Morning Reads

Morning Reads




It's not only Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, but traders these days cannot get enough chocolatey goodness. Supply shortages saw cocoa futures (CC1:COM) surge well past the $9,000 per ton level on Monday as a record rally that started in early 2023 shows no sign of letting up. In fact, cocoa beans are not only now more expensive than other popular commodities like copper, but recent returns also outpace popular investments like Nvidia (NVDA) and Bitcoin (BTC-USD) over the past month (+47%) and on a year-to-date basis (+130%).

Snapshot: Cocoa production has been dented by severe weather and crop disease in Ghana and the neighboring Ivory Coast, which together are responsible for 70% of global output. Farmers in Ghana also sell their cocoa to the government under fixed contracts set at the beginning of the season, so smuggling is expected to take advantage of the higher prices. Problems surrounding forex reserves can also arise as the Ghana Cocoa Board - known as Cocobod - stands to lose access to a key funding facility due to a shortage of beans, which will further restrict seedlings and fertilizers to farmers.

"Adding complexity is the EU's upcoming deforestation regulation that could limit output if farms don't comply," writes SA analyst Weather Wealth, stating that investors should avoid these three stocks as cocoa prices soar. Comments on the same article warn that the run-up could also be attributed to speculation, similar to "European gas after the war in Ukraine" and "thanks to the illiquidity of the contract and the lack of sellers." "Here it seems the replay of that movie," remarks Mktneutralhedger. "We know how it will end, but when?"

What to watch: Spending on candy and chocolates will drop this Easter, according to the National Retail Federation, as manufacturers pass on rising costs to consumers. Meanwhile, companies could continue cutting down on packaging and bar sizes, or promote varieties with other ingredients. There's already an explosion of cocoa butter equivalents on the market, as well as substitutes for cocoa mass and artificial flavors, and expect some clever marketing in the near future like "I Can't Believe It's Not Chocolate!" (6 comments)

Boeing overhaul

Boeing (BA) is shaking up its management, with three top-level executives stepping down in the wake of quality issues that raised the ire of authorities and airline customers. CEO Dave Calhoun will resign at year-end, while Stan Deal, head of its commercial airplanes unit, will retire immediately, and board chair Larry Kellner won't stand for re-election. The changes come as Boeing grapples with intense scrutiny after a 737 Max 9 mid-flight blowout. Boeing's shares opened higher on Monday, but later pared gains to close up 1.4%, with Investing Group Leader Stone Fox Capital advising traders not to buy into the much-needed leadership changes. (192 comments)

Social verification

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill banning children under 14 from joining social media platforms and requiring those aged 14-15 to get parental consent before creating an account. The HB 3 bill, which targets social media companies, also requires apps to use age verification to block minors from accessing inappropriate sites. "This level of data collection will put Floridians' privacy at risk, and it violates their constitutional rights," warned NetChoice, a trade group whose members include Google (GOOG) and Meta (META). The bill signing comes weeks after DeSantis vetoed a more stringent bill called HB 1. (40 comments)


Adam Neumann, founder and former CEO of WeWork (OTC:WEWKQ), has reportedly made a more than $500M bid to buy back his old company. The bid could also go up to as high as $900M pending due diligence. Neumann stepped down as CEO and gave up his majority voting control in September 2019, but has wanted to retake the helm of WeWork for some time. The co-working space provider filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year due to a combination of financial troubles, mismanagement, demand and a high-interest rate environment. (17 comments)

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan flat. Hong Kong +0.9%. China +0.2%. India -0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt +0.5%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude -0.1% to $81.85. Gold +0.9% to $2,196.80. Bitcoin +5.8% to $70,913.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bp to 4.23%.

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 Durable Goods
9:00 S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index
9:00 FHFA House Price Index
10:00 Consumer Confidence
10:00 Richmond Fed Mfg. Index
1:00 PM Results of $67B, 5-Year Note Auction
1:00 PM Money Supply

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

WSB survey results: ETFs are the way to go.

Maersk chartered ship that rammed into Baltimore bridge.

Goldman stays bullish on commodities ahead of rate cuts.

Top oilfield services firm (SLB) has no plans to exit Russia.

Central bank digital currency: SWIFT eyes new platform.

Fisker to be delisted from NYSE due to 'abnormally' low price.

Trump Media (DJT) set to trade today as SPAC deal closes.

Meme stock? Reddit (RDDT) soars again after 30% rally on Monday.

Ericsson (ERIC) slashes staff due to 'challenging' networks market.

Supreme Court to decide on access to widely-used abortion pill.

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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