Futures Dip in Early Trading

The market is looking to extend last week's run-up through the first full week of March, but can it keep up its momentum?

Good Morning! 

It's Chris from Elite Trade Club, here to give you this morning's premarket trading news.

Let’s get ready to trade!

Markets 📈

The market closed out last week on a high note, with big gains for the Nasdaq and Russell 2K.

  • Dow [+0.2%]

  • S&P 500 [+0.8%]

  • Nasdaq [+1.1%]

  • Russell 2K [+1.0%]

S&P 500 futures are nosing lower in early trading. Contracts are currently down by just over 0.1%.

What to Watch Today:
The tech rally fueled most of the markets’ gains in February, but can it keep up the momentum? The Nasdaq is hovering around an all-time high, and some of the market’s top-performing stocks this year have hailed from the tech sector. As we enter into the final month of Q1, this is a theme worth monitoring.

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Premarket Highlights 🔎

🍏 EU Smacks Apple with a Hefty Fine

The European Union has handed Apple [AAPL] a hefty nearly $2 billion fine, striking a chord on unfair competition practices within the music-streaming app domain.

Brussels accuses the iPhone giant of setting restrictive rules for app developers, a tune that doesn't play well with the EU's antitrust watchdog. This could be the opening act of an intensifying showdown between the tech behemoth and European regulators.

🔍 A Closer Look
After a thorough investigation stretching over several years, the European Commission has found Apple guilty of antitrust violations.

The tech leader's app store practices, particularly the constraints on developers from informing users about alternative subscription methods for music streaming, hit a sour note with the Commission.

As a result, Apple is ordered to strike these restrictive provisions from its playbook.

💸 The Cost of Restricting Competition
"Apple's conduct, which lasted for almost ten years, may have led many iOS users to pay significantly higher prices for music streaming subscriptions," the Commission lamented.

Apple, on its part, vows to challenge the decision, criticizing the Commission for not presenting credible evidence of consumer harm. Nonetheless, this marks one of the most significant financial penalties the EU has ever dished out to Apple, spotlighting the gravity of the allegations.

🚨 A Warning Sign
This fine arrives just as a new European law aimed at reining in the powers of the world's largest tech companies is about to take effect. The law mandates Apple to implement changes similar to those ordered by the European Commission, suggesting that this legal symphony is far from its finale.

With a 1.8 billion euro fine that overshadows initial expectations, the EU is clearly setting the stage for a strict enforcement regime against anticompetitive practices.

Featured Earnings 💰️ 

  • Sea Limited [SE] ... AM

  • Avadel Pharmaceuticals [AVDL] ... AM

  • Global Ship Lease [GSL] ... AM

  • GitLab [GTLB] ... PM

  • AeroVironment [AVAV] ... PM

  • Crescent Energy [CRGY] ... PM

  • Paymentus [PAY] ... PM

  • Semrush [SEMR] ... PM

  • Viant Technology [DSP] ... PM

  • Crawford [CRD.A] ... PM

Economy 🏗

  • None

Running Hot 🔥

  • Ainos [AIMD] >> +57.1%

  • Helius Medical [HSDT] >> +50.6%

  • Conifer Holdings [CNFR] >> +33.9%

  • Biovie [BIVI] >> (44.4%)

  • Astra Space [ASTR] >> (27.2%)

  • Sunshine Biopharma [SBFM] >> (20.2%)

Akero Therapeutics [AKRO] - Last Close: $27.81

This morning, Akero announced data from a Phase 2b study of efruxifermin produced notable improvements among certain types of liver disease.

Akero said the drug produced “greater fibrosis improvement with no worsening of pre-cirrhotic metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis, or Mash.”

The company said it will continue to evaluate the drug candidate for a potential Phase 3 study down the road.

AKRO is up 36.2% on roughly 1 million shares trade.

My Take: AKRO has been following a positive trend line lately, and this catalyst could help it keep the momentum rolling through this week.

89bio [ETNB] - Last Close: $12.62

This tiny biotech is trending despite posting 2023 earnings last week that prompted a pair of analyst price cuts.

 HC Wainwright & RBC Capital maintained positive ratings on ETNB but slashed their price targets after the report.

However, 89bio’s earnings report included some good news, such as the FDA supporting a Phase 3 trial for pegozafermin.

It’s also worth noting that the stock had an elevated short rate of 11.43% as of Feb. 15th, which could be playing a role in its run up.

ETNB is up 33.9% on roughly a half-million shares traded.

My Take: ETNB has been marching higher since mid-February, despite some apparent setbacks. Hard to say if this rally is based on fundamentals, momentum, or a plain short squeeze.

BitFufu [FUFU] - Last Close: $6.38

In an unexpected rally, this recently-debuted crypto stock is breaking out after closing on its business combo with Arisz Acquisition SPAC last week.

FUFU began trading on Friday and ended the session with a 5.8% gain. Today, it’s extending that lead with a big rally in the premarket.

FUFU is up 127.3% on more than 1.2 million shares traded.

My Take: Crypto is hot, so the FUFU rebound rally isn’t unexpected, however, the stock’s long-term trajectory remains uncertain.

Renalytix [RNLX] - Last Close: $1.04

In a suspenseful premarket note, this tiny kidney-focused biotech revealed its receipt of an “unsolicited” buyout offer an unnamed diagnostics company.

Renalytix also noted that the suitor is a “large and well-capitalized publicly listed” company.

Specific details of the offer weren’t disclosed, but the company is undertaking a strategic review of its options in response to the proposal.

RNLX is up 44.2% on roughly 9 million shares traded.

My Take: RNLX looks like it’s on its way to a buyout deal, but these things are never certain.

That's it for today! Thanks for reading, and good luck out there!

Best Regards,

— Chris D.
Elite Trade Club

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