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Good morning. Tensions flared at the U.S. president’s State of the Union address, Tesla Inc.’s rally is leaving Wall Street in awe, European earnings are rolling in and Asian stocks posted back-to-back gains. Here’s what’s moving markets.
Donald Trump struck a characteristically triumphant tone in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, staking his bid for re-election squarely on the U.S. economy on the eve of his likely acquittal in the Senate’s impeachment trial. Tensions between the president and Nancy Pelosi were visible, with the House speaker seen ripping up a printed transcript of his speech. The address came on the same day a report said the U.S. is mulling a plan to withdraw from a global pact worth $1.7 trillion in government contracts, while over in Iowa, Pete Buttigieg maintained his lead in the Democratic caucuses following delays in reporting results.
Tesla’s rapid share surge is making headlines, with the market value of Elon Musk’s electric-car company having more than doubled since the start of the year. Comparisons with old-school names like Ford Motor Co. continue. Ford, founded 100 years before the California-based group, slumped after projecting lower-than-expected profit last night, leaving its market value at about a quarter of Tesla’s. There’s still plenty for the bears to hold onto, however, with some noting that the stock is now more overbought than Bitcoin was at the height of its “bubble.” Even Musk himself would short Tesla if he could, according to closely followed Citron Research.
A big European earnings day has already begun with Germany’s Siemens AG warning a market slump is set to continue amid a steep decline in the automotive, machine-building and energy businesses. French bank BNP Paribas SA posted a near 63% jump in fixed-income trading revenue after a rebound in rates and foreign-exchange activity, while Swiss engineering group ABB Ltd. joined a raft of companies to flag the potential for the coronavirus to impact their businesses. There’s a swathe of reports still to come today, including from pharmaceutical giants Novo Nordisk A/S and GlaxoSmithKline Plc, and telecoms group Vodafone Group Plc.
Asian stocks headed for their first back-to-back daily gains since fears about the coronavirus deepened last month, with some investors optimistic the impact to the global economy will prove short-lived, even as China’s death toll continues to climb. The majority of reported cases and almost all the deaths are in the area where it started -- the Chinese city of Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province, but even so, kids visiting Tokyo Disney might want to forget about hugging their favorite oversize mascots. And for investors, while the outbreak has spurred much volatility, it’s as if nobody told the foreign-exchange market.
In New York later, Snapchat owner Snap Inc. and Tinder parent Match Group Inc. could both be in for significant share price drops after disappointing earnings reports last night. In this region, European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos speaks in Frankfurt amid questions over the institution’s inflation target, and Poland’s central bank is expected to leave its interest rates unchanged. In macro data, we’ll get composite purchasing managers index numbers from the euro area and the U.K.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- CFA Level I exam gets shorter, more frequent and electronic.
- Dyson plans air purifier that doubles as headphones.
- London’s Tate recruits for head of coffee.
- Ten surprising collectible cars for 2020.
- Europeans should thank Boris Johnson, Lionel Laurent says.
- Ryanair told to drop misleading lowest-emissions ads.
- Twitter to crack down on deep fakes.
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