Stellar Q4 for IBM

IBM’s stock surged over 11% on Thursday, propelled by a stellar Q4 performance that outshone even the most optimistic forecasts. This wasn’t just a one-time win; it was a resounding validation of the company’s strategic investments in hybrid cloud and, most importantly, artificial intelligence (AI). Every segment of IBM, from consulting to infrastructure to software, reported revenue increases in Q4. But the real star of the show was AI, with client demand doubling compared to the previous quarter. This surge highlights IBM’s strong positioning in this burgeoning market, a testament to its years of deliberate preparation.

Intel Q4 a mixed bag

Intel’s Q4 earnings paint a less rosy picture. The company did manage to beat revenue expectations, but a bleak Q1 outlook sent its stock plummeting 11%. Concerns linger about Intel’s ability to navigate uncertain PC markets and catch up in the AI race. While some segments like Client Computing and Mobileye exceeded projections, Data Center, AI, and Network & Edge fell short. This uneven performance underscores the challenges Intel faces in adapting to a shifting market landscape.

US Dollar caught between a low rate and a strong US economy

FX markets traded in a mixed fashion. The dollar is not quite sure whether it wants to rally on resilient US growth prospects or sell off in a world of lower market interest rates. Its too early to determine its path right now.

Soft landing expectations

A sigh of relief may be echoing through the halls of the Federal Reserve after December’s personal consumption expenditures (PCE) report. Core PCE, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, ticked up slightly from November but remained in line with expectations, raising the possibility of an earlier start to interest rate cuts. As inflation eases and economy holds strong, soft landing hopes take flight.

Event risks give Oil some respite

Fueled by strong US economic data, Chinese stimulus hopes and Middle East tensions, the benchmarks reached their highest levels since November. While geopolitical tensions and supply disruptions could provide upward pressure, the stronger dollar and delayed rate cut expectations might cap oil prices in the near term. Brent crude closed this week at $78.23 up nearly 10% completing two weeks of gains.

Cryptocurrency market snapshot

Ethereum has seen a brutal correction, wiping out all its recent gains. A strong bounce needs to happen above $2,350 to turn things around, but reclaiming $2,500 is crucial for a sustained recovery. Despite shaky price action, staking rates remain high, indicating long-term investor confidence. Bitcoin struggles this week to hold $40,000. Desperately needing to hold above $37,000, a key support level historically backed by buyers. Reclaiming $41,000 would signal a potential trend reversal. Solana is attempting a comeback, establishing a local support at $70. Shiba Inu tumbled after breaching its key support level at $0.000009. It may find temporary reprieve at $0.0000082, but $0.0000076 is the last line of defense before a major drop.

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