Nvidia, the new darling of big tech, did publish exciting results and targets, but its initial rise (+6.6%) waned to a symbolic 0.1% gain at the close. It was still much better than the rest of the market, as the Nasdaq fell 2.2% at the bell, but it was far from the renewed infatuation with tech stocks that seemed to be on the cards earlier in the day.

What went wrong during the session? One of the most widely circulated explanations is that investors "sold" the Nvidia news after having greatly anticipated. The good thing about this kind of justification is that it means everything and nothing, and is nebulous enough to do the trick. Lately, explosive results like this one have tended to galvanize financiers. This time, it failed. It may also have something to do with the proximity of a very important speech by Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole symposium this morning. It will not be followed by the usual question-and-answer session, so there won't be much room for double-entendre and other interpretations of Powell’s words, which generally delight investors. Everything will be in the speech's release.

The Fed boss's speech is expected to revolve around a tepid approach to the evolution of rates, with no doubt a mention of the dependence of monetary policy on the data to be published in the coming weeks. Perhaps it will help reframe the prevailing cacophony among his flock. There's something for everyone at the moment, perhaps even more than usual. The head of the Boston Fed thinks that additional rate hikes could be justified. Her peer at the Philadelphia Fed explained that rates are probably at their peak. As for James Bullard, no longer wearing his central banker's hat, he stated that the summer strength of the US economy could lead the Fed to raise rates, or not. That way, everyone's happy, even if they can't see straight. The market remains convinced that there will be no rate hike in September, and probably not in November either.

Wall Street equity futures were slightly higher Friday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 0.3%, S&P 500 futures advanced 0.2%, and Nasdaq futures remained flat.

Economic highlights of the day:

The Ifo business sentiment index for Germany, the University of Michigan confidence index for the United States Jerome Powell's speech are today’s main indicators. The full agenda is here

The dollar is worth EUR 0.9256 and GBP 0.7927. The ounce of gold is unchanged at USD 1919. Oil recovers, with North Sea Brent at USD 83.89 a barrel and US light crude WTI at USD 80.06. The yield on 10-year US debt rises to 4.25%. Bitcoin is trading at around USD 26,000.

In corporate news:

  • Tesla- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will complete its two-year investigation into the automaker and its autopilot and may make a public announcement soon, the agency's acting chief told Reuters.
  • Nvidia was up 1.2% in pre-market trading after finishing virtually unchanged on Thursday evening, as some investors took profits following the chipmaker's announcement of record quarterly results.
  • Marvell was down 4.3% before the opening, the chipmaker having reported second-quarter net sales of $1.34 billion on Thursday, down 12% year-on-year and below analysts' expectations. Third-quarter sales were also below expectations.
  • Intuit - The tax software vendor fell by 2% before the opening, although it reported fourth-quarter sales of $2.71 billion, beating analysts' estimates of $2.64 billion.
  • Nordstrom - The department store chain is down 4% ahead of the open after expressing caution about demand in the second half of the year and warning of increased credit losses as more and more consumers default on their loans.
  • Gap is up 2% ahead of the opening, as the group reported adjusted earnings per share of 34 cents, against estimates of 9 cents.
  • AMC Entertainment fell by 2% before the opening, as the group's proposed share conversion plan took effect on Friday. The company's "APE" preferred shares will cease trading from Friday after the reverse stock split, at a ratio of 10:1.
  • Digital World Acquisition is down 4% before the open as Trump returns to X, formerly Twitter.
  • Hawaiian Electric is down 18.4% ahead of the opening, as Maui County files a lawsuit against the group after fatal fires hit the island. The utility also announced the suspension of its dividend and S&P Global downgraded its credit rating to "B-".
  • Merck & Co and its partner Esai announced on Friday the discontinuation of a late-stage clinical trial testing an experimental combination therapy to treat a type of head and neck cancer, an interim analysis having shown that it failed to prolong patients' lives.
  • Affirm is up 9.8% in pre-market trading after reporting sales ahead of estimates for the 4th quarter.
  • Ulta Beauty - The cosmetics retailer is up 2% in pre-opening trading after raising its full-year earnings guidance. Q2 EPS of $6.02 beat estimate of $5.85.

Analyst recommendations:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch: Morgan Stanley upgrades to equal-weight from underweight. PT up 1.1% to $51.
  • Boston Properties: Barclays lifts price target to $65 from $58. Maintains equal-weight rating.
  • Cmc markets plc: Numis upgrades from hold to buy with a price target reduced from GBp 162 to GBp 144.
  • FactSet: RBC Capital Markets downgrades to sector perform from outperform. PT up 5.3% to $464.
  • Foot Locker: Morgan Stanley lowers PT to $21 from $30. Maintains equal-weight rating.
  • Harbour Energy: Barclays maintains its Overweight recommendation with a price target reduced from 4.50 to 3.90 GBP.
  • Johnson Matthey: Goodbody maintains its sell recommendation with a target price of GBP 14.
  • Kingfisher: Credit Suisse maintains its neutral recommendation with a price target reduced from 280 to GBp 275.
  • Moneysupermarket: Shore Capital maintains its buy recommendation with an unchanged target price of GBp 351.
  • Smith & Nephew: Bernstein maintains Outperform recommendation with price target reduced from GBp 1580 to GBp 1460.
  • Tesco: Barclays maintains its "overweight" recommendation with a price target raised from GBp 3.20 to GBp 3.25.
  • Tesla: Phillip Securities initiated coverage with a recommendation of accumulate. PT set to $265.
  • Watches of Switzerland: Peel Hunt upgrades its buy recommendation to hold, with target price reduced from 900 to 600 GBp.