Morning Reads


Todays Open Interest Change




Instagram has launched Threads, its short-posting text app, as Meta Platforms (META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes on Elon Musk and Twitter. After signaling a launch expected for Thursday, with preorder links set up only for the iOS Threads app, Meta released its app Wednesday evening on Apple's App Store as well as an Android app for Google Play. "Let's do this," Zuckerberg declared. "Welcome to Threads." The response from Elon? "It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram."

Snapshot: As with Twitter, users can post short text, links, pics and videos, as well as repost messages from others and reply to items. Threads subscribers can additionally use their existing Instagram usernames to bring over information, including lists of followers. The timing of the launch is fortuitous for Meta, as recent technical changes at Twitter have frustrated some longtime users of the platform. A rate-limit feature restricting how many posts could be viewed on Twitter left a number of its features broken. Musk also directed that users could no longer view tweets without being logged in to the service themselves.

"The Family of Apps segment consists of products such as Facebook, one of the world's largest social networks, Instagram, and two messaging apps, Messenger and WhatsApp," SA analyst Nathan Aisenstadt wrote in What To Expect From Meta Platforms In 2023. "Interest in Threads is heating up thanks to a verbal skirmish between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, which, although unlikely, can lead to a fight between them. On a larger scale, we expect that the number of users of the company's platforms will continue to grow not only due to the launch of new services but also the growth of the world's population."

Getting competitive: Once upon a time, the biggest tech giants staked out their own territory by growing their own market share. They largely expanded within their own designated niches like internet search, operating systems, e-commerce and consumer electronics, but recently those lines have become more blurred. Apple's privacy features wiped out billions in revenue from Meta's targeted advertising model and the two now compete on mixed reality headsets. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google are also duking it out in the cloud, while the latter two companies are continuing to butt heads in the emerging AI space. (100 comments)

New members?

With only 13 countries currently part of the oil producer group, OPEC is looking to recruit new members to the alliance. Secretary General Haitham al-Ghais wouldn't reveal the names of the candidates, but mentioned four countries he recently visited. "They have to be a net [oil] exporter, they have to have similar goals as OPEC," he replied, when asked about the requirements for becoming an OPEC member. "I think many countries I just named actually fit this profile. So… work in progress." Ministers attending the conference in Vienna also didn't announce any new policies, but lauded new production cuts by Russia and Saudi Arabia. (1 comment)

FOMC minutes

Some officials at the Federal Reserve's June meeting favored raising the key policy rate by 25 basis points, according to FOMC minutes, which cited a still-tight labor market, stronger-than-expected economic activity, and persistently high inflation. On the other hand, "almost all participants judged it appropriate to maintain the target range at 5.00%-5.25% at this meeting" to give them more time to assess the impact of the tightening cycle on the economy. The minutes did little to move markets, with Wall Street's major averages ending slightly lower. "The Fed may have a more hawkish stance on the issue of raising interest rates than previously anticipated," said Investing Group Leader Daniel Jones. (59 comments)

Fortifying NATO

Amid objections from Turkey and Hungary, Sweden's bid to join NATO continues to be stalled, despite the U.S. reiterating its support for the Nordic country's membership. Turkey's holdup could impact its bid to buy F-16 fighter jets from the U.S., produced by Lockheed Martin (LMT), as President Biden has suggested that Sweden's membership should be endorsed first. In the meantime, officials from Sweden and Turkey will meet at NATO headquarters today to evaluate Ankara's objections. President Erdogan has accused Stockholm of being too lenient on groups that his government views as terrorist entities and for allowing protests that include the burning of the Quran. (5 comments)

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -1.7%. Hong Kong -3%. China -0.5%. India +0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London -1.3%. Paris -1.8%. Frankfurt -1.1%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.5%. Nasdaq -0.5%. Crude +0.2% to $71.90. Gold +0.2% to $1,931.20. Bitcoin +2.5% to $31,208.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +4 bps to 3.98%.

Today's Economic Calendar

OPEC Meeting
Auto Sales
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
7:30 Challenger Job-Cut Report
8:15 ADP Jobs Report
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 International Trade in Goods and Services
8:45 Fed’s Logan: "Policy Challenges for Central Banks"
9:45 PMI Composite Final
10:00 ISM Service Index
10:00 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
11:00 EIA Petroleum Inventories
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

Will Microsoft (MSFT) join the $3T club in 2024? These analysts think so.

JetBlue (JBLU) shifts focus to Spirit (SAVE) merger after DOJ ruling.

UPS (UPS) slips after union talks over new labor contract break down.

Nike (NKE) among top Dow losers as post-earnings selloff continues.

Moderna (MRNA) signs deal in China to develop mRNA medicines.

Cassava Sciences' (SAVA) Alzheimer’s drug outperforms in small trial.

Bank of America (BAC) plans 9% dividend hike, talks with Fed continue.

Intel (INTC) seems on target to regain tech leadership, Northland says.

Exxon's (XOM) meager bonuses make attracting more traders difficult.

BlackRock (BLK) seeks to make bitcoin trading less costly - Larry Fink.

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.

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