Morning Reads


  • Blackrock (BLK) believes markets are wrong to bet on Fed rate cuts. Bloomberg
  • California passes bill to limit profits of oil companies in the state (CRC). Bloomberg
  • Mastercard (MA) and Visa (V) among firms interested in acquiring Pismo. Bloomberg
  • President Biden's assault weapons ban proposal is all but certain to fail in Congress (SWBIRGR). NY Times
  • US and Japan reach deal on minerals for EV batteries (TSLA, GM, F, STLA, HMC, TM, VWAGY, LCID, RIDE, RIVN, SQM, ALB, LAC, PLL, CHPT, BLNK, EVGO). WSJ
  • Blackrock (BLK) lost out on China pension market. Bloomberg
  • Google (GOOG) asks judge to dismiss antitrust suit. Bloomberg
  • Nestle (NSRGY) aiming to examine banking relationships. Reuters
  • Alibaba (BABA) aiming to split into six additional units. Bloomberg
  • ECB's Enria is concerned about Detusche Bank (DB) sell off. Reuters
  • French financial officials are searching five banks (SCGLY, BNPQY, HSBC). Bloomberg
  • Disney (DIS) eliminated its Metaverse division. WSJ
  • Dollar General (DG) had over 100 workplace safety violtions. NY Times
  • Ares Management (ARES) wants to raise $400 mln for new SPAC (SPACS). Bloomberg

Todays Open Interest Change




Israel has been rocked by weekly protests since a series of judicial reforms were unveiled in January, but the situation came to a head on Monday, as coalition divisions became apparent and the nation's largest labor union threatened to shut down the country. Flights were grounded at Ben Gurion International Airport, ports, banks and schools began to close, while a strike by the medical association left hospitals with skeleton crews. Earlier, military reservists from key units had refused to serve, triggering national security threats, and while Israel's defense minister flagged the concerns, he was fired for calling for a pause to the legislation.

Quote: "When it is possible to prevent a civil war through dialogue, I, as the prime minister, will take the time for dialogue," Bibi Netanyahu said in a televised address from Jerusalem. "Out of national responsibility, and to prevent a rift in the nation, I decided to postpone the legislative process in order to reach a wider agreement and broad consensus. In one way or another, we are going to bring a reform that will restore the balance of power."

The crisis has unnerved investors, with fluctuations in the country's currency, the shekel, but it's now back to where it started the year (check out currency and other market data on Seeking Alpha). One of the big worries is that the reforms could hinder Israel's ability to attract capital inflows and maintain investment, making waves in the country's tech sector, which is responsible for over half of its total exports. Credit rating agencies have also flagged longer-term risks associated with the weakening of institutions that could hurt the broader economy.

Big players in the Israeli tech scene include Amdocs (DOX), Check Point (CHKP), Elbit Systems (ESLT), Fiverr (FVRR), NICE (NICE), Tower Semiconductor (TSEM) and (WIX), while tech funds include the ARK Israel Innovative Technology ETF (IZRL) and the BlueStar Israel Technology ETF (ITEQ).

What are the reforms about? Both sides maintain that they are defending the soul of Israel's democracy, but disagree on the appropriate balance of power between the branches of government. Arguments center around the process of appointing judges, jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, as well as standing and override mechanisms. Complicating the situation is that Israel does not have a written constitution, but rather a series of basic laws, meaning policy and value judgments play an outsized role, while there are also fewer checks on executive and legislative functions, with no second chamber or the concept of a presidential veto. (7 comments)

Binance up next

The ongoing regulatory crackdown in the crypto industry is continuing, with the latest target being the biggest cryptocurrency exchange - Binance. The exchange, along with its co-founder and CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, was sued by the CFTC on allegations that it violated certain trading and derivatives rules. It alleged that Binance solicited U.S. users via unregistered crypto derivatives offerings, and directed its employees and customers to hide their true location by using VPNs to evade compliance controls. Other crypto exchanges were also hit by the news. On Monday, Coinbase (COIN) and Bakkt (BKKT) closed down 8% and 5%, respectively, and are sliding again in the premarket session. (9 comments)

Critical minerals

Big investments in electric cars will require big purchases of critical minerals, with batteries making up anywhere from 25% to 50% of an EV's cost. That means it's even more crucial to secure supplies of lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel and graphite, especially as the Biden administration pursues a goal of phasing out the internal combustion engine with the climate-focused Inflation Reduction Act. A new deal announced in Washington is looking to change that, while negotiations are underway for a similar trade agreement. Also see Lithium Miners News For The Month Of March 2023 by SA Investing Group author Trend Investing. (9 comments)

Most shorted stocks

As Wall Street approaches the end of the first quarter, the major U.S. equity averages are trading higher for 2023 so far, despite the turmoil caused by the bank crisis. Still, many traders have made large bets against a handful of well-known names, including Silvergate Capital (SI), which has already lost nearly 90% of its value since the close of last year. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and WeWork (WE) also made the list of the top 10 stocks with the current highest short interest stakes on Wall Street (here is the full list). (13 comments)

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan +0.2%. Hong Kong +1.1%. China -0.2%. India -0.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.2%. Paris +0.3%. Frankfurt +0.2%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.1%. S&P flat. Nasdaq flat. Crude +0.5% to $73.13. Gold +0.2% to $1957.30. Bitcoin -3.6% to $26,931.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +4 bps to 3.57%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 International Trade in Goods (Advance)
8:30 Retail Inventories (Advance)
8:30 Wholesale Inventories (Advance)
9:00 Case-Shiller Home Price Index
9:00 FHFA House Price Index
10:00 Consumer Confidence
10:00 Fed’s Barr Testify on Bank Oversight
10:00 Richmond Fed Mfg.
1:00 PM Results of $43B, 5-Year Note Auction
1:00 PM Money Supply

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

WSB survey results: More subscribers than not see financial system in order.

First Republic (FRC) rallies on rebound from bank turmoil slump.

First Citizens (FCNCA) ends Monday up 50% after SVB (SIVBpurchase.

Biden renews call for assault-weapons ban after Nashville school shooting.

Activist Elliott will not nominate directors for Salesforce (CRMboard.

Berkshire (BRK.B) hikes Occidental (OXY) stake after new purchases.

Lyft (LYFT) picks board member David Risher to be new CEO.

Disney (DIS) launches first of three job-cutting rounds this week.

Alphabet (GOOGL) pushes for dismissal of DOJ antitrust suit over ad tech.

Alibaba (BABA) to break into six units which may pursue individual IPOs.

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.

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