It's the golden age of refiners. The profit boom could last through the end of the decade, helped by a price mishap that won’t be easy to fix: the giant premium Europe must pay for natural gas. At the current $30 differential per MMBtu between the U.S. and Europe, American refiners have a $9-a-barrel cost advantage. Under normal conditions, their long-run cash margin is only $5 a barrel. Read more here.
Exxon is mining bitcoin in North Dakota. ExxonMobil has been working with Denver-based Crusoe Energy Systems to mine bitcoin in North Dakota for over a year, as part of its plans to slash emissions. Exxon is diverting natural gas that would otherwise be burned off into generators, which convert the gas into electricity used to power shipping containers full of thousands of bitcoin miners.
Mortgage rate soars closer to 5%. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage shot significantly higher Friday, rising 24 basis points to 4.95%, according to Mortgage News Daily. The quicker-than-expected rise in rates has weighed on demand for mortgages and refinancing loans. With both rates and prices considerably higher, the median mortgage payment is now more than 20% higher than it was a year ago.
The U.S. Treasury market is plagued with illiquidity. Signs of trouble continue to show up in the world’s largest, most liquid government-securities market as government bonds logged their worst week in years and the U.S. central bank’s interest rate hiking cycle gets underway. All six of the gauges used to monitor U.S. Treasury market depth have remained at abnormal conditions for the month of March, according to JPMorgan. Read more here.
Uber wins a 30-month London license. The move ends a years-long spat with the agency, which twice revoked Uber’s London license. The decision removes a key source of uncertainty for Uber in the U.K. — London is its largest European market — and comes as the company is dealing with rising inflation amid the twin challenges of a labor shortage and surging energy prices.
It's taking 6-8 weeks longer to build a house, according to Lennar CEO Stuart Miller. While demand is strong, supply is short and constrained, the ability to actually build and deliver homes has been slowed by the supply chain that is all but broken, by the workforce that is short in supply, and the intense competition for scarce and titled land assets. Read more here.
Demand for Tesla vehicles is through the roof. Many Tesla models are now sold out until 2023, reported electric car website Electrek on Friday. A quick visit to the company's website confirms this is the case. Despite the company's intense efforts to ramp up production, it apparently still can't keep up with demand. Investors will get some insight soon. Tesla should report first-quarter deliveries during the first three days of April. Read more here.
We're facing a global slowdown. People's ability to have money and spend money is getting crushed. The producer level of inflation is meaningfully less than expected in the US. Consumer confidence has plummeted in the US. Meanwhile, retail sales and consumer confidence in the UK are also crashing. We've never had oil go over $120 and not go into a recession. We're facing a global economic slowdown. Source(1:26:38)
WHAT TO WATCH
Congress to take another swing at privacy legislation. House and Senate aides expected to meet in another bid to forge a bill to put restrictions on data gathering. They are planning to meet as early as next week in an effort to reach a consensus. They plan to talk about clear rules on what personal information is off-limits to businesses and the rights of individuals to control data collected on them.
Shares for Apple can soar 70% higher, according to Evercore. Analyst Amit Daryanani sees an upside scenario in which shares can hit $300, saying in a note that the bull case is supported by continued strong iPhone sales, services outperformance, and an expansion of gross margins from current levels. The firm gave Apple an outperform rating. Some unannounced products would also help the tech giant hit the upside scenario. Read more here.
Intel to release new products at March 30 event. Intel will be hosting an event on March 30 for the first look at its discrete graphics cards for laptops. Now Intel will compete with Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia in the graphics market. Unfortunately, this is coming when graphics cards are decreasing in price. It is crucial to remember that graphics card prices have been inflated due to high demand and low supply.
NASA to seek more bids for Moon Lander, giving Bezos a new opening. The plan is launching a fresh competition to Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. NASA is seeking additional design concepts as part of a plan to have a series of moon landings following Artemis III. NASA is on schedule for a moon landing without a crew in 2024 and then with a crew the following year.