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Saturday, December 3, 2022

U.S. midterm elections, Disney earnings, FTX-Binance spat – what’s moving markets

U.S. midterm elections, Disney earnings, FTX-Binance spat - what's moving markets
© Reuters.

 

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By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com — The U.S. holds midterm elections, with the Republican Party tipped by opinion polls to regain control of the House of Representatives. The lockdown around the world’s biggest iPhone factory is set to be extended after the Chinese city of Zhengzhou reports a jump in COVID-19 cases. Walt Disney leads a veritable deluge of earnings reports, while Lyft and Take-Two Interactive are set to open sharply lower after disappointing with their reports late on Monday. The house token of crypto exchange FTX crumbles another 20%, pulling Bitcoin and Ether down with it, and the U.S. government will publish its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. Here’s what you need to know in financial markets on Tuesday, 8th November.

1. Midterm elections hold fate of Biden’s presidency, may trigger Trump’s run in 2024

The U.S. holds midterm elections that may consign the rest of Joe Biden’s presidency to lame-duck status, as voters punish the Democrats for presiding over the highest inflation in 40 years.

Opinion polls give the Republican Party a good chance of regaining control of the House of Representatives. Control of the Senate – split 50-50 since the 2020 elections – may also tip back to the GOP and various state Governorships are also up for contention.

The biggest subplot around the polls will be whether the GOP candidates most closely associated with former President Donald Trump perform more or less well than the norm. Trump again hinted heavily at announcing a presidential run in 2024 on Monday, and success by his acolytes may be the catalyst for such a move.

Republican control of Congress would significantly restrict the administration’s ability to enact any more radical fiscal measures until 2024. Internationally, its biggest consequence may be to reduce U.S. military and economic support for Ukraine, an issue that some Trumpist GOP candidates, in particular, have actively campaigned on.

2. Zhengzhou lockdown set to continue

The city of Zhengzhou said the number of COVID cases more than doubled on Monday, dashing hopes for an early end of the lockdown that is affecting the world’s largest iPhone assembly plant.

The seven-day lockdown of the Airport Economy Zone is due to end on Wednesday but is now almost certain to be extended, causing further disruption to shipments of Apple’s most important product in its most important quarter of the year.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, which has lost over 10% since the outbreak started, edged up 0.2% in premarket. Separately, the Zhengzhou plant’s owner Foxconn said it will invest $170 million in U.S.-based electric truck maker Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ:RIDE).

3. Stocks set to open flat; Take-Two, Lyft under pressure; Disney earnings lead a cast of thousands

U.S. stock markets are set to open largely flat, as the post-payrolls rally since Friday takes a breather ahead of the midterm election results.

By 06:05 ET (11:05 GMT), Dow Jones futures were up 30 points or 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures were also up 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.3%, helped by consolidation in chipmaking stocks and Big Tech names that suffered after their third quarter reports.

Stocks likely to be in focus later include Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO), after the publisher of Grand Theft Auto cut its revenue forecasts for the current quarter late on Monday, and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), which slumped 20% in premarket after reporting numbers that confirmed loss of market share to Uber (NYSE:UBER) in the last quarter.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) heads an earnings roster that stretches out to the crack of doom. It will report after the close, alongside Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY), NortonLifeLock (NASDAQ:NLOK), and News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA). Early updates are due from DuPont de Nemours (NYSE:DD), Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH), Coty (NYSE:COTY), Workhorse (NASDAQ:WKHS) and GlobalFoundries (NASDAQ:GFS), as well as mortgage institutions Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCC) and Fannie Mae.

4. Binance-FTX bust-up keeps the pressure on crypto

The pressure on crypto exchange FTX intensified as heavy selling pushed its native token FTT down as much as 30% overnight. Bitcoin and Ether were also dragged down by over 5%.

Blockchain analytics indicate large-scale redemptions of funds from FTX are continuing, triggered by rival Binance’s decision at the weekend to liquidate its holdings of FTT, amid concerns over the underlying soundness of FTT. 

More and more commentators are casting the developments as an expression of deeper divisions between the owners of the two exchanges over the future regulation of crypto, especially in the U.S. where FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried has lobbied for draft legislation to take a stricter line on decentralized finance than many crypto enthusiasts would like.

Binance founder Changpeng Zhao has played down this version of events, saying the move is just a risk management strategy. Bankman-Fried, however, tweeted on Monday that “A competitor is trying to go after us with false rumors.”

5. Oil takes a breather; API, STEO due

Crude oil prices corrected downward after days of healthy gains, as developments in China dented hopes for a quick end to the Zero-COVID policy.

By 06:25 ET, U.S. crude futures were down 1.3% at $90.64 a barrel, while Brent futures were down 1.0% at $96.98 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute releases weekly inventory data at 16:30 ET as usual, while the U.S. government will publish its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook at 12:00 ET.

Source: Investing.com

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