North American Morning Briefing: Stocks Seen -2-

01/24/2022 | 05:54am

On multiple occasions, a private plane paid for by Credit Suisse dropped him off on a Thursday and returned empty to Switzerland, according to people familiar with the travel. By Monday, a plane picked Mr. Horta-Osório up for work in Zurich.


Green M&M's Fashion Makeover Is Covid Comfy but Not Everyone Is Happy

The green M&M has a new look. Not everyone is impressed.

The problem? The once-sexy cartoon candy seems to have been stripped of her mojo, some say.


Apple, Microsoft and Tesla Headline Key Earnings Week Amid Nasdaq's Slide

Tech giants including Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. are among the companies headlining a busy earnings week that comes as investors look for reassurance after the Nasdaq notched a 12% decline to start the year.

Overall, about a fifth of the S&P 500 and nearly half of the Dow Jones Industrial Average are expected to provide their quarterly updates during the week starting Monday, according to FactSet.


Inflation Poses Risks of Faster, Less Predictable Fed Rate Increases

The Federal Reserve is entering an unfamiliar environment at the start of 2022. For the first time in decades, officials are preparing to raise interest rates when inflation is uncomfortably high rather than very low.

The last time the Fed lifted rates from near zero, at the end of 2015, inflation was running below its 2% target and the unemployment rate-a measure of labor slack-was declining gently.


Fed Steps Up Deliberations on Shrinking Its $9 Trillion Asset Portfolio

Federal Reserve officials are set to resume discussions this week over how fast they will shrink their nearly $9 trillion bond portfolio when the time comes, which would serve as a tool for tightening monetary policy as they try to curb high inflation.

Officials are on track at their meeting Tuesday and Wednesday to approve a final tranche of bond purchases, allowing them to end the stimulus program by March-when they are likely to raise interest rates to cool the economy, according to their recent public comments.


Eurozone Economic Growth Slows as Omicron Hits Services

Eurozone business activity growth slowed for a second consecutive month in January, as the spread of the Omicron variant took an increasing toll on the region's economy, IHS Markit says.

The eurozone composite PMI fell to 52.4 in January from 53.3 in December, according to the flash estimate. The latest reading indicates the slowest rate of output growth since the recovery from lockdowns started in March 2021.


Rising Interest Rates Hit Municipal-Bonds Market

Municipal bonds are off to their worst start since 2011.

The early-year bond rout has dragged returns on the S&P Municipal Bond Index to minus 1.1% through Jan. 20, counting price changes and interest payments. The loss is an early sign that rising interest rates could make 2022 rockier than last year, when federal stimulus and elevated demand from homebound savers led to record low volatility and historically high prices.


U.S. Food Supply Is Under Pressure, From Plants to Store Shelves

The U.S. food system is under renewed strain as Covid-19's Omicron variant stretches workforces from processing plants to grocery stores, leaving gaps on supermarket shelves.

In Arizona, one in 10 processing plant and distribution workers at a major produce company were recently out sick. In Massachusetts, employee illnesses have slowed the flow of fish to supermarkets and restaurants. A grocery chain in the U.S. Southeast had to hire temporary workers after roughly one-third of employees at its distribution centers fell ill.


Surging Food Prices Turn More Shoppers Into Bargain Hunters

Rising food prices are leading American consumers to fill their shopping carts with cheaper groceries.

Shoppers are seeking more discounts and are switching to lower-cost store brands for cooking oil, frozen food and items in other grocery sections, supermarket executives said. To stretch their dollars, people increasingly are comparing prices at various stores and signing up for savings programs such as automatic delivery that give additional discounts.


Tech Rout Fueled by Bond-Market Turn

Shifts within the bond market are removing a key pillar of support for Wall Street's more speculative bets, dragging down major stock indexes as investors flee everything from tech stocks to cryptocurrencies.

Spooked in large part by rising bond yields, investors continued to dump stocks last week, extending early-year losses that have taken many off guard with their speed and severity. Once again, tech shares were at the forefront. Selling also broadened to include sectors such as banking and energy, sending the S&P 500 to its worst stretch of declines since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Dispute Between Apollo Co-Founders Black, Harris Boils Over

Tension between Leon Black and his Apollo Global Management Inc. co-founder Josh Harris is boiling over, threatening to buffet the investment giant with fresh controversy.

In a filing last week in a rape and defamation case brought by a woman with whom he has admitted to having a yearslong affair, Mr. Black accused Mr. Harris of plotting his removal from Apollo in an act of revenge for being passed over to succeed Mr. Black as chief executive officer.


Companies' U.S. Pension Plans Are More Overfunded Than They Have Been in Years

Companies' U.S. pension plans are more overfunded than they have been in years amid strong equity markets.


Wells Fargo Is Up, JPMorgan Is Down: Bank Stocks Are Diverging in 2022

After three weeks of trading in the new year, the big bank stocks are all over the place.

Wells Fargo & Co. shares fell in the past week along with the broader market, but they're still up 12% for the year. The bank is well positioned to benefit from rising U.S. interest rates, given its large base of U.S. deposits and loans. Analysts at KBW, who rate the stock outperform, recently raised its price target to $67, citing stronger-than-expected growth in net interest income. Wells Fargo closed Friday at $53.67.


U.A.E. Intercepts Two Ballistic Missiles Over Capital as Gulf Tensions Escalate

DUBAI-The United Arab Emirates said it intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by the Houthi rebels in the most recent attack targeting its capital of Abu Dhabi that threatens to widen Yemen's yearslong civil war across the region.

The U.A.E said early Monday that the attack resulted in no casualties but scattered shards of missiles across Abu Dhabi. Videos posted to social media Monday before dawn showed bright lights in the sky above the city, and residents reported hearing explosions.


State Department Tells Families of U.S. Diplomats in Ukraine to Leave

The State Department instructed the families of U.S. diplomats in Ukraine to leave the country and authorized some embassy staff members to also depart, while the Biden administration considers sending several thousand troops to Europe amid a Russian military buildup.

The State Department decision, announced Sunday, comes as U.S. officials have warned that an attack could come at any time.


Protesters March in Washington Against Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates

Protesters rallied in the nation's capital Sunday against government mandates for Covid-19 vaccinations, a sign of the challenges for public-health officials looking for ways to persuade more Americans to get the shots.

Protesters marched along the National Mall and gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial, despite cold temperatures Sunday morning.


Former Minneapolis Police Officers' Trial Begins for Allegedly Violating George Floyd's Civil Rights

The legal fallout from the May 2020 killing of George Floyd enters its next chapter Monday, when federal prosecutors will have the first opportunity to make the case that three of the former police officers who were on the scene that day should be punished for his death.


Wisconsin's Field of Democratic Senate Hopefuls Is Lining Up on Left of Biden

The current top tier of Democrats campaigning for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin includes a lieutenant governor, a state treasurer, a county executive and a former Goldman Sachs analyst who is a billionaire's son. None could be described as centrists.

In a state decided by less than 1 percentage point in the 2020 presidential election-the third-narrowest outcome nationally-six Democrats who have raised the most money so far are all taking positions to the left of President Biden's.


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Endeavour Mining reported 2021 gold production above guidance and reaffirmed the outlook for 2022.

On 2021 production:

"Strong 4Q-2021 production of 398koz, up 4% over 3Q-2021, while AISC remained stable at around $900/oz."

"Record FY-2021 production of 1,536koz, beating the annual guidance of 1,365-1,495koz, at an AISC of around $880/oz, achieving the annual guidance of $850-900/oz; marks ninth consecutive year of achieving or beating annual guidance."

On 2022 outlook:

"FY-2022 production guidance of 1,400-1,500koz at AISC of $890-940/oz, in line with outlook provided during June 2021 investor day."

On finances and shareholder distributions:

"Net cash position of $76m achieved at year-end, despite absorbing circa $330m of Teranga net debt and paying $268m in shareholder returns during the year."

"2H-2021 dividend of $70m declared, totalling $140m for FY-2021 which is above the minimum committed dividend of $125m for the full year."

"Share buybacks continue to supplement shareholder returns with a total of $138m of shares repurchased since April 2021, $44m of which were repurchased in 4Q-2021."

Centamin's Performance Should Start to Improve This Year: RBC Capital Markets

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