the Justice Department's claims that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) violated U.S. antitrust law by suppressing technology that would have increased competition in the market for smartphones. Apple has denied the allegations.

Apple is also battling falling iPhone sales in the crucial Chinese market amid rising competition from domestic rivals such as Huawei. Apple's iPhone sales in China fell 24% year-on-year in the first six weeks of this year, according to consultancy estimates.

Apple stock has fallen over 11% year-to-date.

It appears to be the Chinese market that the tech giant is concentrating on, after CEO Tim Cook opened Apple’s newest flagship store in Shanghai last week and met with China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao.

Apple needs to overcome its Asian challenges, and Cook’s latest trip to China is “a sign Apple could double down” on the country, said Wedbush.

3. Neumann linked with WeWork bid

Adam Neumann has submitted a bid of more than $500 million to buy back WeWork, the office-sharing company he co-founded but was ousted from five years ago, according to reports.

WeWork filed for bankruptcy in 2023 after years of struggles, and has been working with bankruptcy advisors to restructure and streamline the business.

Neumann had guided WeWork to be the most valuable U.S. startup, worth $47 billion, before his eccentric behavior led to his departure and derailed what would have been a major initial public offering.

Neumann said, in 2021, that the company’s hefty valuation went to his head, adding “the valuation made us feel like we were right, which made me feel that whatever style I was leading at was a correct style at the time.”

"WeWork is an extraordinary company and it's no surprise we receive expressions of interest from third parties on a regular basis," WeWork said in a statement on Monday.

4. Boeing starts search for new CEO

Boeing (NYSE:BA) has started the search for a new CEO after the troubled aircraft manufacturer announced a broad management shakeup.

The U.S. planemaker has been wrestling with a growing crisis following a January mid-air panel blowout on a 737 MAX plane, and on Monday announced that CEO Dave Calhoun, as well as the company's commercial airplanes chief and its chairman, will leave by the year’s end.

The new CEO will face the difficult job of regaining the trust of regulators, customers and the public, after a host of quality and manufacturing flaws on the company’s planes prompted concerns the current regime promoted shareholder value over quality and safety.

Boeing stock rose 1.4% on Monday, after the announcement, but is down over 26% year-to-date.

5. Oil slips, but losses are minimal

Oil prices edged lower Tuesday, handing back some of the previous session’s gains largely unchanged but remained close to four-month highs amid concerns of tightening global supply conditions. 

By 05:05 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.2% higher at $82.11 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.1% to $86.20 per barrel.

Both benchmarks rose around 1.5% on Monday, with production cuts in Russia providing a key point of support as the country attempted to meet the lower production targets set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies until end-June. 

The UN Security Council on Monday voted in favor of a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip, with the U.S. abstaining from voting. 

But whether the resolution could result in an actual ceasefire being enforced, potentially resulting in fewer disruptions in regional oil production and shipping activity, still remained to be seen. 


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