Third Week in a Row

Although Friday proved to be a light choppy day the bulls held the bullish parabolic run for the third week in a row.  The Bears after working so hard this year seem to have entered hibernation heading into the holidays. However, with a shortened week with light earnings and economic calendars can the corporate buybacks keep the party going this week?  Perhaps, but keep in mind volume could quickly decline this week with record travel expected over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Plan your risk accordingly.

Asian markets closed mostly higher overnight with China holding benchmark lending rates unchanged.  European markets trade mixed but mostly lower this morning with modest gains and losses in a cautious session.  U.S. futures bounced around the flatline this morning but will look for inspiration in a light earnings and economic day to begin this holiday-shortened week.

Economic Calendar

Earnings Calendar

Notable reports for Monday include A, BRBR, KEYS, & ZM.

News & Technicals’

Disney, the entertainment giant, has been struggling to produce high-quality films since the pandemic ended, according to its CEO Bob Iger. He admitted last week that he was not satisfied with the quality of Disney’s films in the past two years. Disney’s film business has been losing money, as it has not reported positive operating income in its “Content Sales/Licensing and Other” segment, which includes theatrical releases, since the quarter that ended in April 2022. However, Disney hopes to turn things around in 2024, with some highly anticipated films, such as Marvel’s “Deadpool 3,” Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” and “Mufasa: The Lion King,” a prequel to the classic animated film.

Cruise, the self-driving car company owned by General Motors, has announced a major leadership change, as its co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt has stepped down from his role. Vogt, who founded Cruise in 2013 and sold it to GM in 2016, said he was leaving the company to spend time with his family and explore new ideas. He did not explain the reason for his departure, which comes after a series of setbacks for Cruise, such as delays in launching its robotaxi service, lawsuits from competitors, and regulatory hurdles. Cruise has appointed Mo Elshenawy, its former executive vice president of engineering, as its new president and CTO. Elshenawy, who joined Cruise in 2018, will lead the company’s efforts to develop and deploy its autonomous vehicles.

OpenAI, the artificial intelligence research company co-founded by Elon Musk, has undergone a dramatic leadership shake-up in the past few days. On Friday, the board of OpenAI announced that it was removing Sam Altman, the former president of Y Combinator, as its CEO and replacing him temporarily with Mira Murati, the chief technology officer of OpenAI. Then on Sunday night, OpenAI revealed that it had hired Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Twitch, the live streaming platform, to be its new CEO. However, the story did not end there, as on Monday morning, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, announced that Altman and Greg Brockman, the co-founder and chairman of OpenAI, would be joining Microsoft as part of a new AI division. Microsoft is a major investor and partner of OpenAI and has provided it with cloud computing and technical support. The reasons for the sudden changes in OpenAI’s leadership are unclear, but they could signal a shift in the company’s vision and direction.

Stocks ended the week with little change on Friday but extended the third week in a row and it seems the bears went into hibernation heading into the holidays. The S&P 500 and QQQ are very near 2023 highs and though this rally has gone parabolic the fear of missing out could keep the chaise going this week. However, other than corporate buybacks there is very little to earnings and economic calendar to garner a lot of enthusiasm in this holiday-shortened week.  With the expectation of a record holiday, travel volumes could begin dropping sharply by Tuesday afternoon so plan your trading carefully.

Trade Wisely,

Doug

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