Dave Ricks, chair and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company speaks to the Economic Club of New York in New York City, U.S., March 12, 2024. 

Mike Segar | Reuters

Our top 10 things to watch Friday, March 15

1. Stocks opened lower Friday, following a losing day on Wall Street. All three major averages are still pacing to end the week in the black. Meanwhile, bitcoin dropped around $5,000 overnight to about $67,000 — another wild swing for the cryptocurrency, which has set several record highs this month.

2. Shares of Adobe tumbled 11% after the software company on Thursday gave softer guidance for the current quarter. Adobe did beat on sales and earnings, and management announced a $25 billion buyback. Wall Street has concerns about the company’s competitive moat given the release of GenAI products like Sora.

3. TD Cowen raised its price target on Micron to $120 from $100, while Citi took its target to $150 from $95. Both firms expect the semiconductor stock to beat earnings estimates and raise guidance when it reports quarterly results next week. MU shares jumped 2.5%.

4. JPMorgan boosted its Eli Lilly price target to $850 from $775 following a meeting with management. The takeaway is that Eli Lilly “remains optimally positioned” in the diabetes and obesity market.” In particular, Zepbound is off to a strong start with greater-than-expected demand for the drug.

5. Piper Sandler upgraded Rivian to buy from hold after the newly unveiled R2 SUV generated 68,000 orders in less than 24 hours. The firm also lifted its price target for RIVN shares, to $21 from $14.

6. President Joe Biden released a statement Thursday expressing opposition to Japanese company Nippon Steel‘s attempted acquisition of U.S. Steel: “It is important that we maintain strong American steel companies powered by American steel workers. I told our steel workers I have their backs, and I meant it. U.S. Steel has been an iconic American steel company for more than a century, and it is vital for it to remain an American steel company that is domestically owned and operated.” Shares of U.S. Steel traded around $38 apiece Friday, well below the $55-per-share takeout price Nippon has agreed to pay.

7. China is pressuring domestic electric vehicle makers including BYD to purchase chips locally to both reduce reliance on the West and to boost the country’s chip market, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. It is the latest in the ongoing semiconductor cold war taking place between the world’s two largest economies. Companies that could be impacted include NXP Semiconductor, Club name Nvidia, and Texas Instruments, Bloomberg reported.

8. McDonald’s suffered a technology outage that is forcing some stores to temporarily suspend operations, including in Australia and Japan. In a statement, the Illinois-based fast-food chain said the situation “is not related to a cybersecurity event.” Shares of McDonald’s were little changed in the premarket.

9. Piper Sandler upgraded DoorDash to a hold-equivalent rating from underweight, with a $127-per-share price target, up from $53. However, the analysts said Uber “remains the category leader” in the gig economy and raised its PT on the company to $92 a share from $78.

10. BofA initiated TKO Group, which owns the WWE and UFC, with a buy rating and a PT of $100. The firm sees “significant synergies and growth potential.”

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