Morning Reads


Todays Open Interest Change




there is a big battle taking place at the Supreme Court this week that could reshape the future of the Internet. At issue are the legal rules that govern harmful online content, and who is responsible for their publishing and dissemination. Being heard is a case known as Gonzalez v. Google, which centers around extremist clips on YouTube, as well as Twitter v. Taamneh, which also surrounds terrorist posts and algorithm recommendations.

Backdrop: Pivotal to the discussion is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was established in the early days of the Internet in 1996. It provides a legal shield that protects tech companies from liability for their users' posts on their websites - by classifying them as "platforms" rather than "publishers." It also allows social media companies to moderate posts they deem to be obscene, lewd, excessively violent, harassing etc., as long as they are acting in "good faith."

"Any changes to the current status quo can be detrimental to Google (GOOGGOOGL) and investors should be aware of the impending potential risk," writes SA contributor SL Investments. The article also explores possible changes to Section 230, consequences for advertising revenue, and historical party views of Democrats and Republicans on the matter. Even if reforms or reinterpretations do take place, platforms may not be impacted equally, as can be seen in the comments section.

Outlook: While any rulings could take months, Supreme Court Justices have so far voiced hesitation in upending current protections, especially if there would be far-reaching consequences that would be hard to predict. However, they are exploring whether there should be a legal liability distinction between hosting vs. promoting user content, and whether the companies could be held responsible for aiding and abetting under the Anti-Terrorism Act. The online speech dispute could also be kicked over to Congress if they feel that it's up to lawmakers on Capitol Hill to set the scope of the law enshrined in Section 230.

How slow can you go?

That was the question at last month's FOMC meeting, with monetary policymakers debating how much tightening would be needed to rein in inflation without shocking the economy. The minutes showed that "almost all" officials agreed it was appropriate to raise rates by 25 basis points, but there were "a few" that could have supported a larger 50 basis-point hike. As investors debated the hawkish/dovish signals, stocks rose and then fell, with equity futures climbing again overnight. Several other topics that were also discussed included financial stability, the labor market and even crypto, while Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned against complacency following the meeting. (42 comments)

Diabetes disruption

Tech giant Apple (AAPL) has achieved major breakthroughs in a secret project to develop a continuous blood glucose monitoring system, according to Bloomberg. The moonshot-style project known as E5 dates back to the Steve Jobs era, and if the company can hit its ultimate goal of incorporating it into the Apple Watch, the device will become a must-have for millions of people. About one in ten Americans are diabetics, who usually rely on a finger-prick test or newer continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices to measure their blood glucose level. However, CGM devices marketed by the likes of DexCom (DXCM), Abbott (ABT) and Senseonics Holdings (SENS) require periodic replacements, sometimes even as early as two weeks. (136 comments)

Deepening ties

Chinese-Russian trade has soared since the invasion of Ukraine, with Beijing becoming Moscow's largest buyer of oil (a key source of Kremlin revenue), and most of Russia's auto and cellphone imports coming from the East as it replaces Western suppliers. The two even hailed their ties at a high-profile meeting between Vladimir Putin and China's top diplomat Wang Yi, describing their relationship as "solid as a mountain" and building on a "no-limits" partnership proclaimed at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. "We are concerned," U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price responded at a press briefing. "We have not yet seen the PRC provide Russia with lethal aid, but we don't believe they've taken it off the table either." Over in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that China allying itself with Russia would mean WWIII. Let's hope he's not right. (14 comments)

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong -0.4%. China -0.1%. India -0.2%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris +0.5%. Frankfurt +0.6%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.5%. Nasdaq +0.9%. Crude +1.3% to $74.78. Gold -0.4% to $1833.40. Bitcoin +0.4% to $24,243.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +3 bps to 3.95%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 GDP Q4
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 Chicago Fed National Activity Index
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
10:50 Fed's Bostic Speech
11:00 EIA Petroleum Inventories
11:00 Kansas City Fed Mfg Survey
1:00 PM Results of $35B, 7-Year Note Auction
2:00 PM Fed's Daly Speech
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

Who will likely replace Lael Brainard as the Fed Vice Chair?

Intel (INTCcuts dividend as Nvidia (NVDAchurns out the chips.

Meta (META) is reportedly weighing thousands of more job cuts.

Revenue numbers from pandemic-favorite Etsy (ETSYcome in hot.

Morgan Stanley gives big boost to global oil demand outlook.

Space services provider Intuitive Machines (LUNR) is still blasting off.

EV maker Lucid (LCID) on the move after Q4 deliveries fall short.

Tesla (TSLA) announces global engineering HQ in Palo Alto.

Lending shakeup: Wells Fargo (WFC) said to lay off mortgage bankers.

Moderna's (MRNA) vaccine future in focus with pandemic at 'transition point.'

Known to most as Uranium Pinto Beans, Jason has more than 15 years under his belt of trading stocks, options and currencies. His expertise primarily lies in chart analysis, and he has a strong eye for undervalued stock. Because he’s got the ability to identify great risk/reward trades he usually enjoys taking the path less traveled and reaping the benefits from the adventure.

He is a co-founder of Option Millionaires, and he is best known for his weekly webinars with Scott, as well as his high level training webinars and charts found in the forums.

More Posts by UPB: View All | Private Twitter Feed: Access Now! (For Diamond Members)