Stock futures fall; Moody’s pares bank ratings; China trade slumps: 5 things to know

1. Stock futures fall after Monday’s gains

Stock futures on Tuesday fell after U.S. equities on Monday broadly snapped a four-day win streak, what CNBC reported was Wall Street’s best day since June 15. Tesla’s  (TSLA) – Get Free Report CFO, Zach Kirkhorn, stepped down at what Bloomberg said was a critical time. Tesla “is building a new factory in Mexico and preparing to bring its Cybertruck pickup to the market as it fends off rivals in the increasingly crowded EV market,” the news service reported. Moody’s cut credit ratings on a number of midsize U.S. banks and might cut some large ones. Palantir,  (PLTR) – Get Free Report  the producer of data-integration software, reported a third straight quarter of GAAP profitability on 13% higher revenue and authorized a stock buyback of up to $1 billion. Investors remain focused on the inflation outlook, awaiting Thursday’s consumer price index, followed on Friday by the producer price index. 

2. Moody’s cuts midsize U.S. banks; might cut larger ones

Credit-rating firm Moody’s downgraded 10 U.S. small and midsize banks and said it might reduce ratings on a number of large ones, including Bank of New York Mellon,  (BK) – Get Free Report and State Street,  (STT) – Get Free Report Reuters reported. “Many banks’ second-quarter results showed growing profitability pressures that will reduce their ability to generate internal capital,” Moody’s said in a note, the news service reported. “This comes as a mild U.S. recession is on the horizon for early 2024 and asset quality looks set to decline, with particular risks in some banks’ commercial real estate portfolios.” 

3. China’s exports and imports slumped in July

China’s exports slumped 14.5% in July as world demand slowed, reports said. The Wall Street Journal reported that the slump dates largely to last October when “consumers in Western developed countries began shifting their spending away from buying furniture and electronic gadgets, and instead diverted it toward services such as entertainment and dining out.” Bloomberg quoted an analyst as saying that China’s domestic demand also slumped, hurting imports to the country and hindering its economic recovery.

4. Investor interest in gold as long-term buy surges

Amid inflation, interest-rate increases and market volatility, many investors are buying gold and silver as long-term investments, The Wall Street Journal reports. Gold prices are approaching $2,000 an ounce, up about 8% this year, the paper reported. In March, fueled by concern about the stability of U.S. banks, gold had approached its record $2,069.40, set in 2020, WSJ reported. “The percentage of Americans who believe gold is the best long-term investment jumped to 26% this year from 15% in 2022, according to a Gallup report from May,” the Journal reported.

5. Don’t want to shop? Bring the store to you.

The covid pandemic prompted many to shop for groceries on line instead of heading to the store, and that habit has persisted as the pandemic eased. But if you get your best dinner ideas by wandering the aisles, you now can bring the store to your home, in a way. TheStreet reports on Robomart, a van that becomes a mobile grocery store. “Founded in 2017 by entrepreneur Ali Ahmed and debuted at CES in 2018, the vans can be hailed via an app the same way you would use Uber or Postmates, but once it arrives you get to choose what you want from it, eliminating that annoying problem of getting orders with missing or incorrect items,” TheStreet reports.

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