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U.S. VP Harris visits Philippine island on edge of contested South China Sea By Reuters

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© Reuters. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a town hall meeting, at a hotel in Manila, Philippines, November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

By Karen Lema

PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday visits the Philippine island of Palawan in the South China Sea, part of a three-day trip to an Asian ally that is central to America’s bid to counter China’s increasingly assertive stance in the region.

Beijing claims almost all the South China Sea, which is believed to contain massive oil and gas deposits and through which billions of dollars in trade passes each year.

Harris pledged on Monday the United States would defend the Philippines if it came under attack in the waterway, reaffirming Washington’s “unwavering” commitment to its former colony.

Her comments followed a meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who welcomed Harris for the first time at the Philippine presidential palace.

Marcos said the two nations’ strong ties had become even more important, given what he called “upheavals” in the region.

Harris’ visit to the Philippines, the highest-level trip to the Philippines by a Biden administration official, is seen as part of Washington’s effort to revive ties with Manila, which moved closer to China under former President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We stand with you in defence of international rules and norms as it relates to the South China Sea,” Harris told Marcos.

A 2016 ruling by an arbitration tribunal in the Hague said Beijing’s South China Sea claims had no legal basis, delivering a victory for Manila.

The Philippines has been unable to enforce the ruling and has since filed hundreds of protests over what it calls encroachment and harassment by China’s coastguard and its vast fishing fleet.

While in Palawan, Harris will also reaffirm Washington’s support for the 2016 tribunal ruling, a U.S. official said.

Palawan is only about 320 km (200 miles) from the Spratly islands, where China has dredged the sea floor to build harbours and airstrips. Parts of the archipelago are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The vice president will visit a fishing village and tour a Philippine coast guard vessel during her trip, said a U.S. official, on condition of anonymity.

The visit comes with U.S.-Sino tensions high, particularly over Taiwan, the democratically governed island China has long vowed to bring under its control.

“We are not against the U.S.’s interaction with regional countries,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning when asked to comment about Harris’ visit to Palawan. “But it should be good for regional peace and stability and not damaging to other countries’ interests.”

Illustrating tensions in the area, China denied on Monday that one of its coastguard ships used force to retrieve a piece of a rocket floating in the ocean that was being towed by a Philippine vessel in the South China Sea.

A Philippine military commander said the Chinese coastguard ship “forcefully retrieved” the object by cutting a line attaching it to a Philippine boat.

Dozens of protesters rallied in Manila on Monday against the visit by Harris, saying they did not want the Philippines to be caught between U.S. and Chinese rivalry.

Washington and the Philippines have moved ahead with an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), dating from the Obama administration, though it languished under Duterte.

EDCA allows the United States to maintain a military presence, but not a permanent one, through the rotation of ships and aircraft for humanitarian and maritime security operations at mutually agreed Philippine bases.

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Stocks on Track for Second Straight Monthly Advance

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Stocks and bond prices were poised for monthly gains as investors awaited comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

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Dow Jones Futures Fall After Weak Jobs Data, Powell Speech Next; CrowdStrike Plunges

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Dow Jones futures fell modestly Wednesday as overseas markets traded generally higher. U.S. action remained subdued ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Brookings Institution, with monthly employment and quarterly GDP data out ahead of Wednesday’s stock market open.




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Wednesday’s early economic data includes the ADP National Employment Report, as well as revised third-quarter GDP estimates from the Commerce Department. At 1:30 p.m. ET, Fed chief Powell is scheduled to speak on the economy, inflation and the labor market at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

ADP’s November employment number fell to 127,000 vs. 239,000 in the previous month. Consensus estimates expected growth of 200,000 jobs in November. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department’s GDP estimate revision reflected stronger growth, at 2.9% vs. the initial 2.6% estimate for the quarter. Econoday estimates called for a slight rise to 2.7%.

Earnings movers include CrowdStrike (CRWD), Titan Machinery (TITN), Intuit (INTU) and Workday (WDAY). CrowdStrike shares plunged 17% after the company’s earnings outlook sharply missed Wall Street’s targets. Intuit shares declined less than 1% in early trade, while Workday stock jumped 9%. Titan rocketed 12% on a Q3 earnings beat.

Electric-vehicle giant Tesla (TSLA) traded up 0.6% Wednesday morning. Dow Jones tech leaders Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) were also higher ahead of today’s stock market open.

IPO Leader Array Technologies (ARRY), IBD Leaderboard stock Arista Networks (ANET), Celsius (CELH) and Chubb (CB) — as well as Dow Jones names Boeing (BA), Caterpillar (CAT) and Chevron (CVX) — are among the top stocks to buy and watch.

Arista Networks is an IBD Leaderboard stock and was a recent IBD Stock Of The Day. Boeing is an IBD SwingTrader stock and was one of the four leaders featured in this week’s Stocks Near A Buy Zone column. Celsius was Monday’s IBD 50 Stocks To Watch pick.


IBD’s latest newsletter MarketDiem gives you actionable ideas for stocks, options and crypto right in your inbox.


Dow Jones Today: Oil Prices, Treasury Yields

Ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell, Dow Jones futures fell 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures gained 0.15% vs. fair value. Tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures traded 0.2% higher in morning action. International markets generally showed strength, with China and Europe continuing to rebound after Monday’s shakeup triggered by Covid-policy protests in China.

Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) rose 0.4% early Wednesday, and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) gained 0.2%. KraneShares CSI China Internet (KWEB) jumped 4.7%, and the iShares MSCI China (MCHI) popped 3.1% in premarket trade.

The 10-year Treasury yield held about steady at 3.74% Wednesday morning, pausing after a two-day win streak. Last week, the 10-year Treasury yield closed at 3.69%, its lowest close since Oct. 4. Meanwhile, U.S. oil prices added another 2%, continuing to rebound after touching their lowest level since December 2021 on Monday. West Texas Intermediate futures traded just below $80 a barrel.

Stock Market Rally

On Tuesday, the stock market posted mixed action, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite declined 0.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched higher, while the S&P 500 lost 0.2%.

Tuesday’s The Big Picture commented, “Growth screens haven’t been yielding much in recent weeks as value stocks, in general, continue to outperform growth stocks. While it’s true that the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite are still in confirmed uptrends, the crop of actionable stocks has been disappointing. It hasn’t been easy increasing exposure. After some moves Tuesday, IBD Leaderboard is only around 50% invested at this point.”

Now is an important time to read IBD’s The Big Picture column amid the ongoing stock market volatility.


Five Dow Jones Stocks To Buy And Watch Now


Dow Jones Stocks To Buy And Watch: Boeing, Caterpillar, Chevron

Aerospace giant Boeing rallied 2% Tuesday, recapturing a cup base’s 173.95 buy point. Boeing shares tacked on 1.5% Wednesday.

Dow Jones member Caterpillar is close to retaking its cup base’s 238 buy point, according to IBD MarketSmith pattern recognition, and is about 1% below the entry. CAT stock lost 0.9% Wednesday. 

CAT stock boasts an impressive 96 out of a perfect 99 IBD Composite Rating, per the IBD Stock Checkup.

Energy giant Chevron rebounded 1.5% Tuesday, but is still just below a 182.50 buy point in a consolidation base. CVX shares rose another 0.7% Wednesday morning, as oil prices chugged higher.


4 Top Growth Stocks To Watch In The Current Stock Market Rally


Top Stocks To Buy And Watch: Array, Arista, Celsius, Chubb

Solar leader and IPO stock Array Technologies fell further below its 22.40 buy point in a cup with handle during Tuesday’s slide, according to IBD MarketSmith pattern recognition. Shares are about 6% below the entry. Further weakness would trigger the 7%-8% loss-cutting sell rule. ARRY stock swung 0.7% higher Wednesday morning.

IBD Leaderboard stock Arista Networks remains in buy range above a choppy base’s 132.97 buy point amid Tuesday’s slight rise. ANET stock slipped 0.8% Wednesday.

Energy-drink maker Celsius declined 4.7% Tuesday, as the stock continues to form a cup base with a 118.29 buy point. This week’s weakness is likely the start of a potential handle that will offer a lower entry. The stock shed 2.5% Wednesday.

Chubb is trading just above a cup-with-handle’s 216.10 buy point Tuesday after the session’s 0.6% gain. The 5% buy area tops out at 226.91. The insurance giant tacked on 0.6% Wednesday morning.


Join IBD experts as they analyze leading stocks in the current stock market rally on IBD Live


Tesla Stock

Tesla stock declined 1.1% Tuesday, but is still holding above its 52-week low price that it reached last week at 166.19. Shares are around 55% off their 52-week high and sharply below their 50- and 200-day moving average lines.

The EV giant traded up 0.7% Wednesday morning.

Dow Jones Leaders: Apple, Microsoft

Among Dow Jones stocks, Apple shares sold off another 2.1% Tuesday, falling further below its key 50-day line. The stock is around 23% off its 52-week high. Apple stock traded up 0.6% Wednesday.

Microsoft dropped 0.6% Tuesday, falling for a third straight session. Shares continue to hold above the 50-day line, which is an important level to watch The software giant remains about 30% off its 52-week high. Microsoft shares rose 0.8% Wednesday morning.

Be sure to follow Scott Lehtonen on Twitter at @IBD_SLehtonen for more on growth stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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How To Research Growth Stocks: Why This IBD Tool Simplifies The Search For Top Stocks

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Elon Musk says the Fed must cut rates ‘immediately’ to stop a severe recession

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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk unveils a new all-wheel-drive version of the Model S car in Hawthorne, California October 9, 2014.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

Elon Musk thinks a recession is coming and worries the Federal Reserve’s attempts to bring down inflation could make it worse.

In a tweet early Wednesday, the Tesla CEO and Twitter owner called on the Fed “to cut interest rates immediately” or risk “amplifying the probability of a severe recession.”

The remarks came in an exchange with Tesmanian co-founder Vincent Yu in which several others participated.

Later in the thread, NorthmanTrader founder Sven Henrich observes that the Fed “stayed too easy for too long totally misreading inflation and now they’ve tightened aggressively into the highest debt construct ever without accounting for the lag effects of these rate hikes risking they’ll be again late to realize the damage done.”

Musk replied, “Exactly.”

This isn’t the first time Musk has warned of impending economic doom.

In a similar exchange on Oct. 24, the world’s richest man estimated a global recession could last “until the spring ’24,” though he noted he was “just guessing.” That prediction came amid a slew of economic warnings from other business executives including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

The Fed appears to be entering the late stages of a rate-hiking campaign aimed at tackling inflation still running near its highest level in more than 40 years. The central bank has increased its benchmark rate half a dozen times this year, taking the overnight borrowing rate to a target range of 3.75%-4%, and is expected to hike a few more times before stopping.

In recent days, Fed officials have said they expect smaller increases ahead than the four consecutive 0.75 percentage point increases, the most recent of which came in early November. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is addressing the public Wednesday afternoon in a speech to be delivered at the Brookings Institution.

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