Market strategy by Swissquote Analysts

Business is going so well at Novartis that management has once again raised its full‑year forecast. The transformation into a focussed pharmaceutical company is increasingly paying off. As the Group announced on Thursday, sales in the second quarter totalled USD 12.5 billion. This corresponds to an increase of 9 per cent compared to the same period last year. At constant exchange rates (CER), growth was 11 per cent. On the profit side, Novartis generated an operating profit of USD 4.0 billion (+43%) in the second quarter.
The billionaire entrepreneur said he is moving the headquarters of two of his companies, X Corp. and SpaceX, to Texas from California. The moves, announced days after he endorsed Donald Trump for president, further illustrate how Musk has increasingly aligned himself with conservative stances on social issues. His disclosures followed the move by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, to sign a new law Monday that aims to prevent schools from informing families if their children identify as gay or transgender.
The luxury goods group Richemont has not been spared by the loss of momentum in global demand for luxury products. Sales posted by the company behind brands such as Cartier and Piaget stagnated in the first quarter of its financial year, which ended at the end of June, due in particular to a sharp decline in sales on the Asian market. During the period under review, revenues totalled 5.27 billion euros, down slightly by 1% year‑on‑year.
Higher interest rates continue to pressure some of the country’s biggest banks, and their lending machines are showing signs of consumer weakness. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo both reported a drop in quarterly profit Friday. Citigroup posted a rise in profit, driven in part by the bank’s cost‑cutting measures, but set aside more provisions for potential losses in their credit‑card business. JPMorgan’s second‑quarter profit declined 9% year‑over‑year to $13.1 billion. That figure excludes an $8 billion gain the bank received on an exchange of its shares of Visa and other one‑time items. The bank’s net interest income, a measure of the difference between what banks pay out on deposits and charge on loans, rose to $22.9 billion, up 5% versus a year earlier.
By Peter Rosenstreich
The European Union said that Apple’s decision to let third‑party mobile wallet and payment services use the technology behind its Apple Pay app fully addressed its antitrust concerns, ending a long‑running probe that could have seen the iPhone maker hit with a hefty fine. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said it had made a series of commitments by Apple legally binding under the bloc’s antitrust rules, meaning that Apple now must comply with them by July 25.
By Peter Rosenstreich
German auto giant BMW is recalling over 390,000 vehicles in the U.S. because of defective airbag inflators that may explode upon deployment, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Wednesday. According to a statement, the original steering wheel may have been replaced with a sport or M‑sport steering wheel equipped with an inflator that can explode during deployment. Dealers will inspect and replace the driver's air bag module as necessary, free of charge.
BP expects to book an impairment of up to $2 billion for the second quarter, and warned that weak oil trading and lower refining margins would hurt earnings. The British energy company said Tuesday that it expects its second‑quarter results to be hit by after‑tax asset impairments and one‑off contract provisions of between $1 billion and $2 billion, including charges relating to a review of its Gelsenkirchen refinery in Germany.
By Peter Rosenstreich
Danish brewer Carlsberg agreed to buy London‑listed soft drinks maker Britvic for 3.3 billion pounds, or about $4.23 billion, as part of a plan to expand in the non‑alcoholic beverage market and reduce reliance on beer sales. Carlsberg, which brews its namesake lager as well as making non‑beer alcoholic drinks like Somersby cider and Garage alcopop brands, said Monday that it is offering 1,315 pence for each Britvic share, a 29.6% premium to its closing price of 1,015 pence on June 20, the day before a previous proposal by Carlsberg was made public.
Shell expects to book up to $2 billion in post‑tax impairments after delaying construction of a major biofuels plant as European energy majors grapple with weak market conditions, while trading in its core gas division is set to fall. The British energy giant said Friday that it expects to book an impairment after tax of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion mainly due to pausing construction of its biofuel’s facility in Rotterdam, as well as the divestment of its chemical’s refinery in Singapore. The paused construction of the Dutch biofuels plant ‑ one of Europe’s largest, set to produce 820,000 metric tons of biofuels a year ‑ was largely due to weak European market conditions, with profit margins squeezed by a large drop in U.S. renewable fuel‑credits prices.
By Peter Rosenstreich
Roche (‑1.4%) announced on Thursday that the phase II/III SKYSCRAPER‑06 study, evaluating tiragolumab plus Tecentriq and chemotherapy versus pembrolizumab and chemotherapy as an initial treatment for people with previously untreated, locally advanced unresectable or metastatic non‑squamous non‑small cell lung cancer, did not meet its primary endpoints of progression‑free survival at its primary analysis with a hazard ratio of 1.27 and overall survival at its first interim analysis with a hazard ratio of 1.33, which was immature.

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