Wall Street Breakfast: Trade Comes Back Into Focus

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Next round of notable earnings

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) will report results before the opening bell, and analysts are expecting higher user engagement to drive a rebound from an earnings miss in Q3. After the bell, Uber (NYSE:UBER) is expected to add to its staggering losses, though investors will be looking for updates to the loss-making company’s path to profitability. Helped by promotional plans, T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) is likely to post a rise in fourth-quarter revenue, and will likely comment on its 5G expansion and impending merger with Sprint (NYSE:S).
Go deeper: Max Greve comments on the Sprint merger trial.

Sleepy IPO from mattress firm Casper

Planning to list on the NYSE today under ticker “CSPR,” Casper has priced its initial public stock offering at $12 a share, down from an earlier range of $17 to $19. That values the company at around $500M, down from the $705M it valued itself at last week, and a significant hit for the mattress company that once prided itself as a unicorn. “The days of growth at any cost are over,” said Santosh Rao, who researches IPOs for Manhattan Venture Research. “You either have to be profitable, or take a haircut.”
Go deeper: Scott Galloway stacks up Casper against traditional players.

OPEC+ technical meeting drags on

A technical committee of OPEC+ has added a third day of meetings after failing to reach a recommendation on an emergency summit of oil ministers. Delegates are split over the threat the coronavirus poses to global consumption, with Saudi Arabia pushing for immediate and deeper output cuts to the opposition of Russia, whose budget is more resilient to lower crude prices. Oil is already down sharply from this year’s high, falling into a bear market last week.
Go deeper: ‘USO: Buy The Pullback’ by QuandaryFX.

Central bank digital currencies

Central banks are hurrying the pace at which they are looking at issuing their own digital currencies (known as CBDCs), as Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) push to launch its own crypto raises questions over who will control money supply in the decades ahead. “The Fed is conducting research and experimentation related to distributed ledger technologies and their potential use case for digital currencies, including the potential for a CBDC,” Governor Lael Brainard told the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Leaders of six major central banks, including the U.K., the eurozone, Japan, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland, are also undertaking joint research on cryptos and may hold their first meeting in Washington in mid-April.
Go deeper: Check out the latest crypto articles on Seeking Alpha.

HSBC holds off on naming permanent CEO

Investors in HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) will have to wait even longer for the bank to name its next permanent chief executive, FT reports. Expectations were high that interim CEO Noel Quinn or an external candidate would be appointed to the position before a sweeping shakeup was unveiled on Feb. 18, when the lender reports full-year results. The plan would reshape the company dramatically and involve at least 10,000 layoffs and shrinking HSBC’s investment bank.

7-Eleven pilots first cashierless store

Stepping up its innovation, 7-Eleven (OTCPK:SVNDY) is testing out a pilot cashierless store at its corporate headquarters in Texas. It uses a dedicated app and “proprietary mixture of algorithms and predictive technology” to know what each customer is buying. Sound familiar? Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been testing a similar concept at its Go stores since 2018. “Retail technology is evolving at a rapid pace and customer expectations are driving the evolution,” said 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto.

Alphafly will also avoid Olympic ban

New restrictions introduced last week by governing body World Athletics – sole thickness of no more than 40mm and inclusion of carbon fiber as long as it’s on one continuous plane – didn’t just spare Nike’s (NYSE:NKE) controversial Vaporfly sneakers from a ban. The company’s Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, a prototype of which Eliud Kipchoge wore in October to run a marathon in less than two hours, also falls within the new requirements. That may mean a surge in sales for the sneaker giant ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Huawei initiates legal action against Verizon

In a move likely to further inflame tensions between the Chinese company and Washington, Huawei Technologies has filed a lawsuit against Verizon (NYSE:VZ), alleging the U.S. carrier used 12 of its patents without authorization. At issue are areas that include optical transmission and digital communications, but not next-generation 5G technology. “Huawei is simply asking that Verizon respect Huawei’s investment in research and development by either paying for the use of our patents, or refraining from using them in its products and services,” read a statement from the company.

Google under fire

Breaking up Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) is still on the table in the multi-state Google antitrust probe. “I’m literally open to doing what works. I would look at any remedy as a possible solution,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton declared. “I want this to benefit the most number of consumers.” Reports suggest the DOJ has also reached out to more than a dozen companies in its antitrust probe, including publishers and advertising agencies, as Google’s online ad tools become a major focus of the investigation.

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