Morning Reads

Morning Reads





The final frontier

After the space shuttle program was retired in 2011, NASA turned to private companies for space station deliveries. SpaceX began supply runs over a decade ago, before launching its first astronauts in 2020 and ending NASA's reliance on Russian spacecraft. It also beat Boeing (BA) in the race to space under NASA's Commercial Crew Program after the U.S. aerospace giant, whose resume goes back to the Apollo moon missions, ran into issues and delays during flight testing and manufacturing.

Out of this world: Commercial Crew was structured as a multi-tiered competition to get private sector companies to produce the most cost effective, innovative and safe way to get to the International Space Station. While SpaceX (SPACE) has already sent nine manned missions to the ISS with its Crew Dragon capsule, Boeing's Starliner is finally arriving to the launch pad. There's a lot on the line for the company, which has incurred $1.4B in accounting losses for the program, as well as recent reputation problems ranging from crashes of its MAX jets to a door plug that blew out mid-flight.

Starliner is set to blast off on Monday at 10:34 PM ET, with astronauts Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams on board. The vehicle will launch from Cape Canaveral via an Atlas V rocket built by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin (LMT), and will take 26 hours to reach the space station. Starliner will return the pair to Earth about a week after docking with ISS, landing in the American Southwest with giant parachutes, in comparison to the iconic water splashdowns of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.

Investing sphere: "With another $6.5B invested in Q1, there has now been $286B of equity investment into 1,779 unique space companies since 2015," Space Capital founder Chad Anderson wrote in the latest Space Investment Quarterly. "The total investment in Satellite infrastructure over the last decade overtook Launch for the first time in Q1 signaling that the balance has shifted from getting things into orbit, to developing capabilities now that we're there. Geospatial intelligence also overtook satellite communications for the first time, highlighting the growing demand for these orbital assets."

Woodstock of Capitalism

Warren Buffett wants his expected successor Greg Abel to take over stock investing decisions if he were to step down. "He understands businesses extremely well, and if you understand businesses, you understand common stocks," the Oracle of Omaha said at Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) (BRK.B) annual shareholder meeting. The statement came after the conglomerate posted a 39% jump in its Q1 operating profit, along with a cash pile that hit a record $189B. Despite a major stake cut, Apple (AAPL) is expected to remain Berkshire's largest holding in 2024, though Elon Musk is trying to get Tesla (TSLA) in on the action. (49 comments)

Recovery plan

Trouble at Starbucks (SBUX) has prompted former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz to weigh in on the situation. "I've emphasized that the company's fix needs to begin at home: U.S. operations are the primary reason for the company's fall from grace," he wrote on LinkedIn, adding that the coffee giant needs to refocus on the customer experience after Q2 earnings "significantly" missed expectations. SBUX has declined 17% since then after slashing its guidance. SA analyst Luca Socci has sold his Starbucks position, but The Dividend Collectuh believes the bad news is a buying opportunity. (25 comments)

Earnings estimates

The Magnificent 7 contributes about one-fifth of the earnings growth to the S&P 500 (SPY) (IVV) (VOO) and analysts are ramping up expectations, according to Citi strategist Scott Chronert. Those stocks - Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOG) (GOOGL), Meta (META), Microsoft (MSFT), Nvidia (NVDA), and Tesla (TSLA) - have seen Q1 earnings estimates rise more than 29%. (Nvidia has yet to report Q1). What about the other 493? Chronert says full-year earnings growth has become slightly less negative amid stabilization.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong +0.6%. China +1.2%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.5%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +1%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude +1.1% to $78.98. Gold +0.8% at $2,327.60. Bitcoin +0.6% to $64,093.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 4.47%.

Today's Economic Calendar

12:50 PM Fed's Barkin Speech
1:00 PM Fed's Williams Speech

Companies reporting earnings today »

What else is happening...

Non-farm payrolls: Is worse than expected news good news?

Paramount (PARA) in formal negotiations with Apollo and SONY.

Tesla (TSLA) sets sights on Europe in latest self-driving push.

Mystik Dan: Kentucky Derby sets new wager record.

FTC's attack on high-profile executive rattles U.S. oil industry.

BTIG sees 'murky' road ahead for cannabis reclassification.

Trump Media (DJT) accounting firm charged with 'massive fraud.'

Major airlines agree on $8.5B Chicago O'Hare Airport upgrade.

ABC News president quits as Disney leadership reviews network.

Are AI stocks in a bubble? Here’s what Citadel's Ken Griffin thinks.

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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