Morning Reads

Morning Reads

Open Interest Changes



Recreational marijuana is coming to the Buckeye State after Ohio voters approved a ballot measure to legalize adult cannabis use for non-medical purposes. It's a big deal as it makes Ohio the 24th state to approve recreational pot, in addition to Washington, D.C., meaning nearly half of all U.S. states now embrace such a stance. The latest approval also shows how the sentiment is expanding to more parts of the country, like the Midwest, after Minnesota and Missouri approved similar measures over the past year.

Fine print: The passage of "Issue 2" means that people aged 21 and over in Ohio will be able to buy up to 2.5 ounces of weed and 15 grams of concentrates. Regarding cultivation, up to six plants will be allowed per person, or 12 plants per household, regardless of the number of adults living in the private residence. Note that the statutory question was decided through a voter-approved initiative, instead of a constitutional amendment via the state legislature, meaning lawmakers in Ohio's General Assembly will have the ability to alter, or even repeal, its provisions. Smoking pot in America is more popular than cigarettes

Recreational legalization is expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in annual cannabis tax dollars for Ohio, as well as thousands of new jobs to support the new economy. Cannabis market research firm BDSA even expects legal U.S. cannabis sales to grow 14% to $36.5B by the end of 2023, though investors trying to gain exposure to the sector have not yet seen such promising returns. Multistate operators like Cresco Labs (OTCQX:CRLBF), Curaleaf (OTCPK:CURLF), Green Thumb Industries (OTCQX:GTBIF) and Trulieve Cannabis (OTCQX:TCNNF) have seen negative returns in recent years, as have cannabis-related funds like the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSEARCA:YOLO) and ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSEARCA:MJ).

Outlook: There has been momentum for legalization at the federal level, with last year's introduction of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act in the Senate and the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act in the House. President Biden also asked the DOJ and HHS to "review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law," where it remains a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The illegal classification on the federal level makes it complicated for companies to operate within their own state borders, as many business activities and banks are regulated by federal law, as well as taxes, trademarks, and legal processes like bankruptcy. (8 comments)

Swipe away

Americans' credit card debt swelled $154B Y/Y to a record $1.08T in Q3, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, notching the largest increase since it began tracking household debt in 1999. Interestingly, millennials saw the most credit card delinquencies. "Credit card balances experienced a large jump, consistent with strong consumer spending and real GDP growth," said Donghoon Lee, economic research advisor at the NY Fed. Bankrate analyst Ted Rossman also noted that credit card balances have been increasing faster than any other type of debt amid high inflation and record-high credit card rates, adding that "more people are using credit cards just to get by." (23 comments)

No smoking

The British government will introduce legislation to raise the legal age for smoking cigarettes every year, King Charles III confirmed at the state opening of the Parliament. The major crackdown, proposed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last month, would effectively create the first smoke-free generation in the U.K. The proposed law would ensure that children currently aged 14 or younger can never be sold cigarettes, and will restrict the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to children. Analysts have warned that the ban could spread to other European countries, impacting leading tobacco companies like Imperial Brands (OTCQX:IMBBY), Japan Tobacco (OTCPK:JAPAF), British American Tobacco (BTI) and Philip Morris (PM). (40 comments)

Demand concerns

Energy (XLE) was at the bottom of Tuesday's S&P sector leaderboard, ending 2.2% lower and contributing nine of the day's 15 biggest losers on the S&P 500 (SP500). Oil tumbled to its lowest levels since late August, with Nymex crude (CL1:COM) for December delivery falling to as low as $76.51/bbl, while January Brent crude (CO1:COM) slid to an intraday low of $80.86/bbl. Demand worries have replaced Middle East geopolitical fears to weigh on crude prices, with analysts pointing to disappointing China trade data. Notable S&P 500 decliners included Schlumberger (SLB) -5.6%, Marathon Oil (MRO) -4.1%, Constellation Energy (CEG) -3.9%, and EQT Corp. (EQT) -3.8%. (42 comments)

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -0.3%. Hong Kong -0.6%. China -0.2%. India +0.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.1%. S&P flat. Nasdaq -0.1%. Crude -0.7% to $76.86. Gold -0.1% to $1,970.90. Bitcoin +2% to $35,343.
Ten-year Treasury Yield unchanged at 4.57%.

Today's Economic Calendar

5:15 Fed’s Cook: “Financial Stability”
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
9:15 Jerome Powell Speech
10:00 Wholesale Inventories (Preliminary)
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
1:00 PM Results of $40B, 10-Year Note Auction
1:40 PM Fed’s Williams: "Research & Statistics at 100: A Look at the Past, Present & Future"
2:00 PM Fed’s Barr: "Community Reinvestment Act"
4:45 PM Fed’s Jefferson's Speech

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

Deutsche Bank: Automakers won't make affordable EVs anytime soon.

Xi Jinping to meet U.S. execs amid efforts to calm foreign investors.

Wall Street’s top 10 growth stocks, according to SA Quant Ratings.

Amazon (AMZN) developing AI model 'Olympus' to rival OpenAI.

Even with earnings misses, Uber’s (UBER) demand has grown.

Rivian rallies after formally ending Amazon (AMZNexclusivity deal.

Upstart (UPST) slumps after results, Q4 guidance disappoints.

Goldman Sachs (GS) plans to offload GM (GM) credit card program.

Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) making 'Legend of Zelda' live-action film.

D.R. Horton (DHI) earnings beat consensus as demand holds up.

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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