DHUnplugged #694: Lots of China

Volatility is back and Bitcoin mania is here again.

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China stocks on a run…

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Warm Up
- Volatility is back
- Bitcoin mania
- Need a new CTP Stock!
- LSD - making an interesting comeback

Market Update
- NVDA had 2 down days!
- Markets still want to go higher - not matter what the data
- Yields move up with CPI
- Big rebound for NVDA - not letting it go down too much...

CPI Release
- Total CPI increased by 0.4% month-over-month, meeting expectations, while core CPI (excluding food and energy) also rose by 0.4% month-over-month (0.3%).
- On a year-over-year basis, total CPI was up 3.2%, compared to 3.1% in January, and core CPI increased by 3.8%, versus 3.9% in January.
- Excluding shelter, CPI rose by a more modest 1.8% year-over-year.
- Despite the headline disappointment for core CPI, the market seems optimistic about the future, anticipating a reduction in the isolated impact of the shelter index in the coming months due to an expected moderation in rent prices. (in other words, thinking the Fed's PCE will not be so hot next time and the Fed will still cut sometime this year)

CPI Report key takeaways:
- The food index showed no change month-over-month and increased by 2.2% year-over-year.
- The energy index rose by 2.3% month-over-month and declined by 1.9% year-over-year.
- Used cars and trucks saw a 0.5% increase month-over-month and a 1.8% decrease year-over-year.
- The apparel index was up 0.6% month-over-month and unchanged year-over-year.
- The all items index, excluding food, shelter, and energy, increased by 0.3% month-over-month and 2.2% year-over-year.

Inflation - YoY

Inflation - ACTUAL

Layoffs - Does not fit the narrative
- Layoff announcements in February hit their highest level for the month since the global financial crisis, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
- The total of 84,638 planned cuts showed an increase of 3% from January and 9% from the same month a year ago, with technology and finance companies at the forefront.
- From a historical perspective, this was the worst February since 2009, which saw 186,350 announcements as the worst of the financial crisis was seemingly coming to an end.
- Here is where it gets interesting: The layoff numbers, however, are not feeding through to weekly jobless claims, suggesting that unemployment is short-lived and workers are able to find new positions.

- On one hand he stated that the Fed is watching and not ready yet to cut rates - data dependent
- A couple days later he indicated that interest rate cuts may not be too far off if inflation signals cooperate.
- In remarks to the Senate Banking Committee, the central bank leader didn't provide a precise timetable of when he sees easing happening, but noted that the day could be coming soon.

Mnuchin to the Rescue?
-NYCB had bad month - and got worse
- Lost 7% of deposits
- Bond rating cut
- Investment firm lead by Steve Mnuchin swooped in with a cool $1 billion rescue package
- Remember NYCD bought Signature Bank - obviously so much crap in that portfolio it helped poison NYCB

Oracle Earnings
- New ATH
- Reports Q3 (Feb) earnings of $1.41 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the FactSet Consensus of $1.38; revenues rose 7.1% year/year to $13.28 bln vs the $13.29 bln FactSet Consensus.

- Q3 Total Remaining Performance Obligations up 29% to $80 billion.
- Q3 Cloud Revenue (IaaS plus SaaS) $5.1 billion, up 25% in USD, up 24% in constant currency.
- Q3 Cloud Infrastructure (IaaS) Revenue $1.8 billion, up 49% in both USD and constant currency.
- Q3 Cloud Application (SaaS) Revenue $3.3 billion, up 14% in both USD and constant currency
- Q3 Fusion Cloud ERP (SaaS) Revenue $0.8 billion, up 18% in both USD and constant currency.
- Q3 NetSuite Cloud ERP (SaaS) Revenue $0.8 billion, up 21% in USD, up 20% in constant currency.

- China stocks moving up nicely
--- Breaking out from rounded bottom
---- Now people talking about the value proposition

More China
- Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi announced Tuesday it would formally launch its long-awaited electric car on March 28.
- The company claimed in a social media post its SU7 electric car "would be delivered as soon as it is launched," according to CNBC's translation of the post written in Chinese.
- Complete with Tesla and Porche
- 668 km (415 mi) (CLTC) 800 km (497 mi) (CLTC, SU7 Max)


Even More China
- China is testing an AI assistant for neurosurgeons at seven hospitals in Beijing and other cities in coming months, one of many initiatives the government is backing to try and harness the technology.
- The Hong Kong-based Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics employed about 100 graphics processor units to train its healthcare-focused model, split evenly between Nvidia Corp.’s A100 high-end chips and Huawei Technologies Co.’s Ascend 910B, researchers told reporters Monday.

Over to Japan
- Somehow - revisions to last week's numbers came out and now Japan is no longer in a recession
- Japan's gross domestic product expanded 0.4% in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier. Provisional data last month had showed GDP contracting 0.4%. This is after a revised 3.3% slump in the July-September period.
- Japan yields came up - Yen Rallied - Market sold off (worst in months)

Meanwhile - Apple Cancelling Car
- Apple will wind down its team working on electric cars, called Special Projects Group, according to Bloomberg.
- The news signals that Apple will cease its secretive effort to build a car to rival Tesla. The program employed thousands of employees, but never fit with Apple's core business of electronics and online services, and raised questions about what companies Apple would tap to manufacture a car.

- 3 Pillars???
--- Store of Value, Currency, Speculative Investment
- - Was once this culture changing investment for the people, by the people, of the people
-- Now even the hardcore maximalists are just talking about it as an investment.
--- Making shit up as they go...

Happy Birthday - 25 Years
- QQQ is officially 25 years old and what a run it has had

QQQ Chart

- Boeing whistleblower
- A whistleblower who was at war with Boeing died last week -- and investigators say it appears he took his own life, this while he was embroiled in a lawsuit against the company.
- John Barnett was discovered dead on Saturday out in Charleston, NC -- where cops say his body was found in his truck in a hotel parking lot ... with him suffering an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. No word on if foul play is suspected -- but police are investigating.
- His lawyer is insisting that "Alleged" comes in front of suicide.

Weight Watchers
- Stock has been on a wild ride since Oprah got involved.
-Now, she is leaving the board
- Company got way away from roots and started to focus on diet drugs (GLP-1 etc)
- Stock down 90% since 2001

Spending Season
- With Presidential race underway - spending and tax cuts are on the top of the list
- Biden presenting $7 trillion budget and spending plan
-- Biden
- Trump back to lower taxes and other ways to prop up economy
- No matter, big spending ad bigger debt is on the horizon

The Year of Drugs - Could be interesting times ahead
A clinical trial’s encouraging results won US Food and Drug Administration breakthrough therapy status for an LSD formulation to treat generalized anxiety disorder, Mind Medicine Inc. announced Thursday. The biopharmaceutical company is developing the drug.
- “A breakthrough designation is a recognition that a drug has demonstrated evidence of clinical efficacy in meeting an unmet medical need with morbidity and mortality associated with it,” said Dr. Daniel Karlin, assistant professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and chief medical officer for MindMed.

And in closing
- In Japan - Male office workers at a telecoms firm in Tokyo have experienced simulated menstrual pain to help them become more sympathetic toward female colleagues ahead of International Women's Day on Friday.
- workers winced at a company event on Thursday as a "perionoid" device sent electric signals via pads placed below the navel to stimulate the lower stomach muscle and induce a cramping sensation.
- EXEO said it wants to create an environment where its more than 90% male workforce can be more supportive of female peers, including when it comes to taking menstrual leave.


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