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S&P 500 touches 5,000 as Joe Biden reacts to DoJ report


Senior Moments for the Commander in Chief 

U.S. President Biden said, “My memory is fine” as he shouted at reporters following a Department of Justice (DoJ) report that said the president’s “memory was significantly limited”.  

Biden “wilfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency,” DoJ special counsel Robert Hur wrote, adding that the department would not charge the incumbent president as the evidence doesn’t establish Biden’s “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”. 

The report also mentioned that Biden “did not remember when he was vice-president", nor when his son Beau had died. 

The Old Man and the USMC 

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” the DoJ special counsel said.  

Can you just take a step back and listen to that - well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory! 

Just think of the implications of this. I can’t tell if this is just the icing on the cake on Biden’s waning presidency or whether the DoJ is part of some plot to oust the sitting president so another candidate can take on Trump. Bill Ackman thinks he is about to be stepped aside. He even compared it to the end of the Roman Republic — albeit obliquely. 

Trading Sideways 

In the markets, it’s been a flat old week in Europe with little in the way of direction or movement for the major indices, despite a bunch of corporate earnings. Macro is maybe still in charge here and the bond markets haven’t done much either.  

The CAC in Paris has risen almost 1% this week but the DAX and FTSE 100 index are within a quarter of a percent of where they started. The S&P 500 index touched 5,000 for the first time but ended slightly below this level, essentially flat for the session.  

It’s up a bit this week. Tokyo rallied to 37,000 today for the first time in 34 years.  

Cocoa Reaches New Highs 

Cocoa prices hit fresh record highs on poor weather driving a decline in West African crop yields. Last year we discussed heavy rain in West Africa accelerating the spread of black pod disease, which causes cocoa pods to turn black and rot.  

Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus in the Ivory Coast has also hit production. And whilst higher prices have tended to encourage more planting, EU rules make this harder today than in the past. Now it looks like the El Nino effect is starting to worry traders about the 2024 crop too.  

Sterling Shines 

Sterling steadied against the buck after hitting its lowest in almost two months earlier this week even as traders trimmed bets for cuts by the Bank of England to just 75bps.  

Fed funds futures indicate less than 20% likelihood the Fed cuts in March after weekly jobless claims were in line. It’s a quiet end to the week – little on the tape today and Asia heads off on its holidays next week. 

What’s the big AI-dea? 

OpenAI revenues surpassed $2 billion annualised on whopping AI demand. Meanwhile ARM Holdings shares finished the day up almost 50% after a bumper quarter and strong AI outlook.  

We talk about AI in this week’s episode of Overleveraged.   

When considering shares, indices, commodities, and forex (foreign exchange) for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss. 

Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice. 

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