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Fed's Rate Cut Plan Sparks Market Optimism, Stocks Surge


By Bill Bullington

4/4, 07:52 EDT
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
Hertz Global Holdings, Inc
Levi Strauss & Co
Block, Inc.

Key Takeaway

  • BlackBerry (BB) ADRs surge 5% on unexpected Q4 profit, while Levi Strauss (LEVI) jumps 13% due to strong sales, highlighting market optimism ahead of a Fed rate cut.
  • Hertz (HTZ) falls 3% after a downgrade, contrasting with Avis Budget's (CAR) 2% rise; tech and healthcare sectors show promise with notable stock movements.

Optimism in the Air

As the sun rises over Wall Street, the pre-market trading session hints at a day filled with anticipation and potential gains. With S&P 500 futures up by 0.3%, Nasdaq 100 futures climbing 0.4%, and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures also gaining 0.3%, the stage is set for a positive opening. This buoyant mood is further bolstered by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's recent affirmation of a planned interest rate cut this year, injecting a dose of optimism into the market.

Surprises and Downgrades

In a surprising turn of events, BlackBerry (BB) ADRs have surged 5% following an unexpected profit in the fourth quarter, showcasing the software firm's resilience and potential for growth. On the flip side, Block (SQ) faces a 3% decline after Morgan Stanley downgraded its recommendation to underweight, casting a shadow over the future expansion of its Cash App.

Automotive and Apparel Shine

The automotive sector presents a mixed bag with Hertz (HTZ) slipping 3% after a downgrade by Goldman Sachs, contrasting sharply with Avis Budget (CAR), which enjoys a 2% uplift following an upgrade to neutral. Meanwhile, Levi Strauss (LEVI) leaps an impressive 13%, buoyed by robust sales and profit in the first quarter, painting a rosy picture for the year ahead.

Healthcare and Tech Innovations

The healthcare and technology sectors are not to be left behind, with MacroGenics (MGNX) rising 9% on promising interim safety data from a prostate cancer treatment trial. Staar Surgical (STAA) also reports an 8% increase after announcing first-quarter net sales that exceeded expectations. In the tech realm, Wayfair (W) climbs 4% after an upgrade to outperform by Evercore ISI, and Zeta Global (ZETA) gains 5% following an upgrade to overweight by Morgan Stanley, highlighting the firm's growth and profitability prospects.