Market Review: March 19, 2024

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Closing Recap

Tuesday, March 19, 2024





DJ Industrials




S&P 500








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U.S. stocks saw lackluster movement early in the trading day before slowly melting higher, as stocks finished at fresh record highs (vs ending at lows Monday) ahead of the potential catalyst driven FOMC policy meeting event tomorrow afternoon. Sector strength was broad based, led by Energy (XLE), Industrials (XLI), Utilities (XLU), and Consumer Discretionary all up +0.5% or more on the day. Technology rebounded sharply from morning declines, as large cap tech paced gains again (AAPL, MSFT) and semis rebounded off lows (NVDA). Stocks extended gains late afternoon following a better-than-expected 20-year bond auction ahead of tomorrow’s FOMC meeting. All eyes on the Fed tomorrow with the policy announcement at 2:00 PM and Fed Powell press conference afterwards at 2:30 PM. Market expectations for aggressive rate cuts for 2024 have eased the last 2-months, for calls initially of 6 cuts to now between 3-4 given recent inflation data. Powell’s comments about inflation and their outlook will be closely watched tomorrow, with major averages still hovering just below recent all-time highs. Treasury yields dipped for the first day in 7, gold dipped, the dollar rose, and oil rose. NVDA’s GTC chip event grabbed a lot of attention throughout the day in tech.

Economic Data

  • Housing starts for February rose 10.7% to 1.521M unit rate topping consensus 1.425M and well above the January 1.374M units as rates edged lower. Feb single-family starts +11.6% to 1.129M unit rate; multifamily +8.3% to 392,000-unit rate. Feb housing permits rose 1.9% to 1.518M unit rate vs. January 1.489M unit rate, while Feb single-family permits +1.0% to 1.031M unit rate; multifamily +4.1% to 487,000-unit rate.

Commodities, Currencies & Treasuries

  • The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) rose 0.4% back near the 104 level ahead of Wednesday’s Fed decision where no rate move is expected, but possibly cautious commentary given the recent strong of high inflation reports (CPI, PPI) the last 2-months. The BoJ continues bond purchases and pledges to respond to any rapid rise in yields. The yen weakened 1.15% and fell past 150.87 against the dollar (4-month highs) after the Bank of Japan stressed financial conditions will remain easy as they raised interest rates for the first time since 2007. The Aussie dollar also underperformed, falling vs. the greenback after the RBA stood pat on rates and dropped their tightening bias. Gold prices fell -$4.60 to settle at $2,159.70 an ounce as the dollar rose and Treasury yields slipped as markets await the FOMC meeting results tomorrow. WTI crude rose $0.75 to settle at $83.47 per barrel while Brent Crude futures settle at $87.38/bbl, up 49 cents, 0.56%. Bitcoin prices fall around -4% around $64,700, but well-off morning lows below $62,400 in more than $2,000 bounce off lows.





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10-Year Note




Sector News Breakdown

Retail, Consumer Staples & Restaurants:

  • In Retail: NKE tgt cut to $115 from $131 at Wedbush as analysts weigh in ahead of earnings this week for the sneaker/apparel giant. Wedbush said while L-T optimistic they have become incrementally cautious short-term due to a frustrating lack of product innovation. JWN shares spiked after Reuters reported Nordstrom Inc founding family is seeking to take the U.S. department store operator private, six years after a similar attempt proved unsuccessful.
  • In Beauty: Piper upgraded OLPX to Neutral from Underweight and SBH reit OW with $16 tgt following its quarterly salon survey to 165 hair stylists. Macro and competitive brands are still very much present in professional haircare, though Piper is not seeing these pressures intensify, and this marked another survey of stabilizing trends for OLPX.
  • In Consumer: UL said it plans to spin off its ice-cream business as part of a restructuring that could affect around 7,500 jobs; KR said it had entered a definitive agreement for the sale of its specialty pharmacy business to CarelonRx, a unit of U.S. health insurer ELV. PEP announced it will become the exclusive beverage provider to Subway restaurants across the US starting in 2025. BYND filed a $250 million mixed securities shelf registration.

Autos, Leisure, Gaming & Lodging:

  • In Autos: XPEV reported 4Q Revs / non-GAAP EPADS beat w/ 60,158 vehicles delivered vs. cons 61,086 & guides 1Q deliveries to 21,000-22,500.
  • In Casino/Gaming: DKNG CFO Jason Park taking on the new role of Chief Transformation Officer, and appointing Alan Ellingson as a replacement.
  • In Fitness: PLNT shares fell -5% as social media accounts calling for a "Bud Light-type" boycott after an unconfirmed story concerning Planet Fitness’s locker room policies continues to pick up steam. Earlier PLNT was defended at Stifel, saying the shares were "likely overreacting" to the social media uproar.
  • In Movie Theatres: NCMI shares rise as reported better-than-forecast 4Q adjusted Oibda and announced a $100 million share buyback program; Q4 NCIM saw a 43% increase in active national advertisers and record revenue per attendee; sees q1 revs $34.5M-$35.5M vs. est. $34M.

Energy, Industrials and Materials

  • In Utilities: SMR was downgraded from Equal Weight to Underweight at Wells Fargo and cut tgt to $4.50 from $7.50 as believes SMR’s strong YTD performance (+207% vs the S&P 500 +8%) is connected to positive developments for nuclear owners CEG & TLNE, but firm thinks investor enthusiasm for SMR is misguided. WES was downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform at Raymond James noting it is one of the best performers in the group this year, 4th among RAJA’s ~25 name midstream coverage space (behind only TRGP and ARIS, and takeout target NS).
  • In Industrials: MMM was upgraded at Barclay’s to Overweight from Equal Weight and raise tgt to $126 from $111 due to a higher target valuation multiple (to embed the higher potential for margin expansion as a CEO transition looms), and a lower estimate for MMM’s non-debt / environmental liabilities.
  • In Materials: OLN shares weak initially after the EPA yesterday announced additional details for the ban on the use of chrysotile, a type of asbestos used in chlor-alkali production. The ban was first proposed back in 2022, and in its earlier 10K filing, OLN suggested such a decision would hinder its operations. IP shares rose after appointed Andrew Silvernail as new CEO, succeeding Mark Sutton, effective May 1; Sutton, who served as CEO since 2014, will continue as chairman of the board.
  • In Metals & Mining: gold miners were weak (AEM, NEM), pulling back after recent bounce for gold prices to record highs of $2,200, as prices slipped ahead of the FOMC meeting tomorrow where no rate changes are expected; aluminum producers AA, CENX sharply underperformed.
  • In Aerospace & Defense: RTX and TDG remain favorite Commercial Aftermarket cycle names at TDCowen saying the robust commercial aero aftermarket upswing is likely to extend through 2026 with above-guide gains in 2024-25. RTX tgt raised to $115 from $106; Airbus (EADSY) upgraded to Outperform at RBC Capital and raised tgt to EUR192 from EUR145 as believes the recent positive shift in sentiment has room to run as recent NB share gains could expand further and investor confidence in the mid-decade targets improves.


  • In Crypto: Bitcoin prices tumbled over 6% to below $62,400 at one point, more than $11K off its all-time highs reached earlier this month, also pressuring likes of COIN, MSTR, RIOT, MARA which tend to track Bitcoin prices. Grayscale’s GBTC ETF has logged outflows of more than $12B since it was converted into an ETF in early January, due in no small part to its higher-than-average fees, CNBC reported.
  • In Banks: Stephens downgraded FITB from Overweight to Equal Weight with $41 tgt following outperformance vs. peers and now trades at a healthy premium following the successful re-rating of valuation while TFC was upgraded from Equal Weight to Overweight and raise tgt to $43 arguing that its recent sale of Truist Insurance Holdings adds about 230 basis points of CET1 capital should reinvigorate the growth.
  • In Business Services: DLO shares fall after results; Q4 EPS $0.10 vs. est. $0.15; Q4 revs $188M vs. est. $173.69M; forecasts 2024 adjusted EBITDA between $220-$260M; forecasts 2024 TPV growth of 40% to 50%.
  • In FinTech: STNE shares fall as co-founder Street won’t seek reelection at the next shareholder meeting in April; posted 4Q adjusted Ebitda that missed the average analyst estimate.

Biotech & Pharma:

  • AZN to acquire FUSN in deal valued up to $2.4B, paying an initial $21 a share for Fusion, with an extra $3 nontransferable contingent value right upon a specified regulatory milestone being reached; initial price is a 97% premium to Fusion’s closing market price of $10.64 on Monday.
  • CRNX said its oral drug paltusotine met the main goal in a late-stage study, evaluating it as treatment for acromegaly, a disorder that occurs when the body makes too much growth hormone. CRNX says 56% of patients were able to maintain growth-factor levels on the drug, compared to 5% receiving placebo.
  • MDGL 750K share Spot Secondary priced at $260.00, raising $600 million in an upsized public offering after shares have risen 16% since winning the first FDA approval of a drug to treat a fatty liver disease known as NASH.
  • PTCT announced the submission of a BLA to the U.S. FDA for Upstaza (eladocagene exuparvovec), a gene therapy for the treatment of aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency.


  • In Software: Redburn downgraded SNOW from Neutral to Sell and cut tgt to $125 from $180 saying Snowflake’s architectural limitations make it vulnerable to future trends and that its recent profit warning signals ongoing headwinds as optimization shifts from storage to the platform’s processing core. The firm also downgraded MDB from Neutral to Sell and slashed tgt to $295 from $410 saying rising costs (especially for storage) will push organizations to optimize, potentially limiting MongoDB’s upside due to its relatively high price point.


  • NVDA at its GTC Event announced its next-generation GPU architecture Blackwell (B100 and B200 GPUs) and noted the size of the chip was 2x that of H100 (it expects ASPs for B100 to be ~40% higher than H100 at 35K) with AI performance 2.5-5x greater than H100; 2) it announced its next-generation CPU+GPU superchip GB200 (1 ARM Grace CPU x 2 B100 GPUs), which is the successor to GH200 (Grace Hopper); and 3) finally, despite some anticipation that it would increase the $1T TAM for accelerated computing, NVDA maintained it. Shares opened lower but reversed, moving back above the $900 per share level late day on comments at conference.
  • SMCI shares stumbled after raising cash thru stock offering, saying it would sell 2Mm shares (price closed at $1,000.68 on Monday night); said to use net offering proceeds to support operations, including purchase of inventory, manufacturing capacity expansions, increased R&D as per filing.
  • ANSS, CDNS, SNPS among companies mentioned by NVDA last night at GTC Keynote as partners.
  • INTC and TSM – The Nikkei reported overnight at least five suppliers to TSMC (TSMC) and Intel (INTC) have delayed construction of facilities in Arizona.
  • In Semi equipment: KLAC announced last night strategic decision to exit the company’s flat panel display business & lowers Q3 adj. EPS forecast to $4.23-$5.43 vs prior $4.66-$5.86 & adj GM 57.7-59.7% vs. prior 60.5-62.5%; said decision to exit flat panel biz has no effect on revenue expectations for the March 2024 quarter and the Company reaffirms its revenue guidance range of $2.3B, plus or minus $125M.


Market commentary provided by Hammerstone Markets, Inc, a firm separate from and not affiliated with Regal Securities. Regal Securities has not participated in the creation of the content, and does not explicitly or implicitly endorse the content.

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