Market Beats | Boeing Said to Have Lost Hundreds of Faulty Parts; US Retail Sales Softens; US Industrial Output Rises More Than Forecast; Apple Discontinues Buy Now Pay Later Service; GenZ Investors Prefer Car and Watches Over Stocks; Merck Newly Approved Vaccine to Challenge Pfizer; Nvidia Becomes World’s Most Valuable Company

—— US Retail Sales Softens; US Industrial Output Rises More Than Forecast; Apple Discontinues Buy Now Pay Later Service; Boeing Said to Have Lost Hundreds of Faulty Parts; GenZ Investors Prefer Car and Watches Over Stocks; Merck Newly Approved Vaccine to Challenge Pfizer; Nvidia Becomes World’s Most Valuable Company

1. US Retail Sales Softens

US retail sales barely rose in May, with prior months’ figures revised lower, indicating increased financial strain among consumers.

The value of retail purchases, unadjusted for inflation, increased by 0.1% following a downwardly revised 0.2% drop in the previous month, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday. Excluding gasoline, sales rose by 0.3%.

Among the 13 categories tracked by the Commerce Department, five showed declines, with cheaper gasoline prices and Memorial Day discounts at furniture outlets contributing to the overall sluggishness.

These figures highlight a significant slowdown in consumer spending after stronger readings earlier in the year. Economists anticipate a moderate pace of spending going forward as Americans exhibit greater caution due to persistent inflation, a gradually cooling job market, and emerging signs of financial stress.


2. US Industrial Output Rises More Than Forecast

US industrial production increased in May, indicating a broad-based pickup in factory output, which is a positive sign for a manufacturing sector that has been struggling to gain momentum.

Production at factories, mines, and utilities rose by 0.9%, following no change in the previous month, according to Federal Reserve data released on Tuesday. This gain exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Manufacturing output also climbed by 0.9%, led by consumer goods, after a revised 0.4% decrease in April. Output at utilities jumped by 1.6%. These figures contrast with other data showing that the manufacturing sector has struggled to build momentum amid elevated input prices, inconsistent consumer demand, and high borrowing costs.

The Institute for Supply Management’s latest measure of factory activity shrank in May at a faster pace, with a gauge of output nearing stagnation.


3. Apple Discontinues Buy Now Pay Later Service

Apple has discontinued Apple Pay Later, its “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) service that launched in the US last year, marking a shift in the company’s strategy to become a major provider of traditional financial services.

The tech giant announced it is transitioning to a new installment loan service offered through third-party credit and debit cards.

“With the introduction of this new global installment loan offering, we will no longer offer Apple Pay Later in the US,” Apple stated. Current users with open loans through Apple Pay Later will continue to have access to the service’s features, but no new loans will be offered.

Apple introduced its BNPL service in 2022, making short-term loans independently rather than partnering with a bank. The service allowed users to pay for online goods and in-app services in four payments over six weeks, with zero-interest loans provided through Apple Financing, a wholly-owned subsidiary. This move was seen as a challenge to established BNPL providers like Klarna and Affirm, with early access starting in March 2023.

Goldman Sachs has been Apple’s main banking partner since the launch of the Apple Card in 2019, facilitating Apple’s access to Mastercard’s network. However, Apple is in the process of winding down this partnership, which also supports its savings account and credit card offerings.


4. Boeing Said to Have Lost Hundreds of Faulty Parts

A Boeing Co. quality inspector has alleged that the company mishandled and lost track of hundreds of faulty parts, some of which may have been installed on new 737 Max planes. This latest revelation of potential misconduct at Boeing comes from whistleblower Sam Mohawk, a Boeing inspector, who detailed his claims in a June 11 complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The complaint was made public by a US Senate subcommittee on Tuesday in a memo to its members. Boeing stated that it is reviewing the claims after receiving the document late on Monday.

According to the complaint, as of last year, Boeing had lost as many as 400 faulty parts for the 737 Max and had deleted records for many of those parts from an internal cataloging system. Non-conforming parts, which are damaged or inadequate components, are supposed to be meticulously tracked, disposed of, or repaired to ensure they are not used in the aircraft manufacturing process.

Additionally, Mohawk claimed that Boeing “intentionally hid” improperly stored large components, such as rudders and flaps, from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ahead of an on-site inspection.


5.  GenZ Investors Prefer Car and Watches Over Stocks

The new wealthy are shifting away from traditional investing strategies in favor of crypto-heavy portfolios and a strong interest in collectibles.

A recent survey by Bank of America Corp. reveals that approximately 94% of Gen Z and Millennial investors are interested in collecting items such as watches, rare cars, and sneakers. This is the highest rate among the generations surveyed, with only 57% of Baby Boomers expressing a similar interest.

These findings highlight a growing generational divide in investment preferences. Nearly three-quarters of wealthy younger Americans believe that stocks and bonds alone cannot deliver above-average returns, indicating a move towards more alternative investments for future wealth generation.

“Millennials and Gen Z tend to be interested in alternative assets,” said Drew Watson, head of art services at Bank of America Private Bank.


6. Merck Newly Approved Vaccine to Challenge Pfizer

Merck & Co. has secured US approval for a pneumococcal vaccine called Capvaxive, which poses a significant challenge to Pfizer Inc.’s leading pneumococcal vaccine franchise.

Capvaxive is approved for preventing bacterial infections that cause pneumonia and meningitis in adults over 18, Merck announced on Monday. Studies have shown that Capvaxive protects against bacterial strains responsible for approximately 80% of pneumococcal diseases, compared to Pfizer’s Prevnar, which covers about 50%. Both vaccines are intended for individuals who have not previously received a pneumococcal vaccine.

The commercial success of Capvaxive hinges on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which will decide later this month whether to recommend Merck’s vaccine for adults over 50. Currently, Prevnar, which commands nearly 95% of the market share and generates over $6 billion annually for Pfizer, is recommended for those over 65.

If the CDC gives preferential treatment to Capvaxive, Merck could make significant inroads into the market, according to Louise Chen, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald. Typically, people receive this vaccine once in their lifetime.


7. Nvidia Becomes World’s Most Valuable Company

Nvidia Corp.’s relentless rally has propelled the semiconductor giant’s market capitalization to over $3.3 trillion on Tuesday, surpassing its mega-cap tech peers and earning it the title of the world’s most valuable company as the artificial intelligence wave continues.

Shares of Nvidia rose as much as 3.4%, pushing its market value ahead of Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. These top stocks have been competing for the leading position throughout the month, with Nvidia edging past its big-tech rivals.

Earlier in the month, Nvidia surpassed Apple by market value for the first time since 2002, and the two have been trading places in recent days. Last week, Apple briefly overtook Microsoft to claim the top spot.


本文内容来自《Financial TimesBloomberg》,以及《The Real Deal》等多家财经新闻媒体。