The Nasdaq continued its trajectory upwards yesterday, rising 0.69%, while the S&P 500 inched up 0.09% and the Dow Jones fell 0.49%. The pulling power of tech stocks, particularly those linked to artificial intelligence, is not weakening.

European markets remain well oriented, ending yesterday within narrow limits, as they have for several sessions. Gains remained modest, with the exception of the 1.15% rise in Sweden's OMX and the 1.62% fall in Milan's FTSE MIB. The Italian index took a beating that did not go unnoticed. When it comes to hindsight, the MIB didn't really fall against the general trend, since its poor performance was due to the high dividends paid by its banking and financial components, which weigh heavily in the Italian index.

Against this backdrop, the financial community is paying little attention to the calls for caution from a number of central bankers, many of whom will be making speeches this week in the US and Europe, particularly today. Yesterday, bankers from the Fed’s Monetary Policy Committee were out and about, and all delivered an identical message: it's too early to be confident that inflation is heading steadily towards the 2% target. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said it would take more time to validate that inflation is indeed on its way back to 2%, while his colleague Michael Barr expressed disappointment with the inflation data of recent months. This dampened the mood a little bit on the market: European indices were slightly down this morning and so were futures on Wall Street. However, traders are still betting on a first rate cut in September.

Other assets doing well include metals, led by gold and copper, which have reached new highs. Like equities, these two assets are benefiting from expectations of rate cuts by central banks, with a little something extra: central banks' appetite for gold, which represents an excellent way of diversifying their foreign exchange reserves, and the surge in demand for copper, an indispensable metal for the energy transition. On the price front, an ounce of gold reached the USD 2,450 mark, while a tonne of copper surpassed the USD 11,000 threshold in London, taking its gains to 27% since January 1. And while I'm at it, I'll also mention bitcoin, which is back above USD 70,000.

Corporate results are less dense than in previous weeks, but there are still a few large caps, including Lowe's Companies, AutoZone in the US and Generali in Europe. The quarterly earnings from chipmaker Nvidia are  due for release later tomorrow after the bell.

On the macro front, as previously mentioned, the session will be enlivened by a large number of speeches by central bankers, including the ECB head Christine Lagarde and many Fed central bankers, as well as a speech by Bank of England boss Andrew Bailey.

In Asia Pacific, indices put their foot on the brake. The Hang Seng, which has soared 20% in four weeks, is down around 2% this morning. Seoul contracted by 0.7%, Bombay hovered around equilibrium, while Japan gave back 0.3%.

Today's economic highlights:

The dollar is worth EUR 0.9209 and GBP 0.7868. The ounce of gold is worth USD 2,429. Oil retreats, with North Sea Brent at USD 82.15 a barrel and US light crude WTI at USD 77.80. The yield on 10-year US debt reached 4.447%. Bitcoin surges again, reaching USD 71,000.

In corporate news:

  • IBM said Tuesday that a family of its artificial intelligence models will be available as open source software, and that it would help Saudi Arabia develop an artificial intelligence system in Arabic.
  • Eli Lilly said Tuesday that its drug tirzepatide has been approved in China for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
  • Chesapeake Energy - The natural gas producer began laying off employees this week, after completing the divestment of its oil assets last year, the company said Monday.
  • Johnson Controls International - Hedge fund Soroban Capital Partners has taken a stake in the industrial company and is now among the group's top 20 shareholders, Bloomberg News reported.
  • Zoom Video Communications raised its full-year sales forecast on Monday, thanks to strong demand for its product offering. The stock nevertheless lost 2.1% before the opening.
  • Lowe's, the DIY products group, reported a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly sales on Tuesday, and gained 2% before the opening.
  • Keysight Technologies - The electronics manufacturer announced Monday that it expected third-quarter earnings to be below consensus, anticipating a slowdown in demand in electronics markets.
  • Palo Alto Networks - The cybersecurity company reported above-consensus fourth-quarter earnings on Monday, a sign that demand for its security software remains robust.
  • Nordson - The industrial equipment manufacturer lowered its full-year sales forecast due to the slow recovery of the electronics and semiconductor markets.
  • Peloton Interactive - The sports equipment manufacturer said on Monday that it would sell $275 million of convertible bonds due 2029, as the company seeks to reduce its debt. The stock lost 1.8% in pre-market trading.

Analyst recommendations:

  • Coinbase Global, Inc.: Punto Research upgrades to buy from hold with a price target raised from USD 217.57 to USD 256.73.
  • Hp Inc.: Barclays upgrades to equalweight from underweight with a price target raised from USD 24 to USD 30.
  • Walt Disney Company (The): Redburn Atlantic downgrades to neutral from sell with a target price of USD 100.
  • Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation: Stifel maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from USD 140 to USD 170.
  • Dell Technologies Inc.: Citigroup maintains its buy recommendation with a price target raised from USD 125 to USD 170.
  • Walmart Inc.: Daiwa Securities maintains its outperform rating and reduces the target price from USD 189 to USD 68.
  • Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc.: Redburn Atlantic maintains a neutral recommendation with a price target reduced from 11 to USD 8.
  • Big Yellow Group Plc: Peel Hunt upgrades to add from hold with a price target raised from GBX 1095 to GBX 1275.
  • Wise Plc: Barclays upgrades to overweight from equalweight with a price target raised from GBP 8 to GBP 10.