In New York, the session was also marked by the individual rather than the collective. The Dow Jones gave up 0.6%, the S&P500 about 1.1% and the Nasdaq 100 more than 1.8%. It must be said that the U.S. technology index paid a heavy price to Alphabet, which collapsed by 7.4%. The parent company of Google paid a high price for the obviously untimely launch of its discussion tool based on artificial intelligence Bard. The group flaunted itself in style by releasing a promotional video in which Bard gets the James Webb telescope wrong. Asked about discoveries to be credited to the telescope, Bard said it was the first to take pictures of a planet outside the solar system, while a European telescope had done so long before it, in 2004. This may be a detail to you, but in the field of artificial intelligence it means a lot, especially that Bard is fallible on a relatively simple question. It's messy, especially when the sequence is used for marketing purposes. One can feel that the Californian group has tried to make a date in the nascent but already merciless competition of artificial intelligence "creators" of content, in the wake of the ChatGPT phenomenon. For a trial run, it was a shot in the arm, or in the foot, it remains to be seen.

It is also, from my point of view, a golden opportunity to remind us that the wheel sometimes turns and that situations that seem to last forever rarely do. This is perhaps what scares investors in Alphabet a little, and certainly Alphabet's managers themselves. Imagine: what if the Microsoft-ChatGPT combination created a must-have search engine? By turning this big loser Bing into a market leader, thanks to features that are far superior to the competition (you can read this article from the Wall Street Journal about the first steps with Microsoft's new solution). It's hard to imagine Google going from 90% to 8% of the search engine market. But ask Nokia executives if they thought they would go from 40% to 0 of the cell phone market in a few years (yes, young investor, Nokia made mobiles). And ask Yahoo executives if they thought the company would be demoted from the undisputed leader of the web to a lilliputian in the sector.

Beyond the case of Alphabet, technology stocks lost ground yesterday. Investors remain in a two steps forward, one step back mode, depending on the oracles about the US central bank's intentions regarding its rate policy. In 2022, these intentions were also at the center of the game but it was more like one step forward, three steps back. So sentiment has improved as the presumed end of the rate hike cycle approaches.

With the macroeconomic agenda still rather thin, it is the corporate results that dominate the discussions. With a good big batch this morning, since Thursday is traditionally the busiest day of the week in this respect with Visa, AbbVie, PepsiCo or PayPal. At 8:30 am, we will still take a look at the weekly employment figures in the United States, which serve as a crucial indicator of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy outlook.

In other news, Volodymyr Zelensky has continued to convince his allies to provide equipment to his troops. The Ukrainian president was in London and Paris yesterday and will be in Brussels this morning. In Turkey and Syria, the death toll from the two devastating earthquakes continues to rise.

Economic highlights of the day:

The market will keep an eye on the weekly US unemployment figures (8:30 am). All the agenda here.
The dollar remains in the 0.9295 EUR area. The ounce of gold is stagnating around 1880 USD. Oil has recovered, with North Sea Brent crude at USD 85.10 per barrel and US WTI light crude at USD 78.64. The yield on 10-year US debt is around 3.61%. Bitcoin is back down to around 22,600 USD.
In corporate news:
* Walt Disney on Wednesday announced a major restructuring, splitting into three units and cutting some 7,000 jobs, or about 3.6% of the group's total workforce, as part of a plan to save $5.5 billion and make its streaming business profitable. The stock is up 6.6% in pre-market trading.
* Mattel - The maker of Barbie dolls and Fisher-Price toys warned Wednesday that its 2023 earnings would be lower than expected because of the impact of inflation on consumption.
* Robinhood Markets on Wednesday reported higher fourth-quarter revenue as the online brokerage benefited from a jump in interest income. In addition, it announced plans to buy back its shares from Emergent Fidelity Technologies, owned by Sam Bankman-Fried, the former boss of cryptocurrency trading platform FTX.
* Pepsi reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales and profit on Thursday, thanks to price hikes to offset soaring costs. The group's stock, which also raised its dividend by 10%, gained 1.3% in premarket trading.
* Hilton said Thursday it expects adjusted earnings of between $5.42 and $5.68 per share in 2023 after reporting a rise in quarterly profit, helped by strong travel demand and high room rates.
* Wynn Resorts and MGM advance about 5% in pre-market trading after their fourth-quarter results, with Wynn Casino Group reporting a significant return in Macau attendance and demand during the Chinese New Year vacation.
* Tapestry, the maker of Coach and Kate Spade handbags, raised its annual earnings forecast Thursday, and now says it expects earnings of $3.70 to $3.75 per share in 2023, up from a previous estimate of $3.60 to $3.70.
* Affirm - The fractional payments group on Wednesday announced a restructuring plan to cut about 500 jobs, or about 19% of its workforce.
* JP.Morgan cut hundreds of jobs from its mortgage business.
* Salesforce - Hedge fund Third Point has a stake in the computer giant, which is under pressure from four activist investors to make changes.
* Abbott agreed to acquire medical device maker Cardiovascular Systems Inc (CSI) for $837.6 million.
* Philip Morris, Kellogg's, Ralph Lauren, among others, are scheduled to report earnings this Thursday. 
Analyst recommendations:
  • Black Hills: Mizuho Securities cut the recommendation to underperform from neutral. Price target set to $60.
  • Bunge: Baird downgrades to neutral from outperform. PT set to $115.
  • Capri Holdings: Bernstein cut the target to $56 from $63. Maintains market perform rating.
  • CDW: Raymond James maintains outperform rating. Price target upgrades to $220 from $200.
  • Diodes: Benchmark Company raised the price target to $105 from $ 90.
  • FormFactor: Needham & Co raised the target to $36 from $28. Maintains buy rating.
  • Maximus: Raymond James maintains outperform rating. Price target up to $100 from $80.
  • MGM Resorts International: Stifel raised the target to $53 from $46. Maintains buy rating.
  • Nabors Industries: Susquehanna Financial elevated the objective to $215 from $189 maintaining neutral rating.
  • Under Armour: Barclays maintains overweight rating. PT up to $13 from $10.
  • Walt Disney: Guggenheim Securities raised the target to $140 from $115. Maintains buy rating.
  • Wynn Resorts: Stifel maintains buy rating. Price target up to $127 from $115.