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No Stopping the Charging Bulls

Traders can’t care less about a selloff, PE funds are struggling to exit China investments, middle managers are facing the worst of layoffs, Nvidia is not the best performing tech stock, SBF considered coming out as Republican, and home buying costs could fall big after a groundbreaking settlement.

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Traders can’t care less about a selloff, PE funds are struggling to exit China investments, middle managers are facing the worst of layoffs, Nvidia is not the best performing tech stock, SBF considered coming out as Republican, and home buying costs could fall big after a groundbreaking settlement.

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 03/15/2024 market close.


  • US stocks fell on Friday as tech stocks came under pressure from inflation and higher-for-longer rate concerns

    • The S&P notched its first consecutive weekly loss since October

    • VanEck Semiconductor ETF posted its worst week since January

  • US dollar saw its biggest weekly gain since mid-January

  • Traders are now pricing in three 25 bps rate cuts in 2024, down from six or seven 


  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Wednesday: Micron, General Mills, Chewy

    • Thursday: FedEx, Nike, Lululemon, Accenture

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • US bullish options skew at most extreme level since 2008 (FT)

  • US PE funds struggle to cash out from China (FT)

  • Consumer debt is stinging like never before (BBG)

  • UBS is targeting M&A opportunities in US (RT)

  • Super Micro Computer stock has been outperforming Nvidia (WSJ)

  • Nasdaq 100 YTD is beating Apple by most since 2013 (BBG)

  • US equity funds drew record inflows last week (FT)

  • ~40% of Japan’s $4T offshore funds to ignore first BOJ hike (BBG)

  • Mike Lynch goes on trial over Silicon Valley’s ‘largest fraud’ (FT)

  • Goldman bumped pay for top three execs by 24% (RT)

  • America’s office fire sale has barely begun (WSJ)

  • Middle managers are facing the most of layoffs (BBG)

  • Home buying costs may fall amid groundbreaking antitrust settlement (WSJ)

  • Older investors are defying wisdom and investing in growth and tech (FT)

  • US is investigating Adani Group over potential bribery (BBG)

  • US is investigating Meta for role in drug sales (WSJ)

  • Lyft and Uber will cease operations in Minneapolis (AP)

  • Honda and Nissan will partner on EV development (AP)

  • Putin will serve a fifth term as president of Russia (WSJ)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Swisscom agreed to acquire Vodafone's Italian business in an $8.7B deal (BBG

  • $5.3B cloud software firm HashiCorp is considering options including a sale; their stock jumped 12%+ on the news (BBG

  • UK's competition regulator is looking into homebuilder Barratt's $3.2B all-stock deal to buy smaller rival Redrow (RT

  • Advent International, Thoma Bravo and Hellman & Friedman are among PE firms weighing bids for Synopsys' $3B software integrity business (BBG

  • Advent International is in advanced talks to buyout ~$3B valued Nuvei, a Canadian payments processor backed by actor Ryan Reynolds (WSJ

  • French billionaire family Saadé agreed to buy Patrick Drahi’s Altice Media at an EV of $1.7B (BBG

  • KKR is exploring options for EuroKids International, including selling its $1B controlling stake in the Indian pre-school and early-learning chain (BBG

  • Saudi Arabia’s PIF is in early talks to acquire the kingdom’s flagship carrier Saudia (BBG

  • PE firm New Mountain Capital agreed to acquire a majority stake in the US arm of accounting firm Grant Thornton (FT

  • China-based online retailer JD.com will not make an offer for UK electronics retailer Currys after US investor Elliott walked away (RT


  • PPRO, a UK-based local payments platform, raised $92.6M in funding from Eurazeo, HPE Growth, Sprints, PayPal Ventures, J.P. Morgan, and more (FN)

  • Berachain, a startup building an Ethereum-compatible high-performance blockchain for financial applications, raised $69M at a $1.5B valuation led by Brevan Howard Digital and Framework Ventures (FN)

  • Relation Therapeutics, a biotech company leveraging computational and experimental approaches to drug discovery, raised a $35M seed round led by DCVC and NVentures (FN)

  • Residential energy efficiency startup Sealed raised a $30M round led by Keyframe Capital (FN)

  • DraftWise, an AI-powered contract and negotiation platform for lawyers, raised a $20M Series A led by Index Ventures (FN)

  • Retail tech platform Lily AI raised a $20M Series B-1 led by Conductive Ventures (FN)

  • Pure Lithium, a lithium battery technology company, raised a $15M Series A led by Oxy Low Carbon Ventures (FN)

  • MetaCene, a meta MMORPG platform, raised a $10M Series A led by Folius Ventures and SevenX Ventures (BW)

  • Clique, a startup building infrastructure for data computing on blockchains, raised an $8M Series A led by Polychain Capital (FN)

  • Perks marketplace Paylode raised a $5.5M seed round from Susa Ventures, Vinyl Capital, and more (FN)

  • ThinkSono, a UK medtech startup focused on ultrasound AI guidance, raised a $2.5M round led by id4 ventures (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Platinum Equity-backed Ingram Micro is working with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley on an IPO that could value the electronics distributor at ~$8B (RT

  • Reddit's $6.5B IPO is oversubscribed by up to five times (RT)

  • UK BNPL platform Zilch Technology is close to becoming profitable and is looking to IPO in US or UK next year (BBG


  • PE bidders including Clayton, Dubilier & Rice are mulling debt packages worth ~$8.2B from private lenders and banks for French pharma giant Sanofi’s consumer health unit (BBG

  • Cannabis producer Ascend Wellness approached direct lenders for a private loan of over $200M to refinance existing debt (BBG)

Crypto Corner

  • SBF considered ‘coming out as a Republican’ amid FTX collapse (BBG)

  • Prosecutors are seeking up to 50 years in prison for SBF (RT

  • Binance CEO sees Bitcoin prices crossing $80k thanks to ETF inflows (BBG)

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