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HomeWorldCNBC Daily Open: 'Roaring Kitty' gets chewed up, Nasdaq hits record

CNBC Daily Open: ‘Roaring Kitty’ gets chewed up, Nasdaq hits record

Nasdaq closes at record high, Paramount streaming service on the block, ‘Roaring Kitty’ takes 6.6% Chewy stake

Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

This report is from today’s CNBC Daily Open, our international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

What you need to know today

Nasdaq record
Wall Street kicked off the second half of the year with modest gains, propelled by continued strength in megacap stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.13, while the S&P 500 gained 0.23%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed at a record high, led by Microsoft‘s 2.19% rise and Nvidia‘s 0.6% gain. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose ahead of key labor market data this week. U.S. oil prices climbed 2.3% ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

Streaming deal?
Paramount Global is exploring merging its Paramount+ streaming service with another existing platform, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is in discussions with several media and tech firms, including Warner Bros. Discovery. A merger could help the combined entity better compete with Netflix and Disney‘s streaming platforms. The move signals a new wave of consolidation in the streaming industry as companies seek stronger footing in the highly competitive market.

Chewy stake
Keith Gill, known as “Roaring Kitty,” has taken a 6.6% stake in Chewy, purchasing over 9 million shares valued at over $245 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Gill, a prominent meme stock trader, is now the third-largest shareholder of the pet food e-commerce company. Chewy’s stock surged over 9% on Monday but reversed course to close 6.6% lower, with Wall Street analysts warning the volatility was not good for the pet retailer.

Boeing, Spirit up 
Shares of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems rose 2.58% and 3.35% respectively after Boeing agreed to buy back fuselage maker Spirit in a $4.7 billion all-stock deal. The deal gives Boeing more control over production as it faces regulatory scrutiny over safety concerns. Separately, Airbus will acquire Spirit’s manufacturing facilities dedicated to Airbus planes for $1. Spirit will pay $559 million in compensation to Airbus. The plants in Belfast, Wichita and North Carolina, produce wings, fuselage and other components for the A220 and A350. Airbus shares rose 2.6% in Paris.

Japan stocks rise, yen weakens
Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed, with Japan’s export-heavy Nikkei 225 and the broad-based Topix rising 1.1%. The yen weakened, remaining at 38-year lows. South Korea’s Kospi dropped even as June inflation came in weaker than expected, raising the prospect of a rate cut. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.46% as the Reserve Bank of Australia released the minutes from its June monetary policy meeting, in which board members discussed raising interest rates. Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.57%, while mainland China’s CSI 300 was little changed. 

[PRO] Rise of the humanoids
Morgan Stanley expects a significant rise in humanoid robots, reaching 8 million by 2040. Tesla CEO Elon Musk shares this optimism, projecting that his company’s Optimus robots could eventually propel the automaker’s value to $25 trillion. Here are some companies Morgan Stanley says will benefit from this boom

The bottom line

Markets don’t like surprises. As France’s far-right National Rally and its allies won more than a third of the vote in snap elections, the left-wing New Popular Front alliance and President Emmanuel Macron’s Together centrists began horse-trading to ensure Marine Le Pen doesn’t have a governing majority. The French markets staged a relief rally on the prospect of a hung parliament.

La Banque Postale Asset Management’s Sebastian Paris Horvitz said the results were the “least bad” option for markets.

It’s a sentiment that translates across the Atlantic, where President Joe Biden’s debate performance has raised concerns and uncertainty around the Democratic nominee. Stephanie Link, CIO at Hightower, told CNBC that it’s more than the presidency, what matters is the composition of the Congress.

“If it’s a split Congress, that’s what the market likes because nothing gets done,” Link said. “That’s what the markets want. They don’t want any surprises.”

A prime example of what markets dislike is the case of Liz Truss, whose brief 44-day tenure as Britain’s prime minister ended after markets reacted negatively to her proposed debt-funded tax cuts.

Despite the political uncertainty, many investors would like to see the markets build on Nasdaq’s 18% and S&P 500’s 14.5% gain in the first half. Historical trends suggest a positive outlook for the coming month. 

The stock market has a history of performing well in July, with the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite indexes showing consistent gains in the month over recent years. The last time any of these major indexes experienced losses in July was back in 2014. Furthermore, July has occasionally brought significant gains, such as in 2022 when the S&P 500 and Nasdaq jumped over 9% and 12%, respectively.

Nasdaq 20,000 is ultimately where we are going to head,” Dan Ives, director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, told CNBC. “Tech stocks up another 15% because even though this has been led by godfather of AI Jensen [Huang] at Nvidia… The multiplier of every dollar spent on Nvidia chips, $8 to $10 is flowing through the rest of tech… In my opinion, it’s 9 am in the AI party that goes to 4 am, and I think this tech bull market continues.” 

 — CNBC’s Brian Evans, Samantha Subin, Yun Li, Fred Imbert, Alex Harring, Jenni Reid, Sophie Kiderlin, Tanaya Macheel, Spencer Kimball, Leslie Josephs, Alex Sherman, Lim Hui Jie and Dylan Butts contributed to this report.

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